Knoxville, TN and Cherokee National Forest, TN Summer Vacation – Day 3
On day three of our trip, we headed out for some swimming at one of my choices – Baby Falls. The “location” which is on the website says Knoxville-Tellico Plains. Me, being someone who doesn’t fully get geography, understood it to be in Knoxville. I kind of got excited. I had attended the 1982 World’s Fair with my family when I was a teenager. I wanted to show my family the sphere, which was the main icon of the fair:
I then proceeded to ask many people – pedestrians, people in a gas station, paramedics, a policeman, and the Knoxville Welcome Center – where is Baby Falls. Not one person knew what I was talking about! Guess what? It’s not in Knoxville. They’re just outside of Tellico Plains, which is pretty close to Chatanooga. Well, we were on a mission by then, and when we finally reached Tellico Plains, people knew what I was talking about. Yea! The woman in the CVS store told us to “just follow the river” and we’ll be there.
It turned out Baby Falls is actually in the Cherokee National Forest. Beautiful! We got to what looked liked Baby Falls from the pictures. I had chosen it because the pictures showed people jumping off the falls into the water. I thought the boys would have a blast.. I saw a family with a pop-up and I asked them if we had the right place. They said we did, but it wasn’t a good idea to jump off the falls or to swim there. A ranger had come by and, while talking to them, told them about the danger because a couple peopled died there the previous week. BUT, the people mentioned that it’s great to swim in Bald River Falls which we had just passed on our way to Baby Falls.
We thought this looked cooler than Baby Falls anyway. It all worked out. This bridge goes over the water from the falls:
In this next picture, if you look 1/2 way up the falls, there’s a pool of water on the right-hand side. My son’t climbed up there and my oldest one (20) fell in! He said it was deeper than he was tall. He’s 6’4″. He came out of it with a 6″ long scratch on his side, but it’s healing well. He did have one casualty. His camera. Luckily the memory card didn’t get wet, so he was able to save his pictures that he’d taken.
Here’s a link to the Cherokee National Forest http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/cherokee/ .
If you decide to swim in areas like this, make sure you have swim shoes or gym shoes on (not flip-flops!). The rocks in the water can be very slippery. I found it’s easiest to walk on the smaller rocks and avoid the larger ones.
That was the end of this day. We were pretty beat by the time we drove the long distance to get back to Pigeon Forge.
Here’s the link that I used to locate TN Swimming Holes http://www.swimmingholes.org/tn.html