Knoxville, TN and Cherokee National Forest, TN Summer Vacation – Day 3

I apologize for a few of the images being blurry.  This happened during import from an old blog site I used to have.  Some images and all content are still good.

Prior to leaving on vacation, I had googled TN swimming holes.  I found several that looked pretty cool.  My husband pointed out four to me that seemed like they were close enough for us to go to.  After looking at them, I immediately ruled out the one that mentioned there were copperhead snakes and rattlesnakes nearby.  I also ruled out the one that said drowning was the main causes of accidental death (yikes!).   That left me with two choices which were supposedly around where we were staying, according to my husband.  This may have been one of the times where he wasn’t fully listening to me!

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:

We rode up to the viewing area and I took a few shots of the grounds and a map of  how the grounds appeared in 1982:

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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:

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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.

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It’s just amazes me how you’re able to swim in any body of water.  All along TN and NC are pull-off area’s for cars.  Here’s an example of how close to the road the water is (I took this while we were driving):


Here’s a link to the Cherokee National Forest http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/cherokee/ .

When we were camping at one of the TN state parks last summer, I thought it was pretty cool that we could swim in all the waterfall areas and cascades.  It never dawned on me that it wasn’t anything special – you can do that all over the area.

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

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