Short Springs State Natural Area and the nearby Old Stone Fort Trail are some of the best places in Middle Tennessee to catch the spring wildflowers in bloom! Join us for this moderate two-part, 5.5-mile hike along some fantastic local trails, perfect for beginners and intermediate hikers. We'll pass several waterfalls on the hike, including Machine Falls and the Upper and Lower Busby Falls, and we'll have the option of making a pit stop between hikes to Rutledge Falls, making a day of what is sure to be some amazing scenery!
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, layered clothing, nutrition (snacks and lunch), rain gear and sturdy hiking shoes.
When: Sunday, April 2nd at 8:30am (carpool) or 9:30am (trailhead)
Where: Old Stone Fort State Park
Stone Fort Drive
Cost: FREE for members and non-members!
Trip Leader: Sheryl Handley
Difficulty: This is a moderate day hike with a total length of roughly 5.5 miles with a handful of steep inclines and declines.
Registration Deadline: Thursday, March 30th at 3pm
Group Size Limit: This trip is limited to 12 participants
Parking: There is free parking available in the trailhead parking lot
Children Policy: Children who have experience hiking moderate distances (5+ miles) are allowed on this trip. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Dog Policy: Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome on this trip
Weather Policy: This trip is drizzle or shine. In the event of serious weather, this hike will be postponed to a later date. Participants will be notified of any weather-related changes by their trip leader in the days leading up to the hike.
Cancellation Policy: If you register and can no longer make it, please email TeamGreen@Lightning100.com
Estimated Drive Time One Way: 1 hour
Hike Distance: Roughly 5.5 miles
Estimated Hike Time: 4.5 hours with a break for lunch
This two-part wildflower hike is perfect for beginners and will cover a lot of the natural highlights in the area. We'll begin the day at Old Stone Fort near Manchester, TN - a moderate, 2.6-mile hike over high river bluffs, narrow rock ledges, riverside bottomland, and waterfalls, circling around a beautiful 2,000-year-old stone wall built by Native Americans. Between hikes, we'll lunch at Rutledge Falls, located just a few miles down the road. After lunch, we'll proceed 4 miles further to Short Springs State Natural Area, where we'll cover a moderate 2.9-mile loop through abundant wildflowers and waterfalls.
Water is a significant feature of the area, and you'll be hiking through wet areas to see the falls up close, so please wear shoes that can get wet! This hike is moderate, but does feature some ups and downs that require sturdy boots or hiking shoes. Participants will need to bring plenty of water, snacks for the trail, and lunch.
Short Springs State Natural Area offers some of the best waterfalls and wildflowers in the area, wrapped in a compact package that can be covered in a few hours' hike. Scenic features like Machine Falls drops more than 60 feet and is nearly equal in length across. The Upper and Lower Busby Falls on Bobo Creek are two prominent cascading waterfalls that can be seen from overlooks on the Bobo Creek Trail. The steep escarpment with its numerous wet-weather seeps are particularly impressive during the winter and spring months.
In the spring, moist slopes are covered in trout lilies, Virginia bluebells, jack-in-the-pulpit, larkspur, and Dutchman's breeches. Large flowered trillium (Trillium Grandiflora), southern red trillium (Trillium Sulcatum), and barren strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) are uncommon plants for Middle Tennessee that occur here. The natural area also supports two state-listed endangered plant species, Nestronia (Nestronia Umbellula) and broad-leaved bunchflower (Melanthium Latifolium).
This event is open to both members and non-members. Please register below. Upon registration, you will receive an email with additional details and driving directions. If you have questions about registration, please email TeamGreen@Lightning100.com