This run highlights all the best features of Short Springs State Natural Area with rolling hills, creeks, waterfalls, and some beautiful views.
Parking is located near the water tower, and trail begins across the road from the parking lot.
Going right from the trailhead on the Machine Falls Trail
, you'll descend to a shallow creek that you'll have to cross. This will bring you along the top side of Machine Falls Trail
As you continue, I would recommend making a right onto Adams Falls Trail
and taking this mile loop that has a fun downhill section going to another creek that you cross twice as you zig and zag your way down the creek. The trail will go up a steep but manageable hill and then follow the ridge line back to Machine Falls.
The drop toward the falls will be noticeable, and when you cross a wooden bridge, you can follow the creek up stream to Machine Falls. Take the Wildflower Trail
or start back up to the ridge using natural rock steps.
If you continue to the right, you'll follow a ridge line to another new TVA wooden bridge and cross over to the Laurel Bluff Trail
, another enjoyable mile loop. I recommend going right since you'll slowly make your way up to the top elevation on the back side of the loop and then have a fun downhill section for the last third of the run. After this, it is a matter of following the Busby Falls Trail
back to the parking area.