Ozone Falls

Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee, USA

About Ozone Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/2-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-10-24
Date last visited: 2012-10-24

Waterfall Latitude: 35.88006
Waterfall Longitude: -84.81111

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Ozone Falls was a pretty, plunging 110ft waterfall that seemed to be a good place for a little adventure especially when making the drive between Nashville and Knoxville along the I-40 corridor.

It was merely a 100 yard hike from the trailhead to the butterfly-inducing brink of the falls.

Ozone_Falls_020_20121024 - Ozone Falls
Ozone Falls

However, it was another 1/4-mile or so to do the fairly steep and rocky hike down to the base of the waterfall.

Experiencing Ozone Falls

During the hike down to the base, the trail actually veered back towards the road before making its rocky descent.

Some caution was necessary because some of the rocks were a little wet and slippery, but for the most part, it was pretty straightforward.

There were even a couple of alcoves notched into the adjacent cliff that seemed pretty interesting.

It only took me about a half-hour to visit both the top and bottom of the falls, plus do the hiking and all the picture-taking with a tripod.

Ozone_Falls_004_20121024 - Looking over the brink of Ozone Falls
Looking over the brink of Ozone Falls

I didn’t go all the way down the pool at its base (I guess I was too lazy), but I only read after the fact that the Fall Creek (the creek responsible for this waterfall) actually disappears underground before re-emerging further downstream.

So I missed getting a chance to witness this.

I also observed that there was a large alcove behind the falls.

If you’re familiar with waterfall formation, it indicated that Ozone Falls must be a pretty old waterfall.

Waterfalls like these usually mean you can go behind it, but given the ruggedness of the terrain and the threat of cliff erosion and falling rocks, I passed on this as well.

Ozone_Falls_009_20121024 - Following this ledge to descend to the bottom of Ozone Falls
Following this ledge to descend to the bottom of Ozone Falls

In any case, given its relatively little amount of required physical exertion and its proximity to a major highway (see directions below), it wouldn’t surprise me that this waterfall would also be very popular and busy.

It happened to be quiet during our visit probably because we came here pretty early in the morning.

It was probably a good thing we got an early start because the sun threatened to cast shadows that would’ve made the photos here much worse.

Other trivia about Ozone Falls

I understand that this book was also a film location of Disney’s The Jungle Book.

I didn’t see the movie so I can’t provide any further details on it.

Ozone_Falls_010_20121024 - An interesting alcove seen on the way down to the bottom of Ozone Falls
An interesting alcove seen on the way down to the bottom of Ozone Falls

However, just gleaning from the title of the book, I did find it interesting that they chose a waterfall (in a temperate climate) over one in a tropical setting (where jungles usually are).

I’m guessing budget and logistics were probably overriding considerations over authenticity in this instance.

In another bit of trivia, I also read that this waterfall used to be known as McNair Falls after someone who operated a mill at the falls in the 19th century.

Authorities

Ozone Falls resides in Cumberland Mountain State Park in Cumberland County, Tennessee. It is administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Ozone_Falls_025_20121024 - Starting off with the trail leading to the brink of the Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_002_20121024 - Butterfly-inducing view over the precarious brink of Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_005_20121024 - Julie trying not to get too close to the cliff's edge for the top down view of Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_006_20121024 - Following the white hashes, which eventually led us towards the base of the Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_024_20121024 - The trail briefly rejoins Hwy 70 before making its descent to the left to the bottom of Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_014_20121024 - Approaching Ozone Falls after getting deep on the short descent to its base
Ozone_Falls_015_20121024 - Another look at the entire drop of Ozone Falls
Ozone_Falls_018_20121024 - Last look at the entirety of Ozone Falls before we made our way back up to the car

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Ozone Falls is roughly half way between Cookeville and Knoxville not far from the busy I-40 (which is also the major corridor between Nashville and Knoxville).

We stayed in Cookeville so we’ll describe the directions from there.

Heading east on the I-40 from Cookeville, you’re supposed to exit at the Hwy 70 connector in about 41 miles or so.

Turning left at the off-ramp then going under the I-40 before turning right to continue on the Hwy 70, continue for another 4.5 miles to the small parking area for Ozone Falls on the right.

If you happened to overshoot the Hwy 70 off-ramp like we did, we were still able to circle back by taking the next exit which connected with the Hwy 299 about 9.5 miles past the Hwy 70 off-ramp.

Turning right onto Hwy 299, we then drove about 2.8 miles south to connect to the Hwy 70.

Turning right onto Hwy 70, we then drove about 4.3 miles to reach the trailhead on the left.

To give you some geographical context, Cookeville was 81 miles (90 minutes drive) east of Nashville, 102 miles (over 90 minutes drive) west of Knoxville, and 99 miles (2 hours drive) north of Chattanooga.

Left to right sweep following the water plunging over the tall and exposed cliff to the pool below


Fixated on the falls with some fall foliage


Bottom up sweep of the falls from near the base


Left to right sweep following the tall overhanging cliffs before doing a top down sweep of the falls

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Tagged with: cumberland, mountain, state park, county, knoxville, tennessee, waterfall, jungle book, mcnair falls, ozone



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