Natchez Trace Parkway | FALL HOLLOW (MP 391.9)

One of three waterfalls at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

One of three waterfalls at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Visitors to Fall Hollow are treated to three waterfalls, the best on the Natchez Trace Parkway. From the parking lot, follow the paved path to the first waterfall. You will pass a few small cascades along the way.

Start of the short trail to the waterfalls at Fall Hollow

Start of the short trail to the waterfalls at Fall Hollow

The first waterfall can be seen from an easily accessible observation deck. This is the tallest of the three falls, and it also has the most water passing over it. The overlook is at the side of the waterfall, and unfortunately a tall tree is growing right in the middle of the view, so if you want a better look (or photo), you must hike off the trail to just below the observation deck. You’ll still be off to the side, but at least you’ll have a clear view.

Upper Falls at Fall Hollow

Upper Falls at Fall Hollow

First waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

First waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Beyond the overlook is an unimproved trail that leads to the other waterfalls. Not too far from the start of the trail is a stone staircase that takes you straight to the bottom of the third waterfall. You can descend here, but you will miss the second waterfall farther down the trail, so continue straight until you come to a steep and extremely strenuous downhill path. You need to be either nibble or young to make it down in one piece, or old and have some hiking poles. At times I thought it might just be easier to slide down. The stone stairs are equally steep and strenuous, so don’t think you made the wrong decision about how to get to the bottom of the valley.

Start of the unimproved trail at Fall Hollow

Start of the unimproved trail at Fall Hollow

The second waterfall has an upper and lower section, and you will pass both on the way down the hill.

Upper section of the second waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Upper section of the second waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Lower section of the second waterfall at Fall Hollow

Lower section of the second waterfall at Fall Hollow

Once done viewing the second waterfall, continue down the steep hill to the the base of the third waterfall. Water flows over a stone shelf and hits the bottom forcefully enough that over the years it has hollowed out a small cavity.

Third waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Third waterfall at Fall Hollow on the Natchez Trace Parkway

When you are ready to return to your car, take the stone stairs that you originally passed. They are located near the base of the third fall. They are much easier to climb than descend, and you can get back to the top in less than a minute. By exiting this way you have effectively hiked in a loop to all three waterfalls.

Stone stairs back to the top

Stone stairs back to the top

The hike is about .3 mile and takes a half hour, which includes time to take photos. For those who do not want to get far from the car, there is a roadside pullout along the Natchez Trace Parkway where you can view the third “shelf” waterfall. You cannot see any others from the road, and cannot see any of them from the actual Fall Hollow parking area.

View of the lower waterfall from the Natchez Trace Parkway

View of the lower waterfall from the Natchez Trace Parkway

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Last updated on November 29, 2021
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