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The two RV Gypsies
hiked at Burgess Falls State Park
4000 Burgess Falls Drive
Sparta, Tennessee
October 9, 2016

Burgess Falls State Park is a state park and state natural area in Putnam County and White County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The park is situated around a steep gorge in which the Falling Water River drops 250 feet in elevation in less than a mile, culminating in a 136-foot cataract waterfall.

The Burgess Falls State Natural Area, which covers 350 acres is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

The two RV Gypsies walked the 1.5-mile loop moderate trail that followed the bluffs along the south bank of the gorge, and past Little Falls and Middle Falls. A stairway leads down to the overhang of Burgess Falls and continues down into the gorge. However, as of October 5, 2016, the staircase to the main falls was inaccessible. But the two RV Gypsies were able to see Burgess Falls from an overlook.

sign: Burgess Falls State Natural Area

Lee Duquette reading the sign at Burgess Falls State Park

Below: Little Falls - 30 foot drop.

Little Falls - 30 foot drop

Little Falls - 30 foot dropv

Little Falls - 30 foot drop

An 80-foot cascade known as Middle Falls.

An 80-foot cascade known as Middle Falls

An 80-foot cascade known as Middle Falls

the two RV Gypsies at Burgess Falls State Park

Below: The overlook shown below was closed with a sign that said it was destroyed due to flood damage. According to the Herald-Citizen, a daily newspaper of the Upper Cumberland, the flood happened in early July 2016 and the park was closed for the first time in over 7 years. The rain washed out the soil around the overlook that gave a view of the 80-foot middle falls, completely destroying the structure, wooden railing and all. The metal staircase that used to let visitors get to the bottom of the 136-foot Burgess Falls at the end of the trail was submerged for several days in the enormous amount of water going over the falls during the heavy rainfall. The staircase was still closed on this date in October.

closed overlook

Looking over the edge, the two RV Gypsies saw the remains of a suspension bridge.

he remains of a suspension bridge

Below: Burgess Falls is named after Tom Burgess, a Revolutionary War veteran who settled along this section of the Falling Water River in the 1790s. The Burgess family used the river's rapids to power a grist mill and eventually a saw mill which supplied early settlers with corn meal and lumber.

Burgess Falls has a 136-foot drop. Burgess Falls spills into a large limestone gorge enclosed by sheer walls 100–200 feet high. The Falling Water River enters Center Hill Lake downstream from Burgess Falls. This is a big waterfall, and not possible to get a picture of the whole falls from the overlook. There were two kayaks at the bottom of the falls. The photo below on the right shows the path the kayaks would have to had taken to get to the bottom of the falls. It looked like it would have been difficult.

Burgess Falls

Burgess Falls

Karen Duquette took a close up photo of part of the falls where the water flowed under a "natural bridge".

Burgess Falls and the natural bridge

Look below: A person was actually standing very close to the edge of the top of Burgess Falls. The park rangers were yelling on a bullhorn for him to get out of the water but he did not listen and the rangers had to go down to get him. He was really foolish and risked his life.

a person risking his life at Burgess Falls

The two RV Gypsies walked the service road back to the parking lot. It was downhill all the way, which meant that the people going to Burgess Falls via this path had an uphill walk the entire way. The two RV Gypsies were glad they took the loop trail to get there and the service road back.

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