Usually over the summer we do a lot of traveling but with the pandemic going on, we have stayed closer to home this summer. I decided to scout out some fun new day trips from Nashville. With so much time spent at home recently, the call of the wild was beckoning more than ever. I did some research on waterfalls near Nashville, and I discovered one we had never been to before- Stillhouse Hollow Falls. I was pleasantly surprised that it was only about 1 hour and 15 minutes from my Nashville neighborhood. We decided to make a fun family day trip out of it.
Stillhouse Hollow Falls
As far as waterfalls near Nashville, Stillhouse Hollow Falls is the closest one I know of but tag me on social media @familyfocusblog if you want to share your recommendations for waterfalls close to Nashville. I love learning about new nature spots to enjoy!
Stillhouse Falls has a 75 foot waterfalls drop and it spread out so it cascades down in a fairly light shower. There is a small “swimming hole” at the base. I put that in quotes because it was only knee deep for me so unless you are a toddler, not much swimming really! Still, the water is cooling and lovely to wade in and the view is magnificent.
Getting To Stillhouse Hollow Falls
Stillhouse Hollow Fall State Natural Area is located about three miles northeast of Summertown, TN. It is also about 21 miles southwest of Columbia, TN which is a super cute town to include on your day trip. However, we chose to stop at Leiper’s Fork this time which is about 42 miles from Stillhouse Hollows Falls but was pretty much on the way back to Nashville when we chose our path.
There were three routes for me to choose from:
- I-65 S and US-43 S
- I-40 W, I-840 E and US-43 S
- I-40 W and TN-7
The drive time was fairly similar though the drives themselves offer very different sights along the way. The only tricky part of getting there is the last step. Watch out for Stillhouse Hollow Falls Trail turn off because it is a tiny little road and looks almost like a private driveway. However there is a small brown sign letting you know you are almost there so keep your eyes peeled.
The parking area is pretty small too. I’d say around 25 cars max and there is no overflow parking. To quote tn.gov , “Parking is extremely limited at Stillhouse Hollow Falls SNA. If parking spots are unavailable, the area has met its maximum capacity and visitors may not park in non-designated areas to enter the site. Consider visiting this site during weekdays or other non-peak times to ensure ability to park and enter the natural area.” We arrived early on a weekday because not only did we want to be sure to score parking after driving that far, we like to enjoy natural places in a less crowded state.
Stillhouse Hollow Falls- The Waterfalls Hike
The hike to the waterfall is only about .7 miles! Nice and easy- however I will caution you that there are some very steep areas without railings. So while the Stillhouse Hollow Falls trail is clearly marked and it is an easy hike, you will still need to use safety precautions if going with youngsters or elderly.
Dogs on leash are permitted by the state on the Stillhouse Hollow Falls trail. We brought our dog and we saw a couple of other dogs will hikers while we were there.
The trail has a turn off where you can go and get a view from the top of the waterfall. That is the easiest park of the hike without the steep drop offs.
The trail also goes down along the stream and there is a bridge over the water a ways below the waterfall and you hike back up to the falls for a gorgeous view from below. Besides the official bridge, there is a log over the stream that is fun to cross (but slippery so use caution).
My daughter loved fossil and rock hunting in the steam below the waterfall. She found one small crinoid fossil and several cool rocks.
My son loved crawling along the ledge that goes under the waterfall. My husband enjoyed spotting a snake near the waterfall.
And I love watching them all as I listened to the beautiful sound of falling water and stared up at the falls.
Extra Day Trip From Nashville Stop: Leiper’s Fork
After our Stillhouse Hollow Falls trip, we had worked up an appetite so we stopped in Leiper’s Fork on the way back to Nashville for some good eats and extra fun. Leiper’s Fork is a charming town and you can find some yummy, high end places to eat in this small, artsy farming community. If you haven’t been before, check out the cute shops, moonshine distillery, and art gallery while you are there.
We stopped first at The Davis General Store. It has a very authentic feel as you drive up to the old gas station country store and that is because it is almost a century old! On the outside, it looks just like the old country stores did when I was little but on the inside, it is stocked with all the finest including an amazing sandwich counter. They toast your choice of bread up on the griddle and fill it with all the good stuff. My family of four were all very happy with our different choices. We took them outside to eat at the picnic tables.
Next, we mozied on over to the The RedByrd Coffee Shop. I had heard of this little gem from a friend and I wanted to try some of their unusual coffee creations like the iced Mama Byrd Vanilla Lavender Latte. They are located right on the park area, so your kids can run around and play while you sit back and sip your caffeine. It was a surprise to me to recognize the coffee shop from DIY Network’s Tiny House Big Living, Season 8 Episode 13! Very cool.
I hope you enjoy your trip to Stillhouse Hollow Falls and let me know what fun stops you made on your Nashville day trip! #familyfocusblog