Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Contrasting Cumberland vs Smoky Mountain Waterfalls

One way of contrasting the Cumberland Region of Tennessee from the Smoky Mountain Region is to compare their waterfalls.  The Cumberlands can be thought of as a large plateau embedded with deep valleys, locally called gulfs.  For example, Grant Miller and I explored part of Savage Gulf State Natural Area when we visited the Stone Door near Bersheeba Springs about 30 minutes from where we live.  Savage Gulf is part of the South Cumberland State Park system, headquartered in Monteagle, about 7 mi from where we live, and is embedded on a plateau.  A characteristic feature of Savage Gulf, and much of the Cumberlands, are the bluffs.  Hence, it is no surprise that waterfalls in the Cumberlands are generally tall and have a single drop, top to bottom.  By contrast, waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains are generally of the cascading type, as seen below.

Abrams Falls, GS Mtn NP


Spruce Flats Falls, GS Mtn NP









 

Indian Creek Falls


Here are some examples of Cumberland waterfalls in our area, starting off with Fall Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River:

Fall Creek Falls, FCF State Park, 256' drop
Rockhouse & Cane Creek Falls, FCF SP, 125' & 85' drop
Foster Falls, South Cumberland SP, 60' drop

Greeter Falls, SouthCumberland SP, 50' drop


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