Cummins Falls– type in the hashtag on Insta and you will be flooded with romantic photos of bikini clad young women standing in front of the picturesque waterfalls like a freshwater mermaid. Autumn and I had gone the entire summer without ever going there- hell, I have lived in Nashville for 6 years and never been- so here we were on the second day of December. We had planned, we had scheduled, we were going to get to the bottom of those falls with my cheap iPhone tripod- and we were going to take an epic waterfall photo!
Well…we sure had a great adventure, but we never did get to the bottom of those falls…
For those of you who want the skinny on how in the actual F–k you get to the bottom of this epic water falls (especially in the fall/winter when there aren’t tons of hipsters leading the way)- I’ve included a detailed description at the end of this tale 🙂 But since most of you are here for pretty pictures and thrifted outfit deets- here is the fantastic adventure we DID have. 🙂
First of all, there were the goats…
I don’t know how many of you see goats along the side of the freeway and decide to pull off the road to go meet them- but I am that type of girl. I saw them about 40 minutes in to our drive and immediately said to Autumn, “If there is an exit off the freeway soon- we are finding those goats!” Luckily enough there was- so I took a chance and turned onto the first road I thought would lead me to goat paradise- which indeed it did. Maybe all goats are as sweet as this little clan- but oh my gosh- what lovely little goats! There was a big Goat (Mamma Goat) and about 10 little goats with name tags on their ears that had names like, “Candy” and “Sweetheart.” Off in the distance was a Black Mother Cow and her little bay calf- resting in the forrest by a stream. Just perfect! Mamma goat hogged most of the pets (and bucked away the other goats when they tried to get in of the action) but some of the little goats got a good through the fence pet and a finger nibble or two. We said our farewells to our little friends and continued on our way to the falls.
Now I am an AVID fan of abandoned things and places so the entire way I was on the lookout for an old house we could explore. Finally as we narrowed in on the falls- Autum shouts, “there!” So I flip my car around to explore this beauty of a shack…
Tripod in hand, we marched our way up to the porch when out of the corner of my eye I spy a thin shirtless Santa Clause one house down- white beard down to his chest- looking at me with suspicion. “May we look at your porch?” I say. “What for?” he asks. “I’m a photographer.” I say- “I just think it’s really cool.” He hesitantly says okay- I snap a few pics and then quickly make my way out thinking that he probably has little affection for my city-girl-hipster love of all things vintage and abandoned.
To my extreme joy- juuust down the road is an abandoned junkyard filled with trucks from the 40’s and 50’s and 60’s. I could probably explore this junkyard for hours. We went a back a ways and found a roofless house with no walls and no furniture- but the remnants of an AC unit, bathroom and shower stall…
Word to the wise for all of you explorers out there- wear good boots, sturdy jeans and watch your step- Autumn had a nail go right through her tennis shoe- she’s had her shots, it was shallow, I squeezed out all the blood I could right away, and I’m happy to report she continued to hike for 2 more hours and is doing just fine- but be warned. Even after this I came dangerously close to stepping on some nails that were hidden by leaves.
After the nail in the foot- Autum stayed back and patiently waited while I got some self portraits in this mystical roofless home.
As promised- here are my thrift store finds: Sweater: Goodwill $8 and oh so warm. Scarf: Gifted. Jeans: Goodwill $6 Shirt: Gifted from a friends closet cleanout. Plaid Blanket scarf (shown later): Goodwill $3. Boots- not thrifted but I’ve had them for a minute- $22. Total outfit cost: $39. Total thrifted finds: $17.
Now for those of you interested in the December adventures of Cummins Falls: read on.
Cummins falls is about 1 1/2 hours from central Nashville. I went on the website and really tried to do my homework about how to reach the actual falls. I consider myself a pretty say adventurer- but even still- we did not make it. After walking the main trails twice (up and down) taking alllll possible trails, consulting google (once we got back up to the trailhead where we could get cell reception) we eventually ran out of light and had to give up our quest.
I was determined to solve the mystery of how the hell to get to the bottom of the falls so I looked it up on youtube to get some actual visuals (posted at the end of this blog). Here is the bottom line- You take the downstream trail all the way down and then turn left. at this point you will literally be walking in the river for about a half mile. I guess I just thought there would be more of an actual trail- but you will literally be going rouge- walking through the middle of the river in water up to your knees to get to your destination. When they say online that the trail is rugged- they mean it. Basically- once you get to the bottom of the downstream trail- there is NO TRAIL (at least in December- we had a VERY rainy weekend and any remnant of a riverside trail was TOTALLY gone) Just old school adventuring, rock climbing and river wading until you get to the sweet spot at the bottom of the falls. Obviously- doing this in early December- when it’s about 49 degrees- did not seem like the best idea.
The hike is totally beautiful and well worth it nonetheless. We did get about half way down the river before turning back and it is insanely beautiful. I recommend it in any season- just know what you’re getting into.
Here is what we explored:
Love and Thrift,