Cumberland Falls State Park, Part 2: Eagle Falls Trail
After hiking to Cumberland Falls, I crossed the river to the Eagle Falls Trailhead and began my hike along the opposite shore. This trail offered an equally impressive view of the falls as it followed the river for the first half mile, but it soon turned inward from the river and I had the option of continuing directly to Eagle Falls or taking the loop into the forest. I chose the loop.
At first the landscape was similar to that of the Cumberland Trail. I was really enjoying the first mile or so when suddenly the trail switchbacked down into a valley and I found myself in the lowland, hiking along a picturesque stream. There was a lovely small waterfall along this section of the trail and I stopped to take pictures before I continued on, following the rising path into an upland forest characterized by sparse ground cover. Then abruptly I was back next to the Cumberland River, the trail leading out to the rocky shore, OVER piles of driftwood and boulders, and then – Eagle Falls appeared in front of me. Or, I should say that just as the falls would have come into view, two women who happened to be sitting on some boulders up ahead yelled at me that there was a copperhead snake on the trail. Honestly I’m very fortunate these women were there because once I saw the falls I know I would have stopped paying attention to where I was walking and stepped on it. I had in fact almost stepped on an Eastern Ribbon Snake about a half hour before this while admiring some trees and nearly crushed an adorable snail not long before that. I do think I need supervision.
Anyway, the falls were gorgeous, terminating in a perfectly blue pool that merged into the Cumberland River. I’ve seen many waterfalls in the past year, but Eagle Falls ranks in the top ten for me. On the way back to the trailhead I followed the other section of the loop and was treated to another fantastic view of Cumberland Falls. This trail was truly amazing and I really enjoyed the hike and the scenery, not to mention the not-dying-from-a-snake-bite part.