Tullahoma’s Short Springs Natural Area is Growing in Popularity

Once considered a hidden gem, Short Springs Natural Area is growing in popularity. Located in Tullahoma Tennessee, it is a great place to go hiking and sight-seeing. With scenic wooded ravines, a kaleidoscope of wildflowers and refreshing waterfalls, there is no wonder why this area is becoming increasingly popular. Learn more from our Tullahoma chiropractor about why this area is gaining popularity.

Short Springs Natural Area

Short Springs Natural Area is only a short jaunt from Tullahoma. From North Jackson Street, turn onto North Washington Street, make a left onto Kings Lane then another left onto Country Club Dr. Continue straight onto Short Springs Rd for 2 ½ miles. The parking area is on the right adjacent to a large water tower. It is a short and easy drive. However, if you are like me and have trouble with directions, just enter Short Springs Natural Area into your GPS.

Short Springs Natural Area is 420-acres of woodland trails and gorgeous waterfalls. It includes six trails: Machine Falls Trail, Busby Falls Trail, Adams Falls Trail, Wildflower Trail, Laurel Bluff Trail, and the Connector Trail. Most of these form loops that cross each other, giving you plenty of routes to choose. A sign at the trailhead shows a map or you can download a map before you go. Each trail is distinctly marked and fairly easy to navigate.


Machine Falls Trail is the most favored as it leads to the majestic Machine Falls. Only 1.6 miles this trail is marked with white signs. To reach Machine Falls hikers can quickly descend a steep stairway. Then go to the right of the bridge, splashing directly up the streambed to the falls. However, if you have small children or are afraid of heights you can take the longer route by following the loop on the right before reaching the stairs.

For more adventure continue by following the Blue signage to Busby Falls Trail. The Busby Fall Loop leads you to a beautiful overlook where the cascading Busby Falls can be viewed. During spring and early summer, thick foliage may make it more difficult to view the falls from the overlook. Although less crowded than Machine Fall, Busby Falls is really gaining attention.

Spectacular Sights

Obviously, one of the reasons Shorts Springs Natural Area is gaining popularity so quickly can be contributed to the spectacular waterfalls. The third waterfall featured in this hike is Adams Falls. Adams Falls Trail connects to the Machine Falls Loop and is marked in orange. This is only a 1.10-mile hike and is a less traversed than the Machine Falls Loop. There is no direct path to the Falls, and some find it underwhelming. Others claim it is an easy hike, with a variety of wildflowers and well worth the adventure.

In fact, some of the appeal that has Short Springs Natural Area gaining attention is not the Falls at all. Many lovely wildflowers including two state-listed endangered plant species, Nestronia (Nestronia umbellule) and the bunchflower (Melanthium latifolium can be found here. The Wildflower Trail and the Laurel Bluff Trail maybe gaining attraction with hikers and amateur botanists. The Wildflower Loop is only .10 of miles. The short scenic loop edges Bobo Creek and is dazzled with a beautiful array of wildflowers. While Laurel Bluff Trail is blazed with purple and is 1.50 miles.

Regardless of why Short Springs Natural Area is gaining so much in popularity, the growing numbers of visitors is apparent. More people seem to be flocking to these short fun trails. The beautiful views must be worth it to the increased flow of hikers. Despite the crowds, Short Springs Natural Area continues to be a great place to go hiking and sight-seeing.