I shot this photograph inside a small cave at the base of South Arch, at Twin Arches near Oneida, Tennessee. It was a narrow cave approx. 12-feet tall, with an opening in the rocks (upper left) allowing sunlight to filter inside. Prints available.
Both sandstone arches are situated end-to-end with a land bridge across the top. In terms of dimensions, the North Arch has a top deck height of 62-feet, a clearance of 51-feet and a span of 93-feet, while the South Arch has a top deck height of 103-feet, a clearance of 70-feet and a span of 135-feet.
The park has two modern (septic tank) restrooms and a small seating area. Not far from the parking lot, the trail splits: to the left, you’ll encounter a set of steep wooden stairs (more like tall ladders with planks as steps) leading to the base of the cliffs; and, to the right the trail leads to the top of the arches.
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The text and image below are from an informational placard on site:
Weaker layers of sandstone form the base of the nearly vertical walls of this narrow ridge. The weathering of these erosion-susceptible layers caused sections of the wall to fall away, forming shallow rock shelters on both sides of the ridge.
The collapse and shelter enlarging process continued until two “windows” in the narrow ridge were formed. This opening enlarged until it reached the stronger and more erosion-resistant sandstone layer of rim rock that caps the Twin Arches.
Welcome to Lost Creek State Natural Area, located on the Cumberland Plateau near Sparta, Tennessee.
Lost Creek Falls are picturesque, and also have an interesting story. Water first flows out of a few small mountainside caves, cascading downhill until dropping 50-feet as a waterfall. Splashing into the plunge pool, below, water then disappears underground into a “sink” (or bowl), that flows approx. 250-feet into a large cave. On days like yesterday, with water plentiful, an overflow of surface-runoff into the cave is present.
In connection with Virgin Falls State Natural Area, these two parks sit atop Tennessee’s largest network of underground caverns, featuring seven miles of mapped passageways. There are only five entrances, of which Lost Creek Cave is one point of entry. The opening is approx. 20-feet high, and, once inside, it quickly becomes pitch black.
- GPS coordinates of the parking area are N35 50.442, W85 21.660
- I was told there’s a 30-foot tall waterfall somewhere in the caverns
- No restrooms, gift shop or food
In 1994, the Walt Disney Corporation, so pleased with the area’s natural beauty, filmed several scenes from “The Jungle Book” at both the falls and cave entrance.
Located slightly uphill along a short trail to the right of Lost Creek Falls, there are a few smaller waterfalls to enjoy, These, however, typically run dry at times of low water during summer months. Here’s a photograph of one…
Another area to enjoy is called Rylander Cascades. It’s less than a 1/2 mile drive from the Lost Creek Falls parking area, and then approx. a 1/2 mile hike from the road into the forest. Here a photograph…
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I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post about Lost Creek Falls, and find a print of interest to purchase. Thanks for stopping by ~ enjoy the great outdoors!
This black and white photograph features a long cave at Northrup Falls, located in the Colditz Cove State Natural Area near Allardt, Tennessee. Prints and more are available in my shops at Pixels and ArtFlakes. Thanks for stopping by!
Located at the Lost Creek State Natural Area in Tennessee, Lost Creek Cave is one of Tennessee’s largest caves, with five separate entrances and seven miles of mapped passages! This high-contrast, gritty black and white photograph of the cave entrance is available on various prints to suit your interests. Visit my shop to see more.
I recently enjoyed hiking at the Lost Creek Falls State Natural Area, located near Sparta, Tennessee. Situated on the western flank of the Cumberland Plateau, the park features the 50′ Lost Creek Falls (fed by a large spring), Lost Creek Cave and a connecting 4.5 mile trail to Virgin Falls.
Directions: GPS of parking area – N35 50.442, W85 21.660.
Lost Creek Falls
Note of Interest: How did Lost Creek Falls get it’s name? In addition to a remote location – better bring a map! – the small plunge pool disappears underground by draining into a “sink” (or bowl). However, the water continues to flow at some point within Lost Creek Cave.
Lost Creek Cave
Lost Creek Cave is one of Tennessee’s largest caves, with five separate entrances and seven miles of mapped passages! The opening seen here is roughly 30′ wide, and it begins to turn pitch black within a very short distance inside. No one should proceed deep into the cave without proper equipment, including a headlamp and/or heavy-duty flashlight. Lastly, it’s rumored that, somewhere deep within the cave, there’s a similarly-sized waterfall!
Now’s a good time to decorate your home’s interior with photographs of the great outdoors! Visit my online shop at Pixels to select from a variety of quality prints – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood and acrylic.
Footnote: I’ll be adding more photographs over time, so stop back often!
While visiting the Twin Arches in Tennessee, I explored this small cave featuring a gap at that back that allowed light to stream inside. I’ve added this photograph to my gallery at Pixels, where many prints are available to select – so, check it out…