The Blue Hole…the name itself is intriguing enough to catch my interest. When I learned that it was the name of a waterfall in NE Tennessee, I had put it on my list of waterfalls to seek out this year. This past weekend, I just happened to find myself staying in a cabin in NE Tennessee, about 30 minutes from the Blue Hole, so this became our destination for a Saturday afternoon hike. The location is in the Stony Creek area, a smaller town just outside of Elizabethton, TN. After a pretty ride up State Highway 91 and a short drive up Panhandle Rd, we were there. It turns out that it wasn’t much of a hike, maybe a 1/2 round trip total at most.
The Blue Hole is not a single waterfall, but actually a series of 4 waterfalls. All 4 of them are small, but certainly not lacking character. Some recent rains also had the water levels at a decent level. It was a good day to be here. The hike is just a short scramble down a fairly steep hill. There are some interesting steps built for assistance here, they are quite steep though. Once down the hill, falls 2, 3, and 4 are all very close to one another. I am guessing that it is falls #3 that gives the blue hole its name as it creates a fairly large pool with a greenish/blue…color. It is gorgeous little waterfall and yet another reminder that a waterfall does not have to be large to be spectacular. Just upstream from #3 is #2, which some might consider 1 waterfall, but they have separate pools and drops with enough stream separating them for me.
Blue Hole #2 is very nice as well. It can only be heard from the trail as you must enter a small opening to view the large hole cut out by the stream over the years . Being inside of this and outside on Blue Hole #3 gives these two waterfalls very different feels and both are very photogenic. Notice the cup on the left side. I am sorry to report that trash is a problem at this location. It appears the locals like to come to this area, drink and throw their garbage everywhere. It is a shame as this is a special area. I have some choice words for people like this that I will use my better judgement and leave off of the blog.
Blue Hole #1 gets things here started off nicely!
Interesting Stairs to Falls