The Machine Falls Loop Trail is a 1.6 mile moderate difficulty trail that is part of the 420 acre Short Springs Natural Area near Tullahoma in Coffee County. The area is managed by the TN Department of Environment & Conservation. Though it is classified by many as “moderate”, it is easily suitable for small children and dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash of less than 6 feet.
Arriving at the parking area, it’s a short walk to the trailhead where the trail quickly branches off with the Busby Falls Trail (blue) going to the left, and the Machine Falls Loop Trail to the right (white).
Moving along the Machine Falls trail, you can find mountain laurel growing under a dry-oak hickory forest.
As you descend, black Chattanooga shale becomes apparent mid-slope. Wooden stairs are available in several areas on the steepest part of the descent to the lower slopes before leveling off before reaching the falls.
On reaching the lower level, a marker points you down Machine Falls Branch towards the falls where you can stay fairly dry by crossing over rocks at several points.
Machine Falls and it’s cascades are absolutely beautiful. Roughly 60 feet high and the same across, it has two main levels with a very short and easy step to the second level. To the left is a tricky climb steep trail leading to a rock shelter.
This is a must see waterfall and great for families or anyone with a dog who loves to trail walk.