"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Save Cummins Falls!!

We took a ride up east toward Cookeville yesterday to check out Cummins Falls in southern Jackson County. There is an effort going on currently to save the beautiful 75' waterfall and 186 surrounding acres from development in hopes of creating a new Tennessee state park there. It was a beautiful sunny day with fall-like temps. A perfect day to get out in the woods for a nice hike to this amazing, fairly-unknown regional gem. The conservation effort is being coordinated by The Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation (TPGF) and yesterday was an organized open visitation to the privately-owned property as well as a fundraising effort.
We parked about a half-mile from the falls on the north side of the Blackburn Fork River in a designated parking area. Rob and his best friend, Craig, visited the falls over 20 years ago while they were students at nearby Tennessee Tech University, and this was actually the third waterfall of over 300 that Rob has hiked to and photographed since then, many of which with either Craig or Ashlee. At that time the guys parked on the south side of the river in undesignated pull-offs on side of Cummins Mill Road and scaled down some treacherous cliffs to the falls and excellent swimming hole beneath it (stupid kids). The TPGF has provided better access to the top and bottom of the falls from the north side with rope railings and ladders into the gorge. Of course, if it becomes a state park, permanent steps and railing would be installed for better and safer access.
We were surprised to see a really nice set-up by the TPGF when we got near the falls. They had set up displays with information about the area and their fundraising effort. There were also chairs and tables set up for a complimentary lunch that was provided to all in attendance. We made our way to the the falls overlook nearby and marveled at the amazing site (photo above). The line to the rope ladder to the bottom of the falls was long and somewhat slow since you had to take your time on the tricky apparatus, so we opted for a hike to the top of the falls instead. We were rewarded with great views of the brink of the falls themselves as well as an expansive view of the amazing gorge below the falls that the river has carved out over thousands of years
On the way back out of the gorge, we caught up with a group being led by a Tennessee park ranger who was giving an impromptu hike and offering information on the surrounding flora and fauna in the area. Once back up to the overlook we were offered complimentary Yazoo beer. What a nice surprise after a good little hike! Lunch was served a short time later and it was delicious. After the meal, several guest speakers were introduced including TPGF board members, the president of Tennessee Tech (the university is very involved in the effort to the conserve the area) and a couple of local elected officials. Everyone was enthusiastic about the effort to save Cummins Falls and we were as well. We pledged $100 to the cause which we know isn't a great amount in terms of the over $1 million that they need in total, but, hey, every little bit helps, right?...plus, they did feed us and give us beer whether we gave anything or not. In total over 200 people attended the fundraiser and they are reporting over $40,000 in donations came from it. If you want to learn more about the effort to save Cummins Falls and perhaps give a little yourself, then please check out the link below:

1 comment:

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