There are various activities available at Long Branch Lakes and the surrounding area during your time at Leading By The Reins. Complimentary entertainment includes various sports, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Visitors can also enjoy 30-plus miles of mapped trails that course the property for biking, running or walking or choose from more than 20 golf courses in the surrounding area to enjoy a few rounds amid spectacular scenery. Please keep in mind that off-site entertainment is not included in your course tuition. Relax and learn during your stay with Leading By The Reins.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park, Tennessee’s most visited state park, is located in Van Buren and Bledsoe counties and is adjacent to Long Branch Lakes, boasting beautiful waterways and hiking trails. This 20,000 acre park is centered on the upper Cane Creek Gorge, an area that is well known for its one- of-a-kind geological formations and scenic waterfalls. The 256-foot Fall Creek Falls is the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The state park also features the man- made Fall Creek Falls Lake. The park’s facilities include an inn and conference center, restaurant, cabins and three campgrounds. An 18-hole golf course, Olympic-sized swimming pool and several miles of hiking trails and paved biking trials are also accessible in the park.
The following are some beautifully, tranquil trails located within Fall Creek Falls State Park:
Fall Creek Falls Trail – 9 mi
Gilbert Gaul Loop – 4.5 mi
Gorge Overlook and Woodland Trails – 2 mi
Cable Trail – 0.4 mi
Paw Paw Trail – 5 mi
Lower Loop – Cane Creek Overnight – 13 mi
Other local attractions within the bountiful Fall Creek Falls State Park include fishing, hunting, boating and biking, among other outdoor activities.
Upper Loop Trail (Moderate – 13.5 mile single track)
The Upper Loop Trail follows a little used backpacker trail. Because the trail was initially designed for backpacking, it contains some tight and twisty single-track interlaced with open and flowing sections. The trail goes over rolling hills, with rocky sections and a few nice climbs. The Upper Loop can be accessed from the north entrance at the original park headquarters.
Chinquapin Ridge Mountain Bike Trail (Moderate – six mile out and back)
Located at the south end of the park between the Newton Ford Picnic Area and Group Lodge 1, this double track trail allows mountain bikers to visit some of the more remote areas of the park. This trail has several moderate inclines/declines with some creek crossings.
Piney Mountain Bike Trail (Moderate – eight mile out and back)
Leaving from the Group Camp 2 gate this out and back double track trail begins with a downhill ride crossing Piney Creek. This moderate ride will eventually end near the rim of Cane Creek gorge.
Cane Creek Cascade Falls
Cane Creek Falls is located in the Fall Creek Falls State Park. The beautiful falls can be viewed from two overlooks and you will also have access to viewing Rockhouse Falls, which is adjacent to Cane Creek Falls. For the best viewing sight, take the Cable Trail down to the base of the falls. The trail descends at about a 45-degree angle with a cable strung alongside for assistance, but this path is not for everyone.
Piney Creek Falls
Piney Creek Falls is a stunning 95-foot waterfall located along Piney Creek. There are trails leading to the base of the falls and an overlook to view the falls from above.
Millikan’s Overlook looks northward across the Cane Creek Gorge, near the confluence of Piney Creek and Cane Creek.
Buzzard’s Roost Overlook
A short trail stemming from Millikan’s Overlook leads to Buzzard’s Roost Overlook. This overlook juts out 1,000 feet above the Pigeon River, overlooking the gorge where Interstate 40 connects North Carolina and Tennessee.
Betty Dunn Nature Center
The Betty Dunn Nature Center is located in Fall Creek Falls State Park. The nature center, dedicated to the First Lady of Tennessee in 1974, includes a small interpretive center and a bookstore. The interpretive center provides information on the region’s geologic history, vegetation, ecology, wildlife and cultural history.
Lover’s Leap Overlook
Lover’s Leap Overlook gives you the opportunity to view seven states at the same time.
Lake at Fall Creek Falls State Park
The man-made Fall Creek Falls Lake dominates the park’s southern section. This lake assures the continuous flow of water to Fall Creek Falls.
Bill Dance Signature Lakes
Bill Dance Signature Lakes, the brainchild of Bill Dance, the first bass fishing superstar, provides the highest quality habitats for many species of fish.
ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls
ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls is an adventure park provider operating inside Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park. The adventure park includes 70-plus aerial elements including wobbly bridges, balance beams, rope swings, cargo nets and zip lines. The course is divided into six routes rated from easy to extreme.
This is a self-guided adventure. Supervised and encouraged by certified guides, participants move through the course connected to a flexible lifeline system that uses smart-belay technology to ensure 100 percent connectivity. ZIPStream provides all necessary equipment – full body harness, helmet, zip line trolley and smart-belay lanyard. Participants need only to bring a sense of adventure and their own daring.
Designed to accommodate adventure seekers as young as four years of age through active seniors of good health and mobility, the course is family friendly with challenges to suit a variety of ability levels.
The golf course at Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to one of the most challenging 18-hole layouts carved out of the densely forested woodlands of the Cumberland Plateau.
The course opened in 1972 and was designed by renowned designer Joe Lee. In 1998, the greens were rebuilt and restored to their original design and drainage work was performed in all 71 bunkers. The Signature Hole is No. 15, a Par 4, 429-yard dogleg left which requires a long drive to set up an accurate second shot to avoid several bunkers that protect the green.
Tee times are required seven days a week.
Call to arrange times. On-site amenities include driving range, practice green, pull carts, on-site lodging, snack bar and club rental. Lessons available.
Aluminum fishing boats may be rented year round at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Please bring your own trolling motor and battery. Paddleboats and canoes are also available for rent, April through October. No privately owned boats or gasoline motors are allowed on the lake. Pontoon boat rides may be arranged through the programming staff at the Nature Center.
There are four private tennis courts on the property for those interested in some friendly competition.
Fall Creek Lake, spanning 345 acres, provides catches of Largemouth Bass and is home to state record catches for Channel Catfish and Bluegill. Fishing is best in the spring and fall and is good from either a boat or the bank.
Fall Creek Falls, in the heart of the southern Cumberland Plateau, has gorges with scenic views, Millikan’s Overlook on the auto tour loop being one of the finest. Migrating Red-tailed, Broad-winged and other “buzzard hawks” soar with resident Turkey Vultures, sometimes at eye level. Many of the bluff tops offer canopy-level views of Blue-headed Vireos, Black- throated Green Warblers and Scarlet Tanagers and other songbirds from mid-March – October. The Lake Trail from the dam to the headwaters, offers views of beaver dams, Barn Swallows, Wood Ducks, herons and transient ducks and loons in winter.