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August 18, 2016

Greeter Falls | Tennessee

Deep In South Cumberland State Park…

Now five days deep into our Southeastern #KeepItClean Tour, we left Savage Falls and followed the Big Swings App to our next destination- Greeter Falls, TN. Lying deep in South Cumberland State Park, Lower Greeter stands fifty-two feet above its plunge pool; this an absolutely spectacular waterfall. After seeing pictures in the Big Swings App, it was decided that Greeter would be a main objective on this trip.  

The path was moderate to easy depending on skill level. Walking the trail in, we encountered a metal, spiral staircase leading down the bluffs to the base of the falls. As we descended the spiral steps, Lower Greeter appeared on our right-hand side. The sun reached deep into the valley illuminating this majestic beauty as we approached. Water levels were sublime, and the droplets shimmered like diamonds as they cascaded to the pool. The crew jumped from boulder to boulder until we landed on the perfect spot to sit and enjoy the gorgeous scenery while we re-hydrated and ate lunch.

Being almost one hundred degrees, it wasn’t long before we all dove into the refreshing water below the falls to cool off. We watched as locals leapt from the thirty-two foot jump under the falls into the waiting waters. Excited to get jumping ourselves, we started our Safety Checks.

Jumping from any height is dangerous, and we take safety very seriously.

We measured the jump spots and swam the water out with goggles for depths and debris. Even if people are jumping already, it DOES NOT mean the water is safe; ALWAYS check yourself.

In this case the water hid a ledge running the entire shoreline of the plunge pool. The ledge was eight feet under the water and nearly invisible from above. Extending ten to fifteen feet from the shoreline, this solid ridge was a deadly hazard. It was imperative to know where it was at all times.

After the squad cooled off, we hit the ledges under the waterfall. We watched as bucket-sized drops of water broke from the stream’s solid flow above our heads. It’s important to take the time to appreciate these natural wonders we’re able to visit every chance we get. We always practice #KeepItClean anywhere we go, maintaining these sanctuaries is our number one priority.

Leaping out over the pool, we could feel ourselves dropping in unison with the cascading stream. One by one we jutted from the cliff face and splashed down into the chilly white waters below. Floating in the large pool, we stared at the top ridge looming above.

The Big One

Some of the crew climbed up and around to the top of the falls. We had a spotter in the water marking the underwater ridge and two jumpers ready to huck the big one. Anxiety was at an all time high for the trip; the Big Swings jumpers approached the edge. Going over all of our safety checks numerous times eased our minds a bit though the tension was palpable. It was go time.

With a short runway, the first jumper took to the air like a goddamn bird. Soaring out over the falling water and plunge pool, he outreached his arms to balance and started to drop. He picked up speed by the millisecond, and his body locked straight bracing for the impact of the water. Then, with a powerful boom, he hit feet first and disappeared below the surface as a splash rose from the churning water. The spotter dove towards his landing spot as the jumper came back up from the depths. Breaching the water he celebrated conquering Lower Greeter Falls with an untypable exclamation.

Get more details on the Greeter Falls and the park here: South Cumberland State Park.

Check out the Big Swings Adopt-A-Spot Program for more information about how you can get involved!

Thanks to our friends at Kingii Safety Devices, GraniteRocx Outdoor Apparel, Serac Hammocks, and Ix’ChelDream for their support.