Bledsoe and Van Buren counties are the home of Fall Creek Falls State Park, where water tumbles 256 feet into a shaded pool. It is a beautiful place.
What many Tennesseans don’t realize is that Fall Creek Falls is not entirely natural. In the old days the falls dried up every summer. Because of this, the state parks hired an engineer to design a dam on the river above the falls so that the flow of water would be better regulated.
However, Fall Creek Falls is not the only waterfall in the state park. In fact, many people consider Cane Creek Cascades (shown here) to be the most beautiful spot there.
Another thing that you should know about Bledsoe County is that it, like Marion and Sequatchie counties, contains much of the Sequatchie Valley -- a distinct valley, between five and eight miles wide, that runs for 150 miles through the heart of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee and northeast Alabama.
You can see the Sequatchie Valley in this relief map.
If you study the map you can get some idea of why it was so difficult to build roads and railroads through southeast Tennessee. In fact, it is because of the Sequatchie Valley that the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, originally laid out in the 1840s and 1850s, was routed from Nashville to Stevenson, Alabama, then up to Chattanooga.
A lot of people bypass the Sequatchie Valley these days because (thankfully) there is no interstate through it. But it's worth the drive, especially when the air is clear.