Fall Creek Thaw

The Cascades


From I-40 in Cookeville take Hwy 111 going south to Spencer. Continue 5 Miles to turn left on Hwy 284. Go 8 Miles to the Park. Turn left 3 Miles to the Inn.

GPS coordinates 35.65503 and -85.35525.


Start and finish at the Inn of Fall Creek Falls State Park, Spencer. One loop around the gorge perimeter, with two quarter-mile out and back loops at miles 2 and 8. After starting at Land Side Cabin Rd, turn right on Main Park Rd. After 1 mile, turn left on Gorge Scenic Drive. Go straight to Piney Creek Falls overlook turnaround. Turn left back on Gorge Scenic Drive. At Falls Creek Falls overlook, turn right at the parking lot, continuing on Gorge Scenic Drive. Just before the loop split (mile 6), turn left onto a bike trail. At mile 7, turn sharply right across a wooden bridge and follow a bike trail to Main Park Road. Turn left across the dam. Turn around the grassy median at the dam parking lot. Return across the dam (mile 8) and turn left on the bike trail, following the shoreline to the finish. Considered the most scenic of all Running Tour courses. New Course for 2021, while a new Inn is still under construction. Start and finish at Campground Visitor Center across the lake.

Course History

One of the original four races of the Running Tour. It was also one of the most popular events in the 1980s, with 400 runners for several years. The course was designed by Bill Chief and Jon Eiche and organized by Chattanooga Track Club. From 1986 the race was directed by Monte Lowe of Eagle Kountry Running Club, Cookeville, and after 1996 by Tony Cox, Mt Juliet. In 2006 the race management was taken over by MachTenn RC, Tullahoma. Recent race directors were Bob Alt, Mike Niederhauser, and Roger Gall. In 2015 the bike path was iced over, and an all-road course was used measuring 9.6 miles. In 2018 – 2022 alternate courses were used while the new Inn was being built. Back at the new Inn on the original course in 2024.


Bill Dickerson in 2010 (50)

Slow start in 2010

Tomas and Zane at Mile 5 in 2014