IF YOU GO
Crusher Hole is on state Highway 285 off state Highway 30, west of Pikeville, Tenn. From Chattanooga, take U.S. Highway 27 North to state Highway 111 North toward Spencer, Tenn. In Spencer, take Highway 30 East about 6.5 miles and start looking for event signs directing visitors onto Highway 285.
A small tract of land in Van Buren County, Tenn., has added to Fall Creek Falls State Park more than eight acres of Cumberland Plateau land and an icy swimming hole known as Crusher Hole.
The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation bought the Crusher Hole property off state Highway 30 last year in an auction, according to foundation lands conservation coordinator Christie Peterson. The site is on state Highway 285 near the Cane Creek Bridge.
Crusher Hole was dedicated Saturday in a ceremony at the site not far from the Fall Creek Falls park entrance. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill and representatives of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation and Fall Creek Falls State Park were among those scheduled to speak.
"It's a beautiful spot," Peterson said.
The foundation in April 2013 purchased the property from a local family, she said.
"It's a very pristine, beautiful color," she said of the water in Crusher Hole. "But keep in mind it's cold water because it's spring fed."
Crusher Hole is situated amid limestone rock formations common in the Fall Creek Falls area and is connected underground to Cane Creek, which flows through the state park. The chilled "blue hole" sprouts from a cave pool at the site about nine miles from the park entrance off Highway 30, according to officials.
"We are very pleased to dedicate additional acreage at Fall Creek Falls," Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill said. "The dedication of these eight acres is especially critical to preserving rare species that inhabit Cane Creek."
The property touches Fall Creek Falls land, although there are no trails yet connecting the park to the swimming hole.
Foundation officials said Crusher Hole is home to "rare life that loves icy-cold, clear water."
Crusher Hole has been a local swimmers' favorite for years, according to Tim Curtis, a nature photographer and Sparta, Tenn., resident who has been to the site lots of times.
"They purchased the property to protect the view," Curtis said of the foundation's acquisition. "It's a small piece of property but it's very beautiful."
Curtis, 50, said the property will help link the greenway being planned to connect Virgin Falls with Fall Creek Falls.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...