Places We Protect

Washmorgan Hollow


Rocky creek flowing through Washmorgan Hollow preserve.
Washmorgan Hollow Washmorgan Hollow is a 73-acre preserve near Cookeville, featuring a rocky, forested creek that leads to a waterfall. © Paul Kingsbury/The Nature Conservancy

Washmorgan Hollow is a 73-acre preserve near Cookeville, featuring a rocky creek that leads to a waterfall.



This wooded hollow in Jackson County features a wide diversity of plants uncommon in many other areas in the region. In spring, it blooms with thousands of wildflowers. Those flowers include large populations of the perennial wildflower Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) and Synandra (Synandra hispidula), which is in the mint family and uncommon in Tennessee. 

A rock-bottomed stream flows through the property and into the neighboring Roaring River, which is a state designated Scenic River. At the far end of the narrow property from the entrance on Spring Creek Road is a steep waterfall known as Wash Morgan Falls.

Washmorgan Hollow is bounded by two long ridges, and its steep slopes are wooded with a number of tree species including sugar maple and red maple, beech, tulip poplar, sycamore, box elder, buckeye, basswood, ash, oak and hickory. Several species of migratory warblers have been spotted at the preserve, including scarlet tanagers, cerulean warblers, northern parulas and worm-eating warblers.

The property was donated by Hector and Susanna Black in 1986. The Conservancy gladly accepted it for protection because of its rare population of Synandra and because Washmorgan Hollow is a significant habitat for neotropical migratory birds. In 1995, the state of Tennessee designated Washmorgan Hollow as a State Natural Area.




Hiking, birding, wildflower viewing

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  • Motorized vehicles, off-road vehicles, and bicycles are strictly prohibited.
  • No horseback riding.
  • Camping and fires are prohibited.

There are no marked trails on the property, although there is a path that leads along the stream towards the waterfall. Oftentimes the "trail" is the bed of the creek as it moves from the preserve entrance through the hollow until it reaches Hardscrabble Falls at the far end of the property.

The distance between the entrance on Spring Creek Road and the waterfall is a little over a mile.