Michael C.

Pro

Cookeville, TN

Joined March 2020

So many trails, so little time

One of the best hiking parks I’ve ever been to. Miles and miles of trails; short, long, loops, overnights. This place has it all. Make sure you do three things while you’re there: hike to the bottom of the big waterfall (Fall Creek Falls), swim in the cascades next to the nature center, and stand on the edge of the bluff at Buzzard’s Roost (not the scenic overlook but the actual rock jutting over the valley, accessed by a small trail near the overlook parking lot.

Decent campground next to an amazing state park

The campground is decent although a bit plain in the winter when the trees are bare. But right across the street is Cummins Falls State Park. This park is an amazing find and will blow your mind with the single best swimming hole in the US.

Easy hike, big payoffs

Not a hidden, backwoods hike by any means but it is an easy to moderate loop with three separate waterfalls that increase in size as you go along.

Not sure if it is still there (because it had been washed out in a bad storm) but there was a spur trail (very strenuous) at the last overlook that went down to the base. A metal, covered staircase attached to the bluff brought you down about 100-150 feet to a swimming hole at the waterfalls base. If it has been rebuilt, do yourself a favor and brave the many stairs for an awesome hike.

Best swimming hole in the US

If you can handle the moderate to lightly strenuous hike, complete with water crossings/hiking, the payoff is enormous. Stunning waterfall and amazing swimming hole at the base. Usually pretty crowded and some people like to leave their trash behind. Please don’t be a slob and ruin this gem.

An acquired taste

I was very skeptical about the sites being pier-like decks. Some of the sites just don’t have a lot of room, especially around the fire pit and bbq. But there are a couple gem spots if you scout before you book. We had a great time. Great place.