Hike to Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls State Park - Search Nearby - Added by Clare Healy

Explore every inch of the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River from the rim trail to the base of the falls. Then continue on the trail to see 5 other waterfalls and a swinging bridge within the park!

Fall Creek Falls State Park is sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. The 20,000-acre park is one of the most scenic parks in the country and is the largest recreation area in the state of Tennessee. It is home to a 256-foot waterfall, cascades, gorges, 5 other waterfalls, campsites, cabins, and more than 34 miles of hiking trails.

You can park right at the Fall Creek Falls overlook and be awed with a view from above the towering falls in just seconds. Then be sure to follow the orange blazes for the Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail, a half mile downhill trail that will let you experience the falls from below. You can even go for a dip during the warmer months!

The Woodland Trail (yellow blazes) is the main 1-mile trail connecting the Fall Creek Falls overlook to the Nature Center. Take this to cross the Cane Creek Cascade via swinging bridge and hope over the to the Gorge Overlook Trail (red blazes) for overlooks of Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Gulf. Additionally, there are two long distance overnight trails for backpackers while the day-use trails are designed to accommodate recreational activities for all ages.

Distance

3 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

715 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Hiking

Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby Lodging

Crossville / I-40 KOA

Crossville, Tennessee

Chattanooga North / Cleveland KOA

McDonald, Tennessee

Manchester KOA

Manchester, Tennessee

Sweetwater / I-75 / Exit 62 KOA

Sweetwater, Tennessee

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Strong Destination, But Bring Your Own Directions

We struggled finding our bearings with these directions, but eventually found our way. It is worth emphasizing that there are several different hikes and waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls State Park and that the park directions are not necessarily that clear. But, even with the main waterfall barely flowing this destination is a must-visit! Be prepared to fight the crowds.

Epic waterfall, but check water levels

Fall Creek Falls is the tallest waterfall in the entire Eastern section of the US, and is impressive enough simply for that. However, when I went I expected a ton of water in the falls after heavy rain in the area from Hurricane Harvey but when I got there, the waterfall was really only an insanely tall trickle of water. Although it was still beautiful, it made me wish I had checked what the water levels were before going. Being labor day weekend, there was no shortage of crowds at the overlooks as well, which stresses me out sometimes. This did not stop me from finding a peaceful spot to take a solid nap in my hammock. Overall, I enjoyed the hike quite a bit, and I am sure most weekends are not quite as crowded as a holiday weekend.

Excellent!

Fall Creek Falls state park is such a lovely area, I was able to visit twice last fall and it was incredible. The hike down to the falls was nice, nothing too strenuous. Some rocky areas can be a bit slippery especially if its been raining so be cautious.

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