Hike to Fall Creek Falls

Tennessee Fall Creek Falls State Park

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    715 Feet

Scenic
Waterfall

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.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Wind breaker/ jacket
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Reviews

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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.

15 days ago
15 days ago

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.

5 months ago
5 months ago

One of my favorite location and trails in all of Tennessee. Stunning location. Beautiful falls. Trails are a good level of exercise. Dog friendly (I recommend keeping them on leash because of loose rocks and cliffs). Bring water and snacks as it's easy to want to stay all day.

9 months ago
9 months ago

This is a great place with a beautiful waterfall. Camped at the state park, which I loved. My favorite part was hiking to the base of the falls. It was certainly cold but being at the bottom and looking up at such an awesome waterfall was pretty sweet. There's a boulder at the bottom in front of the waterfall which is great for photographing people in front of the falls. There are other great spots, too. Fair warning though, if it's not summer, it can get pretty cold down there. It's also pretty slippery, so tread carefully!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

A beautiful hike that you won't want to miss! I highly recommend packing a picnic and spending your afternoon by the waterfall.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I went camping here with my family several times growing up. Great memories climbing behind the waterfall around the rocks.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Fall Creek Falls is a perfect weekend getaway. There's plenty of day hikes and plenty of water to cool off in. Bring a camera, you definitely want to bring some memories home from this trip.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Clare HealyExplorer

Adventure storyteller, outdoor explorer, and taco eater from the west. If you're in the California area, let's go on an adventure.

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