An amazing waterfall and swimming hole less than an hour from Chattanooga. If you want to make it an overnight, there is a camping fee. For those looking for more than hiking, there is also great climbing.

Foster Falls State Park is part of the South Cumberland State Park system. A short 45 minute drive from Chattanooga, Foster Falls boasts a stunning 60 foot waterfall that is worth visiting during any season of the year. The trailhead for this 2 mile hike starts from the Foster Falls parking lot and follows the rim of the gorge on river left. On your way you will pass a viewing platform that provides you with a nice view of the falls from above. Continue along the trail until it makes an abrupt right to drop down into the gorge. While not an extreme hike, the path is quite rocky and uneven, so be careful and save some energy for the climb out.

Follow the path down and cross over a a very cool swinging bridge taking you across the river and to the base of the falls. You may choose to continue your hike, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself plunging into the waters for a refreshing pause. Swim across and beneath the cascading water to get a true feeling for the power of Foster Falls.

From here you can return back to the parking lot, wander downstream to view climbers who flock to the challenging walls, or take the circular path that moves up to the opposite rim of the canyon where another spectacular view of Foster Fallas awaits. You can make your return to the parking lot from either rim.

There is a campsite, and reservations can be made here

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Water
  • Climbing gear
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Activities Camping, Swimming, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Short Hike!

Just hiked this! The weather was perfect and the path was fun. A little muddy because of all the snow melting but my dog seriously enjoyed it! The view of the waterfall is great, and a great spot to take photos.

Epic waterfall, short hike

In just a short hike down a steep canyon, you can find yourself at the base of the incredible Foster Falls. This waterfall is as charming as it is impressive, and it is not without its admirers. I went late in the afternoon on Labor Day weekend and there were still a good amount of people hanging out at the base and swimming in the pool. The water looked refreshing, and if I brought a towel I probably would have been in the water too. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this hike.

Always The Best

I have been visiting Foster Falls for 20+ years now. My brother and I have rock climbed there too. Now I take my son and dogs. One of my MOST favorite places to be 😁


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