Breathtaking… pretty much sums up a visit to Cummins Falls State Park. A rugged little park with just enough adventure for the weekend warrior. Cummins Falls State Park is a 211-acre day-use park located in what I would call the heart of Tennessee’s waterfall country. Home to Cummins Falls, a 75-foot-high waterfall and Tennessee’s 8th largest by volume.
There are not a lot of amenities here. Just a main parking area, two trails, and a designated picnic area. However, a visitor will not need much at Cummins Falls State Park. The first trail is a short slightly downhill trail to the overlook. Here we had a nice view of the falls that was suitable for my wife and two young daughters. After enjoying the view with my family. I headed down the 2nd trail which heads to the gorge and to the base of Cummins Falls.
The gorge trail has two routes. A longer 1.5-mile route through the woods and a shorter about a mile-long route that serves as a shortcut. Both trails are steep and maintained fairly well over the uneven terrain. Once down to the gorge the trail disappears. Basically a hiker is on their own following the river up towards the waterfall. This is where it can get a little tricky because of the need to wade the river to get to the falls. Needless to say, rocks and water combine for a slippery situation. Good sturdy shoes, a walking stick, and a waterproof camera bag might make good companions for this hike. Unfortunately, I was only 1 for 3 on that and it was not the waterproof camera bag. After a close call a few feet into the water I cautiously worked my way to the falls.
Once to the base it was easy to see why Cummins Falls is considered one of the top 10 swimming holes in the United States. Now I am not one for crowds and I like to experience nature in family solitude. So our visit to Cummins Falls State Park took place in early March. The water was a bit cold for a swim, but I basically had the place to myself. I could easily see the placed being packed in the summer months. Either way, for most people it would be worth it. As for me, my trip had to be a relatively quick because I had a wife and two young ones waiting for me at the top.
Cummins Falls State Park is a great free attraction in Tennessee’s Eastern Highland Rim. Truly a must see. One of those attractions I wished I could have spent some more time at and already looking forward to seeing again.
Cummins Falls State Park
Located at 390 Cummins
Hours of Operation
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information visit their website at http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/cummins-falls
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