Fall Creek Falls State Park

Quick Facts

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Tennessee

(423) 881-5298

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

A paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawling across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at its finest. Fall Creek Falls is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States at 256 feet. Other waterfalls in the park are Piney and Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.

The oak and hickory forest that covers most of the park gives way to tulip poplar and hemlock forest in the gorges. The plants and animals of the moist, protected gorges are not unlike the species found in southern Canada. Mountain laurel and rhododendron are abundant throughout the park, as are other plants and animals.

With its many amenities and a panoramic natural setting, it is little wonder that Southern Living magazine readers voted Fall Creek Falls the best state park in the Southeastern United States. Visitors enjoy hiking, rock climbing, biking, camping, and spending time on the lake.

Map of Fall Creek Falls (TN)

Latitude, Longitude: 35.678997, -85.339865

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Activities

  • Boating

    Visitors can rent fishing boats year-round and paddleboats and canoes from April through October. No gasoline motors or private boats are allowed on the lake. If you rent a boat, you should bring your own trolling motor and battery. Pontoon boat rides may be arranged through the programming staff at the Nature Center.

  • Bicycling

    Three miles of paved bike trails and 15 miles of moderately difficult mountain bike trails are offered. Please remember that mountain bikes are not allowed on hiking trails.

    The Chinquapin Ridge Trail is a more difficult trail located at the south end of the park. It is a scenic trail running along the Chinquapin Ridge near Cane Creek. There are several moderate climbs, but most of the trail is fairly easy to ride.

    The Piney Creek Trail is a 10.5 mile out and back route, with side trails available. It is a moderately difficult trail not suitable for beginning riders.

  • Camping

    The park has a wide variety of camping and lodging options: traditional campsites, primitive campsites, group camps, lakeside and inland cabins, an inn, and lodges.

    The park has 238 campsites in three different areas. All the sites have tables, grills, water, and electricity and are served by six bathhouses. Fifty sites have sewer connections. Some sites will accommodate an RV up to 45 feet in length. Ice and firewood may be purchased year-round. Sixteen primitive walk-in sites and 3 primitive camping areas on the overnight trails are also available. Most campgrounds are accessible.

    There are two group camps that accommodate 100 and 150 campers. Camp 1 has 19 rustic cabins with three bathhouses and Camp 2 has 24 cabins with three bathhouses. The camps consists of non-winterized cabins grouped in sections with four to six bunks per cabin. The kitchen and dining hall is complete with cooking utensils, walk-in cooler and freezer, commercial dishwasher, and large mixer. You must bring your own linens, toilet tissue, soap, towels, etc. Both camps are available for rent April 15-October 15 and are accessible.

    The Park features 20 two-bedroom, one-bath cabins and 10 three-bedroom, two bath villas, each furnished to sleep up to eight or ten people. All cabins and villas are fully equipped for housekeeping with linens, cooking and serving utensils, appliances, microwave, telephone, and cable TV. Each has a fireplace with firewood provided from October to April. The 10 fishermen cabins are two-story cabins located directly on Fall Creek Lake. Fisherman cabin guests enjoy outdoor cooking, sunbathing, and fishing from their private porches situated out over the lake.

    There are also 10 landside cabins located on a hill overlooking the lake, each complete with patio, picnic table, and grill for cooking and dining outdoors. One landside cabin is accessible. Cabins and villas have a minimum two-night stay requirement, except during the summer when they are rented by the week.

    The Fall Creek Falls Inn is situated on scenic Fall Creek Lake and has 145 guestrooms with lake views. All rooms have full baths, cable TV, and coffeemakers. The Inn also features an heated outdoor swimming pool, fitness room, and game room for guest use.

    Two lodges are available for rent. Group Lodge 1 sleeps 100 people with two dormitories and four staff rooms. It offers a large dining room with fireplace and meeting room. Lodge 2 accommodates 32 people and consists of two buildings, each sleeping 16 people. Both lodges offer a fully equipped kitchen.

  • Climbing

    There are two main climbs in the park: Copperhead Rock and the Palisades. The Palisades, located across the gorge from the park's scenic loop road, is a stretch of sandstone as high as 165 feet.

  • Fishing

    A Tennessee license and park permit are required to fish in the 345-acre Fall Creek Falls Lake. Fall Creek Falls is the home of two state record catches, channel catfish and bream. The lake also has largemouth bass. Visitors may also fish in the creeks in the park. No privately owned boats or gasoline motors are allowed on the lake. Pedal boats, canoes, and aluminum fishing boats may be rented through the park office. Please bring your own trolling motor and battery.

  • Golfing

    The park's 6,669-yard course is both beautiful and challenging. It has been selected three times by Golf Digest magazine as one of the "Top 100 Public Places to Play" and honored as one of the top 25 public courses in America. There is a driving range and practice green on site.

  • Hiking

    There are over 34 miles of hiking trails around the park. Hikers can opt for short or long walks around the lake and to and from the base of Fall Creek Falls. There are two long distance overnight trails for the more adventuresome. The day-use trails are designed to accommodate recreational and educational activities including fitness walking, leisure walking and easy hiking, or exploring the Parks' geological features and the forest life typical of the Cumberland Plateau. The Fall Creek Falls Overlook Trail is accessible.

  • Horseback Riding

    The stables offer guided trial rides from April through October by a privately leased operation.

  • Picnicking

    The park has five covered picnic pavilions, each of which can accommodate up to 75 people. There are 12 picnic areas, most of which are accessible, throughout the park. There are also a large number of individual tables and most sites have charcoal grills and water spigots nearby.

  • RVing

    Some sites will accommodate an RV up to 45 feet in length.

  • Water Sports

    The park offers an Olympic-sized pool with a wading pool. The pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Modern bathhouses and a snack bar serve the pool users. The pool is accessible. Cabin, inn, and camping guests pay reduced price for admission to the pool.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open year-round, although some facilities and services are not available in winter months. In the summer, temperatures are usually in the 60s and 80s. In the winter, temperatures range from the 50s to the 20s. March is the wettest month of the year.

Directions

Driving

From Nashville take I-40 East to Cookeville (82 miles). Turn right onto 111 South (exit 288). Park entrance is on the left on Highway 284 (40 miles from I-40 to the park).

From Atlanta, take I-75 North to Chattanooga, take I-24 toward Nashville, take Hwy 27 North toward Dayton and follow Highway 111 North to the park entrance on the right.

From Knoxville, take I-40 West to Crossville, Peavine Road, exit 322. Take a left off the exit, onto Hwy 101 South. At the 4-way stop, go straight on Hwy 392, through the first trafic light (at 127). Continue straight to the 2nd traffic light (Lantana Road, Hwy 101). Take a left turn onto Hwy 101 South, and travel approx. 30 minutes to a dead-end. Turn left (still on Hwy 101 South) and go approx. 4 miles to Hwy 30. Turn right on Hwy 30 West. Park entrance is approx. 5 miles on the left (at Hwy 284).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(423) 881-5298

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