Best time to travel to Tennessee

Burgess Falls in Tennessee

Enjoy the leisurely hike near one of the most beautiful state's waterfall

Best time: year round (best time: March–November)

Burgess Falls
Burgess Falls
Burgess Falls
Burgess Falls, Tennessee
See accommodations nearby

The Burgess Falls is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped cascade waterfall from the Falling Water River located in the Burgess Falls State Park, Tennessee. The waterfall spills around 136 feet (41 m) into a large limestone gorge bounded by sheer 100–200-foot (30–61 m) walls. Burgess is not the tallest waterfall in Tennessee, but it is one of the most striking.

When is the best time to visit Burgess Falls

Burgess Falls State Park is open year-round but is closed on days of high precipitation due to the volatility of the Falling Water River. The period between March and November is considered to be the most beautiful. Weekends in the park are usually very busy so coming on a weekday might be the best idea. The area can also be stunning during the winter when freezing temps create icicles.

Burgess Falls facts

Burgess Falls lies on the dissected eastern edge of the Eastern Highland Rim, resulting in the occurrence of narrow ridges, waterfalls, sheer bluffs, and diverse forest communities. All trails are foot trails. Burgess Falls trail is a kid-friendly 1.1-mile (1.8-km) trail that takes hikers to the base of Burgess Falls. There are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife at its finest along this route.

Things to do at Burgess Falls

Apart from hiking, the Burgess Falls area provides numerous family-friendly activities to enjoy year-round. If you adore fishing, you can do it below the dam and the main waterfall at the fishing pier or along the bank. Grills and tables for a picnic with a river view can be reserved in a large covered pavilion. Additional picnic areas with grills are conveniently located close to restrooms. A playground is nearby as well. Please keep in mind that swimming is not permitted at Burgess Falls.

How to get to Burgess Falls

The entrance to Burgess Falls State Park is situated just off Tennessee State Route 135, around halfway between Sparta and Cookeville. If you are driving to the park from Sparta, Tennessee, choose the intersection Hwy 70 & Hwy 111, then go north on Hwy 111 to Hwy 135/County Hwy 1142 and turn west to get to the park. The River Trail is a moderately tough hike taking visitors past the waterfalls. The half-mile Ridge Top Trail is very picturesque, with a view down the prime canyon of Falling Water River.

Where to stay Burgess Falls

Camping is not allowed in Burgess Falls State Park. However, you can find numerous cabins and nice camping facilities at Standing Stone State Park, Rock Island State, in around an hour's drive from Burgess Falls.

If you are looking for a short and easy hike with beautiful scenery, Burgess Falls is the place where you can find it. This trail won't be suitable for you if you are in search of solitude, as the hike is usually overcrowded.

Practical info

When should one plan a trip to Burgess Falls?

Burgess Falls State Park remains open throughout the year, with closures only during high precipitation. The period between March and November is a popular time to visit due to the weather. Visitors can avoid crowds by coming on weekdays instead of weekends. Burgess Falls looks stunning during the winter due to the icicles formation. Show more

What are some details about Burgess Falls?

Burgess Falls, positioned on the dissected eastern edge of the Eastern Highland Rim, is famous for its waterfalls, narrow ridges, and diverse forest communities. The trail system is exclusive to pedestrians, and the 1.1-mile Burgess Falls Trail is suitable for kids as well. The path allows visitors to explore the area and observe diverse wildlife. Show more

What activities can one do at Burgess Falls?

People who enjoy fishing can fish below the dam and the primary waterfall using the pier or along the bank. There are also many well-maintained picnic areas with tables and grills. Visitors can reserve a large pavilion for convenience. A playground is nearby for children. Note that swimming is not allowed. Show more

How can someone reach Burgess Falls?

The entrance to Burgess Falls lies off Tennessee SR-135, equidistant from Cookeville and Sparta. Visitors driving from Sparta can select the intersection of Hwy 70 & Hwy 111, then go north on Hwy 111 to Hwy 135/County Hwy 1142 and go west to the park. The River Trail, which leads hikers to waterfalls, is moderately tough. The Ridge Top Trail that stretches half a mile provides an excellent view of the Falling Water River's canyon. Show more

What is the accommodation option near Burgess Falls?

Burgess Falls State Park does not allow camping. Standing Stone State Park and Rock Island State Park, located roughly an hour's drive from Burgess Falls, offer a wide choice of cabins and campsites. Show more

What is the total length of the Burgess Falls Trail?

Roundtrip, the Burgess Falls Trail covers 1.1 miles. The trail is relatively flat but becomes rougher as it nears the waterfall, with uneven and steep terrain in some areas. Show more

Can visitors swim at Burgess Falls?

Swimming is prohibited in the area as it is too risky due to the presence of strong currents and steep drop-offs. Visitors should obey all safety signs and remain on designated trails. Show more

Is Burgess Falls accessible to wheelchair users?

The hilly terrain and natural barriers make it impossible for wheelchairs or strollers to use any of the park's trails. Visitors who cannot take the Burgess Falls trail can go to a parking area for a stunning overlook of the park. Show more

Are pets permitted at Burgess Falls?

Pets are welcome on the Burgess Falls trail but must remain leashed at all times. Owners are required to clean up after their pets out of consideration for other visitors and to keep the area clean. Show more

What is the elevation climb on the Burgess Falls Trail?

The Burgess Falls Trail rises approximately 400 feet, making it reasonably easy for hikers. The path is rocky and uneven in places, so it is best to wear hiking boots with good support and traction. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Burgess Falls (Map)

Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva