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Burgess Falls

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


Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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The Burgess Falls is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped cascade waterfall on 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. Remember 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 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

No camping is 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 is a famous and beloved trail, so it won't be suitable for you if you are in search of solitude.

Practical info

How long is the Burgess Falls hike?

There is a 2.7 miles (4.3 km) trail open for hiking. It is better to allow at least three hours to complete the 5.4-mile (8.7-km) roundtrip. Start your return hike one and a half hours before sunset.

What is Burgess Falls famous for?

Burgess Falls is famous for its picturesque value as Falling Water River drops nearly 250 feet (76.2 m) over three waterfalls. The last one is the most spectacular. It begins where the water comes to the sharp edge of the riverbed, plunging more than 130 feet (40 m) into the gorge.

How tall is Burgess Falls?

Burgess Falls is 135-feet (41-m) high

Where is Burgess Falls?

Burgess Falls State Park is a state park located in White County and Putnam County, Tennessee, United States

Can you swim in Burgess Falls?

Swimming is not allowed at Burgess Falls State Park and Natural Area

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