Best time to visit Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls State Park

The most-visited state park in Tennessee offers 56 miles (90 km) of hiking trails

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

Michael Hicks

Fall Creek Falls State Park is the largest park of Tennessee, located in Van Buren and Bledsoe counties, centered on the upper Cane Creek Gorge. The main attraction of the park is the 256-ft (78 m) Fall Creek Falls. It's recognized as the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Fall Creek Falls State Park features 14 hiking trails including the 14-mile (22,5 km) Upper Cane Creek Loop and the 13.2-mile (21.2 km) Lower Cane Creek Loop. Things that make Fall Creek Falls park so great is its size (26,000 acres or 110 sq. km) and lots of activities available for adventure-seekers. Since the park is rather crowded in the summer, winter is the best time for the Fall Creek Falls hike. Waterfalls are also the most impressive and most powerful during winter.

Fall Creek Falls 2019
Fall Creek Falls

Beginner hikers will love the moderate 2.7-mile (4.2 km) Paw Paw trail with access overlooks over the Fall Creek Falls and Cane Creek Gorge. On a few ADA-compliant trails, hikers share the path with cyclists. Turkey Pen Ridge is shaded from the sun, so it's perfect for summer. Fall Creek Lake dominates the southern section of the park. Don't forget to check out a 45-foot (14 m) Cane Creek Cascades, above Cane Creek Falls, and Rockhouse Falls, a 125-foot (38 m) plunge waterfall that shares a plunge pool with Cane Creek Falls—these places are significantly calmer and quieter. No less impressive is Coon Creek Falls, 250 ft (76 m) in height.

Falls Creek Falls 2019
Falls Creek Falls

The largest water fall by volume, out of the numerous waterfalls in the Fall Creek Falls State Park is Cane Creek Falls. An 85-ft (26 m) plunge waterfall is seen best from the Gorge Trail and the base of the Cane Creek Gorge. It's a great hiking destination and usually not too crowded. The trail starts at Betty Dunn parking area by the Paw Paw Trail head. On the way, you will come across a few cascades and cross the bridge before switching to the Cable Trail. Once you get to the top of a cliff, you will see a thick cable that will help you go down the cliff.

Cane Creek Falls 2019
Cane Creek Falls
Cane Creek Falls 2019
Cane Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls park visit must include a tour to a few caves. Rumbling Falls Cave boasts the second largest cave chamber in the USA. Camps Gulf Cave also features huge chambers. Lost Creek Cave boasts five entrances, a waterfall, and 7 miles (11.3 km) of passageways. However, caves are often closed for visits, so make sure they are accessible before planning your visit.