390 Cummins Falls Lane, Cookeville, TN 38501
Take a day trip to a waterfall outside of the city.
Located within the 211 acre Cummins Falls State Park, just outside of Cookville to the east of Nashville, you'll find these stunning falls! At roughly 75 feet, these are eighth largest in Tennessee! The hike to Cummins Falls (both down, but especially back up) is strenuous, but hikers will be rewarded with a lovely waterfall that's well worth the sweat. Take the Waterfall Overlook trail downstream and progress up to the waterfall. You’ll find lots of swimmers in the pool just below it and you can even go inside and behind the falls.
Be ready for the sharp incline back up to the parking lot – you’ll likely huff and puff and kids who are too big to carry but not ready for such a big hike will likely be tired. One bonus is the cute camp store on the way out, which is a fun place to get an ice cream for the car ride home. Pets are allowed, but must be on a leash and under control.
Some tips for your journey:
- Bring grippy, water shoes! I cannot stress this enough since you have to cross the river several times;
- Be ready to hold toddlers when crossing the wet rocks during the final stretch to the falls. Note: the website discourages small children from going due to the steepness, slipperiness, and crossings required – so only go with toddlers if you are super confident!
- Bring sufficient sunscreen, water, and food because you will likely be out there for a while.
Access is pretty easy, though the large parking lot does fill up during nice weekends. Restrooms are onsite.