Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Tennessee waterfalls. These natural wonders, scattered across the state’s diverse landscapes, offer a captivating blend of tranquility and adventure.
From the thunderous cascades of Fall Creek Falls to the serene flow of Cane Creek, each waterfall tells a unique story. Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking your next challenge, a photographer in search of the perfect shot, or simply a nature lover yearning for a peaceful retreat, Tennessee’s waterfalls are a must-visit.
From towering cascades to gentle streams, Tennessee’s waterfalls offer something for everyone to enjoy.
With so many waterfalls to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular waterfalls in Tennessee, as well as some hidden gems that are worth seeking out.
We’ll also provide tips and recommendations for planning your waterfall adventure, so you can make the most of your time exploring these stunning natural wonders.
1. Fall Creek Falls
Location: Fall Creek Falls Overlook Trail, Pikeville, TN 37367, United States
Fall Creek Falls State Park is a natural area that boasts several breathtaking waterfalls. Among them is the notable 256-foot Fall Creek Falls.
Piney Falls and Cane Creek Falls are two other spectacular waterfalls. While the park is open 24 hours a day, access to the falls is restricted after dark, and all day-use areas close at sunset.
The natural area encompasses over 16,000 acres and spans across Bledsoe and Van Buren counties.
Visitors can explore a variety of hiking trails, such as the Base of Falls Trail and Cane Creek Falls Trail.
2. Twin Falls
Location: Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN 38581, United States, Warren County, White County
Rock Island State Park spans 883 acres and is situated at the headwaters of Center Hill Lake, where the Caney Fork, Collins, and Rocky Rivers converge.
The park boasts two stunning waterfalls – Great Falls and Twin Falls. Twin Falls, located downstream of the Great Falls Dam, can be best viewed from the north/east side of the gorge.
While there is no trail access to Twin Falls and swimming or wading in the area is prohibited, there are multiple viewing platforms accessible from a separate parking lot.
The park’s main attraction is the impressive 256-foot Fall Creek Falls, which can be easily viewed from a nearby platform less than a five-minute walk from the parking lot.
In addition to these natural wonders, the park offers a variety of recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing.
3. Ramsey Cascades
Location: Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
Ramsey Cascades, located in the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a popular hiking destination.
Here are some key details about the hike and the waterfall: the waterfall drops 100 feet over rock outcroppings, making it the tallest waterfall in the park.
The trail to Ramsey Cascades is 8 miles roundtrip, gaining almost 2200 feet in elevation over its four-mile course. While the hike is considered moderately strenuous, it can be challenging with a steep incline and rocky terrain.
The trail passes through beautiful forests with lush foliage, babbling streams, and beautiful rivers. The final mile of the hike is particularly scenic, leading to the stunning waterfall at the end.
4. Cul-car-mac Falls (aka Carmac Falls)
Location: N 35.94506 and West 85.7761, Dekalb County
Located near Smithville, Tennessee, Carmac Falls is a magnificent 90-foot waterfall and the 10th highest waterfall in the state. However, as it is situated on the private property of Evins Mill, a resort and event venue, access to the falls is restricted to guests of the resort or those with a reservation for a “day-tripper” package.
Visitors can explore the North and South Trails on the property, both of which offer stunning views of Carmac Falls. The North Trail provides an overlook of the falls, while the South Trail leads to the base of the waterfall.
Evins Mill is a luxurious woodland resort near Center Hill Lake, offering guests an intimate setting with top-notch amenities.
5. Conasauga Falls
Location: 35.3050764 (latitude), -84.3285334 (longitude)
Located in the Hiwassee Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, Conasauga Falls is a stunning waterfall that is definitely worth a visit. Conasauga Falls is a three-tiered waterfall that can be seen from the trail.
For those interested in hiking to the falls, here are some important details about the Conasauga Falls Trail: The Falls trail is 1.5 miles round-trip, so it’s not too long of a hike.
The trail is moderately challenging, so hikers should be prepared for some uphill climbs and uneven terrain.It is narrow and shaded, mostly comprised of dirt with plenty of tree roots along the way. The hike to the falls takes about 30 minutes, making it a relatively quick and easy hike.
Overall, the hike to Conasauga Falls is a great way to experience the beauty of nature and see a stunning waterfall up close.
While the hike is not too far from major cities like Knoxville and Chattanooga and can be completed in just a few hours, visitors should keep in mind that the trail can be challenging in some areas and requires a certain level of physical fitness.
Tennessee Waterfalls Map
Below is a map of most iconic waterfalls in Tennessee.
6. Machine Falls
Location: Coffee and Franklin Counties, latitude: 35.4128556 (North), longitude: -86.1791563 (West)
Located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Machine Falls is a picturesque waterfall that can be reached via several hiking trails. One popular route is the Machine Falls Loop Trail, which covers 1.6 miles and is rated as moderately difficult.
While the trail does have some steep sections, it is well-maintained and easy to follow, taking roughly 15 minutes to hike down. The Machine Falls Loop Trail is situated within the Short Springs Natural Area, a 420-acre expanse in Coffee County.
Other nearby waterfalls that can be accessed via hiking trails include Adams Falls, Busby Falls, and Laurel Bluff.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Machine Falls Loop Trail is a great choice for all skill levels and ages.
7. Sink Creek Falls
Location: Dekalb County, latitude: 35.88201 (North), longitude: -85.6727588 (West)
Nestled in Dekalb County, just west of Murfreesboro, lies the beautiful Sink Creek Falls. Although it may be a bit tricky to locate, those who make the journey are rewarded with stunning views.
To reach the falls, simply follow Sink Creek for just over a mile. The creek can be found to the west of McMinnville Highway near Bethal Road.
While not as tall as Machine Falls, Sink Creek Falls are still a breathtaking sight and definitely worth the hike. The falls flow over one section of the river and emerge from the mountain in another, creating a stunning nearly 180-degree waterfall with both underground and above-ground cascades.
Instead of plunging over the rocks, the water cascades over formations and steps down into a small whirlpool before continuing downstream.
Due to the fast-moving water, it’s not advisable to attempt to cross near the falls.
8. Walls of Jericho
Location: Franklin County, GPS coordinates of 34.988697, -86.103317
Located on the border of Tennessee and Alabama, the Walls of Jericho have a rich history as a hunting ground for Davie Crocket. If you’re planning to hike to the Walls of Jericho, be prepared for a challenging trek and bring plenty of water.
The trail covers approximately 8 miles round trip, but it offers stunning views of steep rocky streams, waterfalls, wildflowers, and beautiful hardwood and evergreen trees that make it one of the most popular hikes in Alabama.
The trail leads to the impressive Walls of Jericho waterfall, and the valley below is a great spot to relax, swim, explore caves, or camp. Keep in mind that this trail is heavily trafficked, so be sure to plan accordingly.
As the water cascades down, it hits a shelf and creates a cavern before plunging into a shallow pool below. It’s a breathtaking sight to behold and a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
9. Jackson Falls
Location: Hickman County, 35.6967369 (North), -87.2955666 (West)
If you’re looking for a beautiful waterfall to visit near Duck River, Tennessee, Jackson Falls is a great option. Here are some important details to know about the falls: Jackson Falls can be found at milepost 404.7 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
The trail to Jackson Falls is about 0.4 miles long and is considered moderately challenging. It’s an out-and-back trail.
Jackson Falls is a stunning cascade and is one of two waterfalls along the Natchez Trace Parkway. The falls are easily accessible via a 900-foot concrete path with metal handrails.
To get to Jackson Falls, you can access the Natchez Trace Parkway from Highway 50 East and travel four miles south from Williamsport, Tennessee.
If you want more information about the trail and waterfall, you can download the Outbound mobile app.
10. Debord Falls
Location: Morgan County, GPS 36.1391, -84.4784
Debord Falls, located in Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, Tennessee, is a stunning waterfall worth visiting.
To get there, the Panther Branch Trailhead is the most popular trail to take. This easy hike takes an average of 29 minutes to complete and covers roughly 3.2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 465 feet.
Debord Falls is the first waterfall on the Panther Branch Trail, located about a mile into the trail, and is easily accessible for families. While it may require some rock hopping to get up close, it’s not dangerous.
Emory Gap Falls is another waterfall accessible from the same trail as Debord Falls.
Overall, Debord Falls is a great spot for a family-friendly hike and to marvel at the beauty of nature in Frozen Head State Park.
Location: Campbell County, GPS 36.4467, -85.1661
Located in Caryville, Tennessee, the Triple Falls Trail on Bruce Creek is a popular 1.9-mile out-and-back trail.
It’s considered moderately challenging and is best enjoyed from March to November. The trail boasts several stunning waterfalls, including the Triple Falls and Devil’s Racetrack.
The trailhead is located at Bruce Gap, and the total distance is just over two miles with an elevation gain of 770 feet.
The trail follows a mountain stream and runs parallel to the creek for about half a mile before reaching the first waterfall. The remaining waterfalls are in a stair-step pattern in the rock, with the fifth and final waterfall being the perfect spot for swimming and cliff jumping.
For hikers who wish to continue the hike to the top of the mountain, they will cross the river and start a steep climb. The ascent to the top is about a mile and can be challenging at times.
Despite the rocky and muddy trail, the hike is worth the effort, as the panoramic views from the mountain top are breathtaking.
12. Burgess Falls
Location: Burgess Falls State Park, 36.04867° north, longitude is -85.58748° west
Located in Putnam and White Counties in Tennessee, Burgess Falls is a state park and natural area that boasts breathtaking waterfalls and stunning natural beauty.
Burgess Falls is a well-liked spot for those looking to experience nature, featuring four waterfalls that descend from a height of more than 250 feet.
The park offers a range of activities, including fishing, hiking, and picnicking, with a moderately strenuous hike of about a mile leading visitors to the waterfalls. Managed by Burgess Falls State Park, the 217-acre natural area is easily accessible by car, located just 18 miles south of Cookeville.
If you’re looking for a picturesque outdoor destination in Tennessee, Burgess Falls is definitely worth a visit.
13. Cummins Falls
Location: GPS 36.249, -85.5699
Cummins Falls State Park is a well-known spot for those who enjoy outdoor activities. It is situated in Cookeville, Tennessee, and can be found on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River.
The park covers an area of 306 acres and features the 8th largest waterfall in Tennessee.
The park offers stunning views and varying landscapes, making it a popular destination for both hiking and swimming.
Please be aware that Cummins Falls is a park for day-use only, and camping is prohibited. It is important to note that the park is situated nine miles north of Cookeville for those planning a visit.
14. Greeter Falls
Location: GPS 35.4343, -85.6962
Located 45 minutes northwest of Chattanooga, Greeter Falls is a popular hiking destination in Tennessee.
The trailhead begins at Greeter Falls and is rocky and can be slippery after a rainstorm. The moderate trail splits between upper and lower Greeter and offers a 3.2-mile loop trail to Alum Gap.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy the natural swimming hole of Greeter Falls and Blue Hole, which includes cliff jumping and easy marked trails.
For those looking to camp, Greeter Falls Campground offers fifty campsites for RVs/campers, yurts, and primitive tent camping.
With a variety of trails for different skill levels, Greeter Falls is a beautiful hiking destination that also offers swimming and camping opportunities.
15. Laurel Falls
Location: GPS 36.2727, -82.1349
Laurel Falls, located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a well-known hiking spot in the Great Smoky Mountains. Here are some important details about the trail and the falls:
Laurel Falls can be found within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Laurel Falls cascades down an 80-foot drop and can be viewed from a viewing platform located at the end of the trail. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery and make for a popular photography destination.
Overall, Laurel Falls is a breathtaking hiking destination in the Great Smoky Mountains, offering magnificent views of a picturesque waterfall.
16. Foster Falls
Location: GPS 35.1819, -85.6761
Located in Sequatchie, Tennessee, Foster Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that forms part of the South Cumberland State Park.
Nestled on the Cumberland Plateau and near Mont Eagle, the waterfall drops 60 feet into a deep pool surrounded by mountain laurel, azaleas, and hemlocks growing on sandstone.
Foster Falls in Tracy City, Tennessee is both visually stunning and a popular spot for hiking. The 1.7-mile loop trail known as the Climbers Loop Trail offers a moderate challenge and takes visitors to the impressive Foster Falls, which cascades 80 feet downwards.
17. Ozone Falls (aka Highland Falls, McNair Falls)
Location: GPS 35.8804, -84.8099
Ozone Falls is a stunning natural area covering 43 acres in Cumberland County, Tennessee, located near Rockwood and easily accessible from Interstate 40.
The area is classified as a Class I Scenic-Recreational State Natural Area and attracts visitors from all over the state. The falls drop 110 feet onto a sandstone cap rock and form a deep blue pool surrounded by rocks, which is quite impressive.
18. Ruby Falls
Location: GPS 35.0189, -85.3395
Located in Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ruby Falls is a stunning collection of underground waterfalls span 145 feet (44 m).
The falls were first discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928 while exploring the depths of Lookout Mountain.
In honor of his wife, Ruby, Leo named the falls and the cave after her and opened it to the public in 1929, making it a beloved and iconic attraction in Chattanooga.
19. Rockhouse Falls
Location: GPS 35° 39.795′ N latitude and 85° 20.976′ W longitude
Rockhouse Falls is a waterfall situated within the boundaries of Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.
The waterfall’s height measures 125 feet and it is situated at the point where Rockhouse Creek and Cane Creek meet.
The property features a shared plunge pool with Cane Creek Falls. The waterfall can be seen from the Gorge Trail or the base of the Cane Creek Gorge.
20. Rainbow Falls
Location: GPS Latitude: 35.031809, Longitude: -88.1320289
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Rainbow Falls is a stunning 80-foot waterfall that boasts the title of the highest single-drop waterfall in the park.
On sunny afternoons, the mist from the falls creates a beautiful rainbow, adding to the already breathtaking scenery.
21. Virgin Falls
Location: GPS 35.8388, -85.3306
For those seeking a beautiful natural environment to discover, Virgin Falls located in White County, Tennessee may be worth considering.
The area is known as Virgin Falls, where an underground stream creates a 110-foot cascade that disappears into a cave.
Virgin Falls can be found in White County, Tennessee, for those who are considering a visit.
22. Grotto Falls
Location: GPS 35.6738745 (North), -83.4495562 (West)
If you’re looking for a beautiful waterfall hike in Tennessee, Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains is a great choice. Here’s what you need to know about the hike:
The trailhead for Grotto Falls is located just outside of Gatlinburg, at the Trillium Gap Trailhead.
The hike is roughly 3 miles roundtrip, although some sources suggest it’s closer to 2.6 miles roundtrip. Either way, it’s a moderate hike that’s suitable for most skill levels.
23. Savage Falls
Location: GPS 35.441, -85.5538
Tennessee boasts several stunning waterfalls, including Savage Falls, Greeter Falls, and Foster Falls.
Savage Falls, in particular, is a beloved spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Here are some important facts to know about this beautiful destination:
Savage Falls is part of Savage Gulf, a 15,590-acre natural area that spans Grundy and Sequatchie Counties. This area is also home to the newest state park in Tennessee.
24. Bluehole Falls (aka Stonefort Falls)
Location: GPS 35.4865, -86.1042
Blue Hole Falls is a waterfall and swimming hole situated near Elizabethton, Tennessee that is known for its picturesque beauty.
The attraction is located in the Cherokee National Forest, northeast of Elizabethton, and is considered stunning.
The falls are situated on Holston Mountain in the Stoney Creek community of Carter County, TN and consist of four individual cascades.
The falls are called Blue Hole Falls because of the blue hue of the water, which is remarkably stunning.
25. Abrams Falls
Location: GPS 35.6089, -83.8798
Abrams Falls is a unique waterfall found in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The hike to reach Abrams Falls covers a 5-mile roundtrip distance, taking you through diverse landscapes such as pine-oak forests on the ridges and hemlock and rhododendron forests along the creek.
This trail is regarded as moderately challenging.
Are Waterfalls in Tennessee More Common During Snowy Seasons?
Waterfalls in Tennessee are not dependent on snowy seasons. While snowfall patterns in Tennessee can contribute to the water flow of waterfalls, they are not the sole factor.
Tennessee’s waterfalls are fueled by various sources and can be equally breathtaking during any season.
26. Spruce Flat Falls
Spruce Flat Falls is a picturesque waterfall situated in Tremont, Tennessee, within the Great Smoky Mountains.
The trail to reach this waterfall offers different options, with roundtrip lengths varying from 1.4 to 2.3 miles, depending on the source.
The trail is generally classified as easy to moderate or moderately challenging in terms of difficulty.
Along the trail, hikers can enjoy an elevation gain of 460 feet while immersing themselves in the serene beauty of the four-tiered Spruce Flat Falls, the tallest point of which reaches almost 40 feet in height.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which waterfall is considered the most beautiful in Tennessee?
Cummins Falls is often considered the most beautiful waterfall in Tennessee due to its stunning cascades.
Which waterfall holds the title of being the largest in Tennessee?
Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in Tennessee.
Could you list the waterfalls that can be found in Tennessee?
Some notable waterfalls in Tennessee include Cummins Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Ruby Falls.
What is the count of waterfalls that are open to the public in Tennessee?
Tennessee is home to over 500 waterfalls, many of which are accessible to the public.
Conclusion on Tennessee Waterfalls
In conclusion, Tennessee is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country. From the towering heights of Fall Creek Falls to the serene beauty of Laurel Falls, there’s no shortage of natural wonders to explore.
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a peaceful escape, Tennessee waterfalls offer something for everyone.
So why not plan your next adventure and discover the magic of Tennessee’s waterfalls for yourself? You won’t be disappointed!
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