Waterfalls in Tennessee: Scenic Spots for Natural Beauty
The state of Tennessee features a four-season climate and lots of scenery. In spring and summer, rolling hills burst with lush greens and full trees, while fall and winter bring colorful foliage and snow-white landscapes. That’s not all, though. Nature lovers also enjoy exploring the many waterfalls in Tennessee – all 500 in fact. To help narrow down the search, here are some of the most visited in the state.
Popular Waterfalls in Tennessee and Where to Find Them
Those looking for a little adventure and plenty of shade should check out Greeter Falls. The waterfall is located near Alamont, which sits between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga. The total trail distance measures 3.2 miles, and hikers should wear appropriate footwear for slick spots and downed tree limbs.
For a shorter trip, try Greeter Falls loop. This trail features views of lower Greeter Falls and measures 1.1 miles.
One of the most popular waterfalls in Tennessee is Burgess Falls in Sparta. The waterfall measures 136 feet and cascades into a limestone gorge. Hikers will find this a moderate 1.1-mile trail suited for all ages.
Those who want a longer journey can check out all the waterfalls in Burgess Falls State Park. The park has four total, with access trails offering more challenges. Other activities at the park include birding and fishing.
Fall Creek Falls
One of the highest waterfalls in Tennessee and the eastern U.S., Fall Creek Falls stands at a whopping 256 feet. To explore the base of the falls, hikers enjoy a short .04-mile hike in Fall Creek Falls State Park. After seeing the main falls, check out three others. This park is in Spencer, which is north of Chattanooga.
Fall Creek Fall State Park is one of the top in Tennessee. Visitors also enjoy boating, birding, fishing, bicycling, playing golf and rock climbing.
Sink Creek Falls
Located in Dekalb County, west of Murfreesboro, sits Sink Creek Falls. While it’s a little hard to find, visitors find the hike well worth the trip. To find the waterfalls, walk along Sink Creek for a little more than a mile. Sink Creek runs west of McMinnville Highway near Bethal Road.
One fun fact to know about Twin Falls is that it is not a natural waterfall. It was created when Caney Fork River was dammed. However, this doesn’t make it any less beautiful. The name Twin Falls comes from the fact that two streams pour from the gorge wall.
To find Twin Falls, head to Rock Island State Park in Rock Island. The city is about an hour from Murfreesboro. For the best view of Twin Falls, hike the downstream trail. While there are other trails, this option measures only 1.7 miles and features views of Twin Falls, Little Falls and Blue Hole. Rock Island State Parks welcomes visitors to try boating, birding, fishing and picnicking.
Old Stone’s Falls
One of the most scenic waterfalls in Tennessee is in Manchester, Tennessee. Old Stone Falls Loop offers a moderate 2.8-mile suited for all skill levels. To see all the waterfalls – three total, varying in length – take the Enclosure Trail. This option measures 1.40 miles, and expect to see Step Falls, Blue Hole Falls and Big Falls.
These falls are located in Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park. This area was built about 2,000 years ago and was once used by Native Americans. Today, the park provides a place to learn about history, fish and watch wildlife.
Smoky Mountains Waterfalls
It’s no secret many waterfalls in Tennessee are located at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As one of the largest parks in Tennessee, it has more than a dozen options waiting for visitors.
Walk behind Grotto Falls. Then hike to Laurel Falls, an 80-feet cascade that entices amateur and pro photographers. Other Smoky Mountains waterfalls include Abrams Falls, Indian Creek Falls and Big Creek/Mouse Creek Falls. While visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, outdoor lovers can also ride bicycles, fish, tour historic buildings and watch for wildlife.
Ruby Falls is the tallest underground waterfall open to the public in the U.S. To see it, guests will descend via elevator and through caves about 1,120 feet under Lookout Mountain. After hearing about geological formations and the history of Ruby Falls, guest have plenty of options to take photos and view the waterfall. For more time at the site, book a lantern tour.