I recently visited Cummins Falls State Park on the Blackburn Fork River. Located near Cookeville, Tennessee, the waterfall has an elevation of 75 feet and is Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in volume of water. The park features an overlook, access to the top of the waterfall & a 1.5 mile trail into the gorge.
Visitors should be aware while hiking along the river that, depending on rain present in the watershed upstream, flash floods can occur quickly. Park rules stipulate that all children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult, and must wear a life jacket while at the falls and/or while swimming.
The trail through the forest to the gorge is in good condition, consisting of hard-pack dirt with posted wooden railings along cliffs, and limited stairs (where necessary). Hikers should be prepared to walk in shallow water – it’s unavoidable as, often, the riverbed is the trail. I was up to my knees once, though more commonly wading in only ankle-deep water.
While hiking at Cummins Falls State Park, I observed several different types of flowers, fungus, a garter snake, a small blue tailed lizard, and a mountain crayfish that was approx. 1/2 foot in length.
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Cummins Falls State Park is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of Tennessee. Visitors may swim in the plunge pool, climb under the waterfall on stacked layers of stone, skip stones across the river in the gorge, or peacefully meditate in a natural setting.
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Hope to see you soon!