Cummins Falls Tennessee

Cummins Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee

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Cummins Falls

Our Father’s Day Adventure Hike To Cummins Falls

Father’s Day weekend. The weekend that everyone wants to go out with their families and have a good time. This is the weekend that my husband and I decided to go to Cummin’s Falls and hike the beautiful trail. The falls were breathtaking but there’s so much more to it. This hike was absolutely perfect.
Saturday morning my family got up, slightly a little later than planned but still excited about the “surprise” hike my daughter Bella wanted to do for her daddy. After breakfast we loaded up and headed on our 2 hour trip to Cummins Falls. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in Tennessee and my husband has been dying to see it since we moved back to Clarksville back in May.

​My daughter Bella was so excited and kept whispering to me about the hike and picnic that we are doing for daddy for “Daddy’s Day,” as she calls it. She had gone out with me the night before to buy some breads for some sandwiches along with drinks and snacks for the trip. Just the glow in her eyes and overly excited giggly voice was more than enough for me to enjoy this day as much as her daddy was.​As we drove through the mountains I can see my daughter getting more and more excited. Her excitement was just priceless. Once we arrived to the falls Bella looks at her daddy and says, “Surprise!! We are going to a picnic at the waterfalls.” So cute. We parked and got ready to go. I loaded Isa up on my Ergo while Rob (daddy) took the “picnic ready” backpack and held Bella’s hand.

Hiking Cummins Falls

The hike to the waterfall​

As we started our hike we were immediately stopped as they were checking everyone’s belongings for contraband. There’s no alcohol, floatable devices, drugs, etc allowed on the hike as this park is one of Tennessee’s state parks. You can go here to get all the information needed before doing this hike HERE.​The hike then followed downhill. One of the park’s rangers told me that to get to the falls take 2 rights and then a left at the river. Super easy. It was downhill all the way to the river and then upstream until you got to the falls. Literally upstream. We were in the river on slippery rocks with water half way up to our knees and sometimes even up to our knees almost the entire way up to the falls. It was so worth it though and this part was fairly easy for me. Not so much for my daughter as she is a petite little thing struggling with the water and slippery rocks. Kids are not recommended to come on the hike according to their website but are permitted and the majority of the families there had kids, even infants that were only a few months of age. I probably wouldn’t recommend an infant but maybe an older toddler or if you can baby carry your toddler like I did with Isa that would work great too cause your hands are still free to catch yourself on a fall.

Cummins Falls
On our way upstream we were saw tons of beautiful views. We spent maybe a good mile going upstream. We were lucky to see a small little waterfall. This fall looked like something out of a magical fairytale for little fairies. It was so beautiful. Not sure what the name of it is (or if it even has a name) but it was magical. A little waterfall amongst the rocks surrounded by trees.
​We continued on our way up to the falls till we reached it about 1.5 hours into our hike. It was so beautiful but my mommy instincts kicked in very quickly as I saw the rushing water and I just wanted to hold on to my little ones and make sure they didn’t get taken away into the rocks. By this point there’s so much water heading out that the water along with the slippery rocks weren’t a good idea for Bella (5 years old). My husband held her on his back at this point as I continued to hold Isa on my Ergo. Once we got closer to the falls we decided to find a rock to picnic at. Well more like a ginormous boulder.
We sat, ate, and hydrated to then head closer to the falls for a swim. I was nervous at first just cause of my little ones but once we got in I wasn’t nervous at all. You can’t feel any currents though it was still very slippery. The water was pretty cold. Maybe around 60-65 degrees and the falls were like falls on top of falls. The very bottom of the falls went over a rock so you can actually get underneath the rock and see the falls from the inside out. It was pretty cool and I think Bella’s favorite little spot. And my husband’s too as he was talking about getting in there since he saw one person do it when we arrived at the gorge (falls). We all went in for a picture. Note to self. Don’t take pictures inside a cave looking out cause you’re going to look like a black shadow instead.
After almost 2 hours of being at the gorge we decided to head back to beat the crowd. Yes we had a huge crowd at the falls but mainly cause it’s Father’s Day weekend and a Saturday. I have heard that weekdays in the early mornings are best so you can have the falls mostly all to yourself. Another note to self.

Heading Back From The Waterfall

​As we headed back, going downstream was easy and fairly quick, maybe about an hour, but the hardest part of the entire hike was going up that hill and climbing those waist high stairs. Yes I am short and those stairs kicked my butt. At one point I felt like I was climbing them. My daughter just waited for Rob to pick her up and put her on the next step cause poor thing couldn’t even get her leg up there. Definitely easier going down the hill then up the hill. By the time we got back to the top of the mountain to the parking lot we were worn out. We then headed home to get some well needed food, hydration, and rest. I will definitely be coming back but without the kiddos and in the early morning on a weekday so we can enjoy it to it’s fullest.

Cummins Falls

Details About The Hike

Distance: approximately 1.5 miles to the gorge and another 1.5 miles back.
​Apparel/Gear: Closed shoes such a hiking boots, sneakers, etc…, no flip flops, comfortable clothes to hike in, head gear, sunblock, swimsuit for swimming at the gorge, life jackets for little ones, sunglasses, camera (phones won’t have much to no reception), hydration, snacks, and food.
​Level: Moderate
​Kids: I will leave this one up to you. Bella has been hiking since she was about 2 years old and I know her limits. I don’t recommend taking infants.
​Pets: Pets are allowed but must be well behaved and on leash at all times. Please pic up after your pets.
​Camping: No campsites available but there are nearby campgrounds. There’s one actually across the street from the park but they are not affiliated with the state park.​For any information about the park as well as rules and regulations go here.


Cummins Falls


Disclaimer:  This post was in no way compensated. All opinions and experiences are my own. Please hike responsibly and clean up after yourselves. The falls is part of  one of Tennessee’s state parks so follow all rules and regulations as follows. All guidelines of the park are listed on their website. Sand Cloud and Nectar apparel is worn during the hike for promotional purposes. There are affiliate links with Target, Ergo Baby, and found on this post.

Hi, I'm Jessica!

I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors. 


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10 Responses

  1. Such a lovely article! I loved how your doughter was excited about the picnic for daddy and how she helped you buy bread for sandwiches etc! Thanks for sharing all the details about the hike, I am fully prepared for doing it on my own:D and the waterfall is just breathtaking! Of course, a day like that – it must have been crowded there 🙂

      1. Did you see any snakes? I would love to make this hike but deathly afraid of snakes and I mean Tennessee has some mean ones!!!

        1. We personally didn’t see any snakes thank God. To be honest. I rarely ever find any snakes on the trails and that’s that I am always keeping an eye out because of my kiddos.

  2. Whew that’s a lot of people! I’m sure it is so peaceful out there on the off days. I’m glad you had such a fun day with the family, and I’m sure he loved the surprise!

    1. Hi. No entry fee. The hiking trails are open to the public last time I checked but I would double check their website to make sure that there are no closures due to weather or any other changes.

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