Cummins Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee
Our Father's Day Adventure Hike To Cummins Falls
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.
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.
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.
Details About The Hike
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.
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.