Fall Creek Falls State Park Tennessee Waterfalls Hiking outdoors

Guide To Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee

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Camping, chasing waterfalls, and an abundance of hiking trails. This is what our weekend camping trip at Fall Creek Falls State Park consisted of. We were lucky to swim at the waterfall, cross suspension bridges, and fall asleep starring at the stars. It was definitely a family camping trip to remember. With this complete and detailed camping and hiking guide, you can learn how to plan a trip this top Tennessee state park too.

Fall Creek Falls waterfall at Fall Creek Falls State Park in middle Tennessee

Disclaimer: Please proceed with caution to any of these hikes. Only YOU know your limits and experience level. There are affiliate links in this post. This means that I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This commission helps me to continue to run this website and provide free information and travel resources for you. To learn more about how affiliate links work please read our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for using our links and for your support.


With over 26,000 acres of an outdoor wonderland, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of Tennessee’s largest and most visited state parks. The park is flowing with gorgeous waterfalls, streams, lakes, gorges, and so much more.

This gorgeous state park is filled with tons of things to do for any type of traveler. Whether you are looking for a place to go group camping or even wanting to go out into the back-country. Fall Creek Falls is the place for you when visiting central Tennessee.


Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States, Fall Creek Falls, measuring at 256 feet in height accompanied with 3 other waterfalls: Cane Creek Falls, Cane Creek Cascades, and Piney Falls.

You can view their hiking trails map here for better locations as to where each trail is at the park.


Fall Creek Falls State Park Tennessee waterfall


This gorgeous state park has one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in all of Central Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls. Known for it’s immense height and popularity, it is a well visited waterfall. There are several ways to view this Tennessee gem. You can view it at the overlook of Fall Creek Falls which is perfect for elderly who may not be able to hike the trails. It is located right off the parking lot.


You can also take two trails to view the waterfall at two different scenic points. The trail head for both of these trails are found at the overlook. One trail is the Fall Creek Falls Base Trail which will take you to the bottom of the waterfall. This trail is about a 300 foot climb down the mountain. There will be stairs and slippery rocks along the way. We did this trail with kids from the age of 4 and up. My daughter Isabelle (4) did struggle some on her way up the mountain so we had to carry her some of the way. Overall it was worth it. The view of the waterfall from the bottom is stunning.


Distance: 0.35 miles one way
Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate


The overlook trail is a short trail that leads to a scenic overlook giving you a new perspective of Fall Creek Falls. We did this one with older kids and adults and I’m glad we did. I’m not sure how I would of done it with my two girls. I always avoid high bluff areas with my little ones as they are still young and very fearless. Towards the end there is an area where you have to literally climb up to get to the overlook which is the area where I would of been nervous with my kids. Overall, the rest of the trail was fairly easy. From the overlook you can see the mountains around you from a whole new view. It is definitely worth the hike.


Distance: 0.65 miles one way
Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate


This is one of the larger waterfalls in Fall Creek Falls State Park measuring in height a good 95 feet. It is located about 2 miles away from Fall Creek Falls. We weren’t able to do this hike out to Piney Creek Falls but I wanted to include it in my guide so you wouldn’t miss the opportunity of checking out this gem. There is not much that I can tell you personally about the trail but I have included the trail details below.


Trailhead is at the Fall Creek Falls overlook.
Distance: 0.9 miles one way
Difficulty Level: easy/paved

Fall Creek Falls State Park Tennessee rocky point overlook


Instead of doing the trail above, you can drive out of Fall Creek Falls Overlook and take a left following signs to Piney Creek Falls. You can park on the side of the road and follow the short trail down the mountain. Please keep in mind that the trail can be difficult and the “overlook” is obstructed with trees so it’s hard to see the waterfall. You best bet to view this fall is to take this trail all the way down. You can read more on how to get to the bottom of this waterfall in this blog post here by The Fall Creek Falls Guide.

piney creek falls fall creek falls state park tennessee hiking outdoor nature fall waterfalls
Photo Credit to Robert Conklin @rbrtcnkln View photo here.


Cane Creek Cascades is absolutely beautiful. This is where we all decided to swim at. There are a few ways you can get there. One is through the Campground Spur Trail (details below) or behind the Nature Center. I would highly recommend arriving early on holiday weekends and during the peak season to get good parking as it can get very crowded. This is also where you will find the suspension bridge. The bridge actually goes above the cascades so on one side of the bridge you can see the creek and on the other side you can see the water falling forming the cascades.

Now quick tip on the suspension bridge. The limit for the bridge is 6 people at a time. Please be courteous of others and make sure to take turns. Like I went during a holiday season, this bridge got a little hectic and some people were in a rush. My family literally had to send someone ahead to stop people from getting on so we can get my grandmother across the bridge without falling or injuring herself. I’m glad we did cause when she arrived to the other side the crowd started clapping and cheering her on so it was very exciting for her to experience that.

Fall Creek Falls State Park Tennessee waterfall cascade suspension bridge


Let’s move to the bottom of the cascades now. You can find a spot and set all of your belongings down and enjoy a swim at the cascades. Make sure to really get in to the falls and enjoy a natural back massage. It is so refreshing to feel that water run down your back especially after hitting the trails. Before heading out don’t forget to walk over to the end of the creek to view the Cane Creek Falls from the top. You will be literally be sitting at the very top of the falls.

I had a question from one of my friends Kieara asking about good hammock spots. I feel that this area is beautiful and has lots of trees around making it easy to find a good hammock spot in this area.

fall creek falls family the walking mermaid


The Campground Spur Trail can be found primitive side of Campground C. It will take you straight from the campground to Cane Creek Cascades and the nature center. In order to get to the Cascades you will have to cross the suspension bridge so if this is something that you don’t feel comfortable in doing I would recommend not taking this trail and driving or walking through the road to the Nature Center parking lot instead.


Distance: 0.15 miles one way (suspension bridge is located on this trail).

Difficulty Level: Easy. When you get closer to the suspension bridge and the cascades their will be stairs for you to make your way down.


Cane Creek Falls and Rockhouse Falls are both located next to each other. If you are at the Cane Creek Cascades, you can follow the creek to the top of Cane Creek Falls. Please be careful though as this waterfall is pretty high measuring in height a good 85 feet. You can also view this gorgeous waterfall from a whole new perspective at the overlook next to the Nature Center. If you want to get to the gorge you will have to hike down the Cable Trail. We didn’t have the opportunity to take the Cable Trail but I’ve decided to share some details below in case you choose to do the trail.


You can get to the Cable Trail by parking on the side of the road close to the Nature Center or by hiking the Campground Spur Trail (details above) to the Cane Creek Cascades and then following the road by the Nature Center to the trail-head. The Cable Trail heads to the bottom of Cane Creek Falls and Rockhouse Falls so you will get a good view from the bottom. You can also swim here so definitely bring your swimming essentials.


Distance: 0.10 miles one way
Difficulty Level: Difficult
You will be using a cable to climb your way down. Definitely not for kids or elderly as you will be climbing majority of the way down.

cane creek falls rockhouse falls fall creek falls state park tennessee hiking swimming outdoors nature camping


In order to take full advantage of the state park, we decided to camp for our entire stay. Our campsite was #160 on campground C. However, in my opinion I felt like the campsites were very small in size so we decided to scope more spots out for our next visit. I can’t speak as for the other campgrounds (A, B, C, D, and E) but I can give you pointers about the campground that we were in.

I love that it was close to Cane Creek Cascades and Nature Center. Directly behind our campsite you can find the trail-head to Campground Spur Trail that leads to the Cane Creek Cascades (read more above). As far as the best spots for camping on this campground go, I recommend getting Primitive spot P7 which comes with no electric or water. For the campsites with electric and water I would recommend choosing 172, 173, 174, and 158. If you are going in a group then campsite 175 and 176 would work great too. During our stay we met someone who had rented P7 and 158 which are next to each other and their group had lots of room and they had electric and water on campsite 158 so it worked out for all of them. I thought it was a very smart idea so I had to share it on here with you all. The sites I listed especially P7 and 158 have trees on the lots which is perfect for shades during the summer months and hanging up your hammock.


You can make your camping reservations through their website here or by calling the number below.
Camping Info & Reservations: 800-250-8611

There is also Group Camping available.

Or you can also stay at the Lodge at Fall Creek Falls. This beautiful lodge doesn’t just have hotel rooms and suites but also cabin rentals along the lake. There is also an onsite restaurant, pool, venues, wedding event planning, golfing, a gift shop, and more.

There are also other lodging options available:

cane creek falls cascades fall creek falls state park Tennessee camping outdoors hiking nature trails swimming


Besides all of the hiking trails and gorgeous waterfalls, Fall Creek Falls has a lot to offer too.

  • Backpacking
  • Kayaking + Canoeing (rentals available)
  • Canopy Challenge Course
  • Swimming at the swimming pool
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Gift Shops
  • Golf Course
  • Fishing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Mountain Biking

You can get more details about their activities here.

Don’t forget to check out the Nature Center for some history about this state park along with the coolest ceiling ever in their theater room. It is made of pieces of logs. It looks amazing. Like I want that ceiling in my next house.


I am the type of person that likes to avoid the crowds. We went for Memorial Day weekend and the place was so packed. I literally woke up at 5 in the morning to get pictures of the waterfalls without having to deal with the people. The one spot that was most packed was the Cable Trail and the Cane Creek Cascades area close to the Nature Center. If you do go during holidays or the peak season, “Summer Time,” then I highly recommend arriving very early to get good parking. As for reservations, I recommend making your reservations three plus months in advanced.

The best time of year to visit Fall Creek Falls would be Spring time in the months March and April (make sure to avoid Spring Break times) and in the Fall towards late August through mid November. Avoid holiday weekends like Labor Day weekends for sure. Winter will be pretty empty as well due to the cold temperatures but is a great time to go visit the park. No swimming in the falls or cascades though during the winter months of course.

Definitely check out their website for more information before going as things may change over time.

a woman hiking with her camera bag through Fall Creek Falls State Park in middle Tennessee.


I’m not going to go in to details about every single thing I packed but I do have a few blog posts that can break up the main essentials. I will list them below so it’ll be easier for you to check them out.




2009 Village Camp Road
Spencer, TN 38585

Summary of Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls is such a wonderful place to visit. It is absolutely BREATHTAKING! From the waterfall hikes to swimming in the cascades, there is always something fun to do in this state park.

What do you think of Fall Creek Falls? Have you been? or is it on your Tennessee bucket list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

A huge thank you to Robert Conklin for letting me use his Piney Creek photo.

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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6 Responses

  1. i only have a day and a half at FCFs. do you have a step by step list of what trails to take to make the most out of my day. i dont want to have to back track . difficult trails is not a problem. just not sure where to start.

    1. Hi Mary, I would recommend doing Fall Creek Falls Base Trail and Rocky Point Overlook but please refer to the post above for more details on the trails to make sure it fits your hiking level. 🙂 Happy hiking!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing! We will be staying nearby for a few days. Your information is helping us plan for our stay.