Cummins Falls

Height: 75 feet
Trail Type: Dirt
Hike Distance: 0.9 miles round trip
Difficulty: 2
Beauty: 7

Overview:

Cummins Falls State Park seems relatively new. There’s not much in the parking area aside from a single building with bathrooms. There is a primary trail to a single overlook. This is what most of you will take to view the falls, which start with a 50-foot fall before dropping the remaining 25 feet over several huge, flat rock ledges and ending in a deep pool that has been voted one of the ten best swimming holes in the entire country. Beyond that, the falls is surrounded by a huge open gorge with the exposed rock walls reaching over 100 feet into the air.

Directions:

From Exit 286 off of Interstate 40 in Cookeville, drive north on TN highway 135 for about 11 miles and turn right onto Cummins Mill Road. Drive 2.5 miles and turn right onto Blackburn Fork Road. The entrance to the park will be a short drive up on the left.  

Hike Description:

The trail to the overlook is less than a half-mile and is relatively easy. You’ll cross an access road twice, which seems odd since I feel like they could have moved the parking area closer to the river. Either way, the trail deposits you at the main overlook, which provides a nice view of the falls.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can continue on the Blackburn Fork River Trail (or take the shortcut back up near the parking lot) down to the riverbed, where you can then walk back upstream for a mile or so to the base of the falls. The Tennessee park service could have easily constructed stairs down to the base from the overlook, but I guess they wanted people to work for something.