Hike : Cummins Falls Tennesse 2020

Cummins Falls is a waterfall on the Blackburn Fork River and is located in southern Jackson County, Tennessee. By volume, it is the eighth largest waterfall in Tennessee. The falls, with a total height of seventy-five feet, consist of two drops. The first has a plunge drop of fifty feet, ending in a shallow pool.

Cummins Falls

This was a great day and was another one I stumbled across while traveling. I was doing my normal GPS map poking around and caught sight of this one. Lots of parking and not a ton of people roaming around but this was before COVID when I came though in 2019. It is a bit of a hike but nothing serious. To get to the falls but there is a section of the hike where you have to cross over the stream/river. The left bank path runs out at a large rock formation so you have to cross about midway up. Not a big deal unless you are prepared for it and ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes. I helped three young across the stream on the way back so they could enjoy the falls for themselves. Don’t get in a rush because the hike is stunning and if you want to get pictures there is no shortage of subject matter. Rock formation as and trees jutting out will get your creative juices kicking picky quick. Just slow down and look for them, you will have plenty of time to get back.

Once you get to the falls you can just sit and relax and you are literally at the base of a gorgeous water falls. You can climb the rocks along the west side (your right facing the falls) and get really close. Cummings falls should be on anyone’s to-do list and I suggest you visit at least once but multiple times is advised because I’m sure this place is fricking gorgeous at color change. Would love to go back soon hope my travels bring me though there again. I WILL STOP and this time make sure I don’t yelled at by the ranger again for being too close to the edge of the falls. NO worries he is just doing his job keeping us safe so no hard feelings. lol I behave myself next time.

Photo Tips:

Use the rock formations to enhance you shot, if shooting family shots put the formations in the foreground, and the have them hike pass to create depth.

There are numerous “pools” along the shore line take advantage for them as well. Low angle shots would be awesome just lift up a bit to make sure your subject reflection shows in the pools.

Shoreline trees can always add to a shot and have your family walk though the scene and shoot from “out” of the trees. Make sure you back away from them because it will really show the wonders of this place. I’m always alone so these are shots I wish for but can’t get. I hope you get them. Share them with me if you like.

The falls, well if you have a water proof camera or phone OMG your are going to have endless choice of how to shoot here. Have fun this is a great place.

Cummins Falls State Park is an idyllic, but rugged, 282-acre day-use park located nine miles north of Cookeville on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River on the Eastern Highland Rim. Located in the Cordell Hull Watershed, the area has been a scenic spot and swimming hole for local residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls is Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in volume of water and is 75 feet high.


The main parking area, restrooms, trailheads, and a designated picnic area are located above the falls. The overlook is nearby and can be accessed by foot. ADA access to the overlook is available upon request.

  • Gorge Access Permits are required for anyone who wishes to enter the gorge or access the base of the waterfall.
    • Please note: No refunds, exchanges, date transfers, or rain checks will be issued for permits.
    • Permits are available online only. No cash is accepted on-site for the purchase of a permit.
  • Park Hours are 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM.
  • The gorge area closes at 5:00 PM.
  • People at the bottom of the waterfall must start walking out at 5:00 PM in order to get back to the parking lot and be out of the park by 6:00 PM.
  • Pets are allowed but must be on a leash and under control. Please remember to clean up after your pet.
  • The hike to the base of the waterfall is a strenuous and physical activity. ( JT NOTE: it is really not that bad just pace yourself)
  • Please read safety information below before planning to hike to the base of the waterfall.
  • Complete details for this wonderful park click here-> Cummins Falls <-

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