Cummins Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park 

Cummins Falls State Park Cookeville TN is an idyllic yet rugged 211-acre day-use park and namesake waterfall on Blackburn Fork State Scenic River. It was established in 2011 and is one of Tennessee’s newest parks. The park’s most popular activity is hiking the waterfall gorge trail. However, due to recent drowning deaths, a permit system has been implemented to monitor the number of people entering the gorge. You’ll be glad you read this!


The best way to enjoy Cummins Falls State Park is with a picnic! Bring your blanket, a packed lunch, and plenty of water. You are allowed to take your pets along but they must be on a leash at all times. They are not allowed on the gorge trail so it’s best to leave them in the designated picnic area. Located northwest of Cookeville, this day-use park is home to a 75-foot waterfall and an epic swimming hole. The park offers hiking and fishing opportunities, too. It is one of Tennessee’s most treasured natural wonders. The park’s gift shop is a great place to purchase memorabilia and souvenirs. It sells items made by local artists and the proceeds go to them. The gift shop is open from 8 a.m. to sunset every day. Guests may also visit Old Mill Camp which is conveniently located across from the entrance to Cummins Falls State Park and features RV camping.


This park is perfect for hiking. There are land trails and gorge trails available to enjoy. However, the best hike is to venture down the gorge trail to see Cummins Falls. This hike is strenuous and involves hopping boulders and wading through water. The water can be extremely cold, so it is recommended that you wear a wetsuit or swimwear. Also, it is a good idea to bring your own drinking water. If you do not want to spend the day wading through the river, there is a shortcut trail that takes you down to the waterfall without going through the gorge. The shortcut trail has a natural surface and is moderate in difficulty. Before you start your hike, make sure you have a permit. Permits are only given out to 200 people per day and they usually sell out fast on weekends and holidays. If you are unsure of your permit status, you can always check the park’s website or Facebook page. A great place to also visit is Dogwood Park.


If you want to skip the crowded public pools and swim in one of America’s best natural swimming holes, then you have to visit Cummins Falls State Park. The beautiful park is a small 306-acre day-use park in the middle Tennessee town of Cookeville. It’s known for its epic waterfall and swimming hole. To access the gorge and the base of the waterfall, you must obtain a permit in advance online. The permits allow 200 people to hike through the river gorge each day. The permits sell out quickly, especially on weekends and holidays. If you’re planning on visiting the gorge, it’s a good idea to pack light and wear sturdy shoes. You should also bring a waterproof bag for your belongings. Remember that this is a natural river gorge, so the warnings and hazard signs should not be taken lightly. The river can discolor, rise, and churn quickly. If the park rangers deem the conditions unsafe, then gorge access and swimming will be restricted or closed.


Cummins Falls State Park is a popular destination due to its beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. The park also offers hiking and camping. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash. The park features several trails that showcase different parts of the park. One of the most popular is the Gorge Trail. This is a challenging hike that requires a permit. Permits are sold at the Old Mill Camp General Store. Hiking in Cummins Falls State Park is an incredible experience. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before making the trek. First, the park only allows 200 people to hike the gorge each day. This is to protect the natural resources and prevent excessive foot traffic. You should always purchase a permit online ahead of time. Permits sell out quickly on weekends and holidays. Thankfully, there are other hiking spots in the area that allow for more people to enjoy this amazing natural wonder. Up next is Hurricane Marina.    
Driving directions from Big Daddys Signs to Cummins Falls State Park
Driving directions from Cummins Falls State Park to Hurricane Marina