Visit This Southern US State Park For Amazing Hiking And Waterfall Views

There is nothing more beautiful than a waterfall. The power of nature, the water's ability to carve into solid rock, and the absolute majesty of it all are incredible to behold. If you're a hiker and your travels take you to Tennessee, you absolutely cannot miss one particular state park with miles and miles of trails and some lovely waterfalls. 

Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties, has 56 miles of trails for most hiking styles and ability levels and several beautiful waterfalls. This is one of the largest state parks in Tennessee and has over 29,800 acres of space to explore. It's also got Fall Creek Falls which cascades 256 feet into a pool at the bottom of a sheer cliff. There are plenty of activities, including an obstacle course, camping, swimming, golfing, and events, as well as an education center. Let's take a look at the trails and falls of Fall Creek Falls State Park. 

Hiking at Fall Creek Falls State Park

A great hike to start with is the Gorge Overlook trail. It's popular with walkers, hikers, and runners alike. It's 3.1 miles long and starts near Pikesville, TN. If you want to gaze at the majesty of the big waterfall, Fall Creek Falls, you can take the Base of Fall Creek Falls trail, which is fairly short, though steep, and gives you a lovely view. The Piney Falls trail lets you see water cascade from the Piney Falls overlook in one direction or take a path over a swinging bridge in the other when the trail splits.

The Virgin Falls trail is longer at 8.1 miles and is closed from May to August for bats to recover from an illness called white-nose syndrome. However, during the rest of the year, you can see the beautiful waterfall that drops 110 feet out of a cave, with other falls visible in the area like Big Laurel Falls and Sheep Cave Falls. This one isn't for beginners, but it also has access to camping. If you're looking for something easier, there is a paved bike trail (called Bike Trail) that is 3.4 miles long, which is listed as ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) friendly.

Amenities you'll find in the park

There is plenty to do at Fall Creek Falls State Park in addition to hiking, including camping in cabins, campsites, or the Lodge Fall Creek Falls, which has 85 rooms. There are certain campsites that require water filtration, so make sure to check before you go. The Nature Center has an educational program that offers activities like movie nights, live music, naturalist programs, and campfires. If you're looking for a snack, you can grab something at The Village, which has a snack bar by the park's Olympic-sized pool. There are several playgrounds in the park, gift shops, and an 18-hole golf course with lessons and rentals. Several types of boats are available for rent at the lake as well.

Our favorite feature, however, is the Canopy Challenge Course. This is an obstacle course that can last around 2.5 hours. There are over 70 obstacles, including zip lines, different types of bridges, balance beams, and more. You'll get all the details before you start at the course's Ground School, and then they'll send you off to one of six different routes of varying difficulties. You can do this course independently, but there are guides around the area. Equipment like helmets and harnesses are all provided. The challenge is for ages four and up, and while you can show up on the day, the park recommends reservations.