Fall Creek Falls, in the heart of the southern Cumberland Plateau, has gorges with scenic views, Millikan’s Overlook on the auto tour loop being one of the finest. From here, migrating Red-tailed, Broad-winged and other “buzzard hawks” soar with resident Turkey Vultures, sometimes at eye level. Many of the bluff tops offer canopy-level views of Blue-headed Vireos, Black-throated Green Warblers and Scarlet Tanagers and other songbirds from mid-March – October.
The Lake Trail from the dam to the headwaters, offers views of beaver dams, Barn Swallows, Wood Ducks, herons, and transient ducks and loons in winter.
Fall Creek Lake (345 acre) provides good Largemouth Bass fishing and is home to state record catches for Channel Catfish and Bluegill. Fishing is best in the spring and fall and is good from either a boat or the bank. Bank fishing and wade fishing is decent in creeks throughout the park.
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to one of the most challenging 18-hole layouts carved out of the densely forested woodlands of the Cumberland Plateau. The course opened in 1972 and was designed by renowned designer Joe Lee. In 1998 the greens were rebuilt and restored to their original design and drainage work was performed in all 71 bunkers.
Fall Creek Falls State Park’s Upper Loop Trail is 13.5 miles long and follows a little used backpacker trail, which now sees mostly mountain bike traffic. Because the trail was initially designed for backpacking, it contains some tight and twisty singletrack interlaced with open and flowing sections. The trail goes over rolling hills, with rocky sections and a few nice climbs. To locate the trailhead from the park’s main entrance, simply turn right and proceed until you pass over the Cane Creek bridge, where you will see a small parking lot and picnic area. The trailhead on the right just before you get to the bridge. This is the only singletrack trail open to mountain biking, and interestingly in the best condition out of all of the park’s trails. There are also two double track trails / service roads (an 6 mile out and back, and a 8 mile out and back) open to mountain bikes.
Trail Length: 24 miles
Trail Rating: Intermediate
Upper Loop (Cane Creek Overnight Trail) — 14.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Lower Loop (Cane Creek Overnight Trail) — 13.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Gorge Overlook Trail — 1.2 — Natural Surface — Moderate
Woodland Trail — 0.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Turkey Pen Ridge — 0.5 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
Base of Fall Creek Falls Trail — 0.4 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Paw Paw Trail — 2.7 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Gilbert Gaul Trail — 4.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Link Trail — 4.6 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Bike Trail — 3.4 Miles — Paved Surface — Easy/ ADA
Wheeler Farm Loop — 1.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Prater Place Trail — 2.9 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Cable Trail — 0.3 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult
Campground Trail — 0.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Easy
The Fall Creek Falls Stables are located within the park. There are 2 miles of trail. Guided trail rides are scheduled hourly and are approximately 45 minutes. The stables are open daily mid-March until October 31st from 9am to 6pm CST. Cost is $25 per person Cash Only. For more information call 423/881-5952.