Tennessee State Parks

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Activities

Interpretive Programs

The Nature Center at Fall Creek Falls offers hands-on environmental education through a variety of naturalist-led programs. The park offers extensive programming geared to school groups. Since 1996, the Environmental Education Center has been educating  and facilitating environmental education through the parks vast natural resources by offering a low cost, high quality overnight field trip for school groups. 

The park serves as an excellent outdoor classroom with programs designed to relate to your school's required curriculum. Food and lodging are included in the economical price. For more information, please contact Ranger Matt Brown at matthew.brown@tn.gov or call the Nature Center at 423-881-5708 to schedule a field trip.

Boating

Aluminum fishing boats may be rented year round. Please bring your own trolling motor and battery. Paddleboats and canoes are available for rent, April through October. For boat rentals please call 423-881-5500. No privately owned boats or gasoline motors are allowed on the lake.

Pontoon boat rides may be arranged through the programming staff at the Nature Center by calling 423-881-5708. 

Zip Lining

Join us in the trees for 2.5 hours of zip-riding, heart-pounding, bridge-crossing, breath-taking, tree-climbing, eco-friendly, unforgettable fun! Test your agility and resolve on 70+ aerial obstacles including ladders, wobbly bridges, rope swings, cargo nets, balance beams and zip lines. Following thorough instruction at Ground School, you will be let loose to explore six different 8-to-13-element routes ranging from easy to extreme. 

This is a self-guided adventure. Supervised and encouraged by certified guides, participants move through the course connected to a flexible lifeline system that uses smart-belay technology to ensure 100% connectivity. ZIPStream provides all the necessary equipment-full-body harness, helmet, zip line trolley and smart-belay lanyard. Participants need only bring a sense of adventure and their own daring.

ZIPStream Fall Creek Falls is located at Fall Creek Falls State Park, and is independently operated. For more information regarding rates, physical requirements and tour times, please visit www.zipstreamfallcreekfalls.com or call 615-499-5779.

Swimming

The Fall Creek Falls pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. The park offers an Olympic-sized pool, in addition to a wading pool. Modern bathhouses and a snack bar are available. The pool is closed on Tuesdays. Admission is $4 per person for ages four and older. Cabin and camping guests pay half price. Lifeguards are on duty and the pool is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information about season pool passes, pool rental parties or other pool information, contact 423-881-5642.

Horseback Riding

The Fall Creek Falls Stables are located within the park and are privately leased. There are two miles of trail. Guided trail rides are scheduled hourly and last approximately 45 minutes. The stables are open daily mid-March until October 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. Cost is $25 per person, cash Only. For more information call the stables at 423-881-5952.

Golf

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. 

Learn More About the Course
Reserve a Tee Time

Hiking

There are over 35 miles of hiking trails around the park. Hikers can opt for short or long walks around the lake and to and from the base of Fall Creek Falls. There are two long distance overnight trails for the more adventuresome. The day-use trails are designed to accommodate recreational and educational activities including fitness walking, leisure walking and easy hiking, or exploring the parks' geological features and forest life typical of the Cumberland Plateau.

The Betty Dunn Nature Center, located near the North entrance of the park, is a popular trailhead. Trail information is available inside the Nature Center. Trails also originate or can be linked from the village area, campground, inn, group camp #2 entrance gate, the Falls parking lot and the Piney Falls parking lot.

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

Fishing

Fall Creek Lake (345 acre) provides catches of Largemouth Bass 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. Anglers enjoy bank and wade fishing in creeks throughout the park.

Birding

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.

Biking

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, 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 single track trail open to mountain biking. There are also two double track trails/service roads; (a six mile out and back, and an eight mile out and back) open to mountain bikes.

Trail Length: 24 miles
Trail Rating: Intermediate