Top 10 Waterfalls in Tennessee

Published on September 21st, 2021

You might not realize it, but Tennessee is home to hundreds of waterfalls throughout the state. There are so many to choose from that it was hard to narrow it down to 10! But we’ve pulled together some of our favorites that highlight the variety of falls that Tennessee offers. From easy to access cascades in the beautiful state parks to an incredible underground waterfall, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our list of top waterfalls in Tennessee.

Waterfalls in Tennessee

1. Laurel Falls

2. Cane Creek Falls

3. Foster Falls

4. Machine Falls

5. Burgess Falls

6. Twin Falls

7. Cummins Falls

8. Fall Creek Falls

9. Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park

10. Ruby Falls

Visiting Waterfalls in Tennessee

Here are 10 popular waterfalls to visit the next time you take an RV trip to Tennessee.

1. Laurel Falls

The first amazing waterfall on our list is Laurel Falls. Located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Laurel Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. This 80-foot high waterfall is named for the laurel plant that blooms along the 2.4 mile trail to the falls. Take the out and back trail from the parking lot to the falls, which consist of an upper and lower section. There’s a walkway that crosses the stream at the bottom of the upper falls, which makes it the perfect place to grab a selfie. This is a popular site and parking is limited, so if you want to avoid the crowds come during the week or early in the day.

Things to do near Laurel Falls: Explore the rest of the amazing Great Smoky Mountains National Park! We’ve put together a guide of all the best things to do in the park, where to stay, and what not to miss! Need an RV to get you there? We’ve got you covered with a great selection of local RV rentals.

2. Cane Creek Falls

Cane Creek Falls is just one of the gorgeous waterfalls located in Fall Creek Falls State Park. This waterfall is 85 feet tall and the park has several different places where you can view the rushing water. There’s an overlook a short walk away from the parking area, but you can also take the trail to the Gorge Overlook for another view. This trail will take you past a smaller waterfall in the park, Cane Creek Cascades, and across a swinging bridge to the overlook site. And if you’re an experienced hiker who’s up for a challenge, you can also take the steep and difficult Cable Trail down to the base of the waterfall.

Things to do near Cane Creek Falls: You can see multiple waterfalls in this state park! Check out the smaller Cane Creek Cascade waterfall and then hike to waterfall number 8 on our list, Fall Creek Falls, which the park is named after.

3. Foster Falls

Another amazing waterfall in Tennessee that’s easy to access is Foster Falls. Located in South Cumberland State Park, this 60-foot waterfall plunges into a pool and is reached by a half mile trail from the parking lot to a viewing platform. If you want to get closer, you can continue down the steep trail to the base of the falls. While it’s not a long hike, be careful if you decide to descend as the trail is rocky and uneven. And if you’re a rock climber, just a bit further down the trail brings you to a popular climbing area. And best of all, there’s a campground nearby so you can park your RV and enjoy the state park!

Things to do near Foster Falls: Spend some time enjoying this gorgeous state park. There’s 90 miles of backpacking trails and swimming or boating in Grundy Lake. We have a guide to South Cumberland State Park to help you find the best things to do. It’s also less than an hour from Chattanooga to continue your Tennessee adventure. Need an RV? We’ve got you covered with these great rentals!

4. Machine Falls

Nestled in the Short Springs Natural Area is the photogenetic Machine Falls. The 5-mile Machine Falls Loop will take you right past this gorgeous 60-foot cascading waterfall. Looking for even more waterfalls in your hike? You can combine the offshoot to Adams Falls, the Laurel Bluff Trail, and the Bobo Creek Trail see two more waterfalls – Adams Falls and Busby Falls.

Things to do near Machine Falls: These falls are located near Tullahoma, Tennessee. You’re also about 70 miles from Nashville and 80 miles from Chattanooga.

5. Burgess Falls

Another stunning waterfall located in a Tennessee state park is Burgess Falls. One of four waterfalls along the Falling Water River in Burgess Falls State Park, Burgess Fall is the most impressive. This waterfall cascades down 250 feet, and it’s an easy hike to the overlook to view the impressive deluge. Take the River Trail from the picnic area which follows the river and ends at the viewing platform for Burgess Falls.

Things to do near Burgess Falls: The waterfall and state park are located off I-40, south of Cookeville and 80 miles east of Nashville. Window Cliffs State Natural Area is just around the corner from the waterfall. And while you can’t camp at this state park, Edgar Evins State Park and Rock Island State Park are both a short drive away.

6. Twin Falls

Nestled at the headwaters of the Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers, Rock Island State Park is another park with several incredible waterfalls. One of these is Twin Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that cascades out of a gorge down the rock wall into the Carney Fork River. You can view Twin Falls from the overlook that’s located at the end of Powerhouse Road. Due to the strong currents and frequent water releases from the TVA Powerhouse upstream, swimming and wading is dangerous and is not permitted in this area.

Things to do near Twin Falls: Explore the beauty of Rock Island State Park! Hike the trails through Carney Fork Gorge or fish on Center Hill Lake. And though swimming isn’t allowed near the waterfall, you can cool off at the sand beach at headwaters of the beautiful Center Hill Lake. We have a guide to the state park to help you find the best things to do, and have you covered with local RV rentals.

7. Cummins Falls

Another waterfall in a beautiful state park, Cummins Falls is a 75-foot waterfall and swimming hole that’s a favorite for locals and visitors alike. There’s a parking lot, picnic area, restrooms, and overlook located above the falls. But if you want to enter the gorge to get to the base of the waterfall, you’ll need a park permit. These can be purchased online or at the visitors center. The park is day use only, and visitors are required to leave the base of the waterfall by 5 pm so they can get to the parking area by the time the park closes at 6.

Things to do near Cummins Falls: Make sure to explore the rest of the beautiful Cummins Falls State Park. This state park and waterfall is located 9 miles north of Cookeville and just over 80 miles east of Nashville.

8. Fall Creek Falls

We’re heading back to Fall Creek Falls State Park for our next waterfall. If you can’t guess by the name, Fall Creek Falls is the park’s highlight, and worth the hike to view it. This waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States and plunges 256 feet over the rock cliff. There’s a short walk to the overlook from the parking area, and a trail that will take you down to the base of the falls. Just keep in mind there’s a 300-foot elevation change on the trail down to the base, so the climb out can be difficult if you’re not an experienced hiker.

Things to do near Fall Creek Falls: Visit the other amazing waterfalls in this state park like Cane Creek Cascade, Piney Falls, and Cane Creek Falls. Fall Creek Falls is also one of Tennessee’s largest state parks, so be sure to take advantage of the amazing outdoor recreation and spend some time hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, or mountain biking.

9. Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park

We’ve included an entire state park as a stop on our list, because there are 10 (yep 10!) waterfalls to be seen here. Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park along the Duck River not only protects a prehistoric Native American structure but also has a great trail system that will lead you past a variety of waterfalls during the peak season. Some of our favorites are Bluehole Falls and Big Falls which both have around a 30-foot drop. But during a good rainy season, you’ll see many more waterfalls in this park!

Things to do near Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park: Once you’re done exploring the ruins and the waterfalls you can check out Manchester, Tennessee. You’re also only about an hour away from both Nashville and Chattanooga. We’ve got you covered with great local RV rentals!

10. Ruby Falls

Ok, we’ve all seen waterfalls above ground, but what about an underground waterfall? Ruby Falls is located deep in a cave inside Lookout Mountain. It’s the tallest and deepest underground waterfall that’s open to the public in the United States, and you’ll have to take a guided tour to see it. On the tour you’ll descend 26 stories and explore the unground cave system that houses this incredible waterfall. It’s just under 1 mile round trip to see the falls on a paved trail. You can check out the website for tickets and reservations.

Things to do near Ruby Falls: Ruby Falls is located in Chattanooga right next to Lookout Mountain and there’s plenty to do! View the Tennessee Valley from Lookout Mountain Tower or take a ride up the mountain on the Incline Railway. You’re also a short drive away from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Planning an RV Trip to Tennessee

An RV trip is an excellent way to see the incredible waterfalls in Tennessee, and we’ve got all the resources you need to plan a perfect vacation.

Here are guides to some of the best state parks in Tennessee, as well as all the national parks in the country. And as always, we’re here to help when it comes to finding the best campgrounds and RV rentals.

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