Located north of Chattanooga in the small Tennessee town of Spencer, Fall Creek Falls State Park features one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. If you visit the 29,800-acre Tennessee State Park, you will see why it is one of the state’s most visited and loved parks.
The modern-day parkland belongs to the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), and the S’atsoyaha (Yuchi) Native Tribes. Located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties, you can access the park by Highway 111 or Highway 30 by Spencer, Pikeville, or Cookeville.
History of Fall Creek Falls State Park
Nestled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a beautiful outdoor wonderland with rocky gorges, streams, virgin hardwood timber, the Cane Creek Cascades and Fall Creek Falls waterfalls (among others), a Nature Center, camping, and so much more!
In 1937, the federal government began to purchase the land in the region, as it was severely eroded. The year after, the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began restoring the forest and building facilities. In 1944, the National Park Service gave the ownership of the park to the State of Tennessee.
With 56 miles of trails to explore, there is a hiking trail for everyone at Fall Creek. The Betty Dunn Nature Center serves as the primary trailhead to reach the popular trails in the park. The other main trailheads are found at the Falls parking lot and the Piney Falls parking lot.
For those looking for a longer overnight hike in the backcountry, the Upper Loop and Lower Loop Trails in the Cane Creek Cascades area offer 13.2 and 14-mile trails. Easy trails include Turkey Pen Ridge, Bike Trail, and Campground Trail. Intermediate courses include the Gorge Overlook Trail, Woodland Trail, Fall Creek Falls Trail, Gilbert Gaul Trail, Link Trail, and Prater Place Trail. More channeling hikes include the Wheeler Farm Loop and the Cable Trail.
Golfing is another popular activity at the park, which features an 18-hole golf course that is one of the best in the state. The park pro shop rents golfing supplies and offers lessons and cart rentals. The course was designed by golf course architect Joe Lee and selected by Golf Digest as one of the Top 100 Public Places to Play.
Canopy Challenge Course
The Canopy Challenge Course boasts over 75 wobbly bridges (including suspension bridges), rope swings, nets, balance beams, and zip lines for a thrilling adventure. This aerial adventure course uses smart-belay technology to ensure connectivity with belay cables to offer the safest experience for guests. here.
Camping & Campgrounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park offers 222 campsites in five different areas for those looking to camp overnight. Every site has a picnic table, grill, water, and electricity. Some sites are suitable for RVs and are ADA accessible. You can purchase ice and firewood all year. Campers can also choose one of the 16 primitive sites that do not have hookups for tents only.
The Village pool snack bar and the FCF Golf Course Pro Shop both serve prepared food for purchase, and groceries are even sold at the camp store in The Village. There is also a coin-operated laundry facility that is open year-round. There are two gift shops on-site, one is located in the park office, and one is located at the camper check-in building.
If you plan on visiting one of the most popular parks in the state of Tennessee, the address is 2009 Village Camp Road, and the phone number is 423-881-5298. The park is just over 2 hours from Nashville, and day-use for all Tennessee State Parks is free. Day-Use facilities, including the playgrounds and picnic pavilions, close at 10 PM. Everyone must be off the trails by sundown.