5 Incredible Waterfalls Within an Hours Drive of the Cave

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous waterfall?

Waterfalls are the most beautiful and peaceful of all nature’s gifts. Mesmerizing and enchanting, waterfalls spark the imagination and invite you to cool off on a hot summers day.

“Water is the most perfect traveller because when it travels it becomes the path itself!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Inside Cumberland Caverns, we also have a magical waterfall, our Neverending Waterfall. This incredible formation has enchanted visitors for decades and has mystified scientists since its discovery. Dye tests have been conducted to determine the origin of the water, but no route in or out of the cave has ever been discovered.

You wouldn’t want to swim in these icy waters, but early explorers would fill their canteens at the waterfall before heading out on their adventures.  See this natural wonder in person by clicking here:

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5 other waterfalls in our area you don’t want to miss

Did you know Tennessee is home to over 500 waterfalls?  While we would love to explore them all with you, we have picked 5 that are all less than a hours drive from the cave.  These waterfalls also just happen to be the most beautiful in the state and the drives to get there are incredible in their own right.   How lucky are we???

Fall Creek Falls, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Spencer,TN

Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of Tennessee’s largest and most visited state parks. The park encompasses more than 26,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls within the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades.

Fall Creek Falls, Spencer, TN

Great Falls, Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN

Rock Island State Park is an 883-acre park located on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers. The rugged beauty of the park includes the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam. These overlooks are some of the most scenic and significant along the Eastern Highland Rim. Great Falls is a 30-foot horseshoe cascading waterfall, located below the 19th-century cotton textile mill that it powered over 100 years ago. Rock Island became a Tennessee State Park in 1969.

Great Falls at Rock Island, TN

Cummings Falls, Cookeville, TN

Cummins Falls State Park is an idyllic, but rugged, 282-acre day-use park located nine miles north of Cookeville on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River on the Eastern Highland Rim. Located in the Cordell Hull Watershed, the area has been a scenic spot and swimming hole for local residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls is Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in volume of water and is 75 feet high.

Cummins Falls, Cookeville, TN

Virgin Falls, Virgin Falls State Natural Area, Sparta, TN

Virgin Falls is 1,157-acre natural area located in White County. The natural area is named for Virgin Falls, which is formed by an underground stream that emerges from a cave, then drops over a 110-foot high cliff before disappearing into another cave at the bottom of the sink. The area is noted for its unique geological features and several (additional) other waterfalls including Big Laurel, Sheep Cave Falls, and Big Branch Falls. There are several notable caves in the area, including the cave above Virgin Falls, where the stream itself that forms the falls issues. Due to white-nose syndrome, all caves on the area are closed to recreational use. The sinkholes at Virgin Falls, such as Virgin Falls Sink and Sheep Cave Sink, are characteristic of karst features found on the Cumberland Plateau. The Caney Fork River and its tributaries drain the area and contribute to the formation of the gorge. The Martha’s Pretty Point provides a dramatic view of Scott’s Gulf and the Caney Fork River 900 ft below.

Virgin Falls, Sparta, TN

Burgess Falls State Park, Sparta, TN

Burgess Falls State Park, located on the Falling Water River, is a day use park, noted for its natural beauty and four waterfalls that cascade down from over 250 feet in elevation. The last of these falls is the most spectacular, plunging more than 130 feet into the gorge. The area was originally populated by Native Americans of the Cherokee, Creek and Chickasaw tribes. These tribes used the land as a hunting ground until the late 19th century when a gristmill and sawmill began operating on the river. The Falling Water River was used to generate hydroelectric power for the city of Cookeville from 1928-1944. In 1973, the territory became a designated Tennessee State Natural Area, protecting the diverse forest and aquatic habitats.

Burgess Falls, Sparta, TN

 

When making plans for your vacation or staycation to Cumberland Caverns, put one, two, or all five of these destinations on your bucket list.

Book your getaway today!

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Special thanks to the following websites for their contribution of information and photographs for this blog post:

Rock Island State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park

Virgin Falls State Natural Area

Burgess Falls State Park