Welcome to the Land of Falling Water. You can see seven waterfalls in less than 5 hours and not have to walk more than 3/4 of a mile to see any of them. Or, we have one trail that is ten extremely rigorous miles long and you see 5 waterfalls while traversing the trail. The first 7 waterfalls on this page are for those who like short strolls to spectacular waterfalls. If you get hungry or thirsty, be sure to check our Shop/Dine section for great food and beverages.
1. Cummins Falls You can view Cummins Falls from the overlook for FREE. To hike in the canyon or swim in the pool requires a permit. Cummins Falls is one of the newest parks in the state of Tennessee. Though the falls is located in Jackson County it has a Cookeville address. Cummins Falls has been listed as one of the top-10 swimming holes in the United States. Even if you don’t swim, the breadth and beauty of this falls is worth the stop. Set your GPS to 390 Cummins Falls Lane, Cookeville TN. To have the directions sent to your smart phone click <here>.
2. Burgess Falls Though not the tallest waterfall in our area, Burgess Falls may be the widest falls with the most consistent and large volume of water. Much like Niagara Falls separates the US from Canada, both White and Putnam counties share claim to this beautiful cascade. Supplied by the Falling Water River, water volume rarely wanes and there are many visitor amenities in this small state park. This beauty is located at 4000 Burgess Falls Drive, Sparta TN. Or to have the directions sent to your smart phone click <here>.
3. Twin Falls One of the most spectacular waterfalls that we have to offer can be viewed from an automobile. While enjoying the beauty of this falls, keep in mind that it is sort-of man-made. When the Corp of Engineers erected the dam (upstream) to build Rock Island Lake, it backed up water on both the Collins and Caney Fork rivers. Before the lake reached pool-level, water found it’s way through caves off the Collins River and exited the mountainside downstream into the Caney Fork River gorge. This falls is also worth a trip on moonlit nights. The sloping face of the falls makes for a white froth that reflects moonlight making it spectacular both day and night. This falls does not have a physical address but it is located on the western most end of Power Plant Road in Walling TN. To have the directions sent to your phone’s navigation system, click <here>.
4. Great Falls Rock Island State Park has several notable waterfalls. The town of Rock Island was originally named Falls City. When Rock Island Lake was built, a number of the waterfalls were covered by the lake’s pool. They renamed the community for a circular protruding hilltop of solid rock that stuck out of the lake. Great Falls is below Rock Island dam and this stretch of the Caney Fork River has been the site of several international kayaking competitions. The falls is accessed off of Great Falls road in Rock Island TN immediately past an old water-driven mill adjacent to the road. Or to have the directions sent to your smart phone, click <here>.
5. Rylander Cascades Rylander Cascades is named for James Rylander, the benefactor who gave the state a beautiful section of land riddled with caves and waterfalls. The cascade is part of the Lost Creek State Natural Area and a short distance from the road along an easy trail. The cascade is the result of a fault line. Once an underground stream, the crust of the earth split and dropped several feet exposing the subterranean stream and creating a waterfall with no incoming stream or outgoing stream. There are multiple cascades as you walk the trail. The Rylander parking area is located on White’s Cave Road in Sparta TN about 1/2 mile south of the Lost Creek parking area. To have the directions sent to your smart phone click <here>.
6. Lost Creek An area so lush, this is where Disney came to do the remake of “The Jungle Book.” This is yet another waterfall with no incoming stream or outgoing stream. Lost Creek Falls is located in the edge of a giant sinkhole. The crystal clear pool at it’s base is worth the trip to see even if there were no waterfalls. But wait, there’s more! The cave on the opposite side of the sink is one of the larger cave entrances in the state of Tennessee. The cave was also used in Disney’s movie. In fact, the parking area was created by the film crew to get their equipment close to the site. The parking area is east of White’s Cave Road in Sparta TN. For driving directions click <here>.
If you are following the 7 Waterfalls Driving Tour, your GPS will take you a long way out of the way to get to waterfalls number 7. Turn left (north) out of the Lost Creek parking lot for a drive through what many people call the Cades Cove of the Cumberlands. White’s Creek Road dead ends into Lost Creek Road. Turn left on Lost Creek Road for about 5 miles and turn right on Lester Flatt Rd. At this point, your GPS will take you straight to Wildcat Falls.
7. Wildcat Falls Wildcat Falls is one of White Counties two drive-by waterfalls. You can enjoy this waterfall without leaving the car. Though during summer, the volume of water may narrow to a trickle, where this creek exits the top of the Cumberland Plateau over a concave bluff line is much to behold even during dry periods. The falls is located on Hwy. 70 between Sparta and Crossville TN 1/2 mile west of Sunset Rock Scenic Overlook or 6 miles east of the White County Courthouse. There is a small pullout from the eastbound lane of Hwy. 70. The westbound highway has a turnout lane to stop in. Be very careful, this is a US highway with much traffic moving at high speeds. For driving directions, click <here>.
And still more waterfalls? There are literally dozens more waterfalls in the area. For information on the crown jewel of the Cumberlands, Virgin Falls, see the “Hike” tab on this website. For Fall Creek Falls, check under Parks/Camp.
While in the area, Sparta TN has many great restaurants, award winning craft beer, fine wine, and more boutiques and galleries than you can appreciate in a day. Be sure to check out the Shop/Dine page on this website. If you are here Monday – Friday between 8:00 – 5:00 come by the chamber at 16 West Bockman Way for a free tourist and kayaking map.