Plan a visit to Fall Creek Falls TN and step into a scenic wonderland of natural beauty just waiting to be explored. With 6 stunning waterfalls and over 40 miles of hiking trails, this family-friendly oasis is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Nestled into the Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is convenient to Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Tri-Cities, which means most of Tennessee can enjoy all the park has to offer with just a short day or weekend trip.
The park boasts a wide variety of family-friendly attractions including ropes courses, swimming holes, playgrounds, golfing, and so much more! Use our comprehensive family guide to things to do in Fall Creek Falls (below) to plan the perfect day of outdoor adventure right here in Tennessee.
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where is Fall Creek Falls?
Fall Creek Falls is located in Spencer, TN, which is in Van Buren County. The address is:
2009 Village Camp Road
Spencer, TN 38585
- When driving from Chattanooga to Fall Creek Falls State Park, the 71.6-mile drive will take approximately 1 hour and 17 minutes
- When driving from Knoxville to Fall Creek Falls State Park, the 108-mile drive will take approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes.
- When driving from Nashville to Fall Creek Falls State Park, the 129-mile drive will take approximately 2 hours and 7 minutes.
- When driving from Johnson City to Fall Creek Falls State Park, the 204-mile drive will take approximately 3 hours and 11 minutes.
Is Fall Creek Falls Dog Friendly?
Yes, Fall Creek Falls is dog-friendly. Leashed dogs are welcome in most areas of the park including the campgrounds, hiking trails, and picnic areas.
Things to Do in Fall Creek Falls TN
Where to Stay
Fall Creek Falls Campgrounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park has an expansive area for camping, with 5 different site loops to choose from: A, B, C, D, and E.
All of the loops welcome both RV and tent campers. Many tent campers prefer loops C and E, due to the increased privacy provided by the surrounding woodlands. All of the loops offer the same amenities including restrooms, hot showers, water hookups, electrical hookups, picnic tables, and firepits.
Fall Creek Falls Cabins for Rent
If you prefer to rent a cabin there are many nearby options. The park itself offers lake-side fishing cabin rentals, forested group cabin rentals, and more!
You can also find great deals on rental cabins just outside the park. Many of these independently owned cabins can have upgraded amenities like hot tubs, fireplaces, and game rooms. Most are just a few minutes from the park entrance. Check out this Fall Creek Falls cabin rental with a hot tub, an expansive covered porch, active bird feeders, a walking trail, a pond, a fire pit, and more!
Hotels Near Fall Creek Falls
Just a short 3 minutes drive from the state park entrance, Cascade Inn is by far the most popular bed and breakfast in the area. Of course, breakfast is included in the rental price. Lunch and dinner are also available for an extra charge. The inn is adults-only but will accept pets for an extra charge.
In 2021, the park will officially open the Fall Creek Falls Lodge and Conference Center. This lake-side stunner will feature 85 hotel rooms, a full-service restaurant, and a scenic lounge area overlooking Fall Creek Falls lake.
Fall Creek Falls Attractions
Fall Creek Falls Trails
The park offers over 46 miles of hiking trails, with the waterfall trails being the most popular. Fall Creek Falls is the namesake of the state park and its most popular waterfall. This stunning 2 fall water feature is officially the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
In addition to Fall Creek Falls, there is also Cane Creek Falls, Cane Creek Cascades, and Piney Falls.
If you are hiking with kids, the Turkey Pen Ridge trail offers an easy 1-mile round trip hike that’s easy for little legs, but scenic enough that Mom and Dad will enjoy the view! Turkey Pen ridge also connects to additional hiking trails if you are up for a longer adventure.
Betty Dunn Nature Center
The nature center boasts a variety of taxidermied animals, geological exhibits, and a free informational park video. The center is also the meeting site for a variety of educational park programs.
Several popular hiking trails also start in this location, including the Cascades and the Paw Paw trails. If that wasn’t enough, there is even a fun playground right across the street.
Between the park entrance and the campgrounds, there is a designated natural swimming area called Gorge Hole. It features a grassy beach area with concrete steps leading into the water. The water starts at about 3 feet deep and gets deeper the further you go out.
The park also has a large swimming pool, which is open seasonally. The Falls Creek Falls pool offers a large main pool, shallow kiddie pool, restroom, snack bar, lounge chairs, and scenic lake view.
Many visitors also swim in the natural pools at the base of the waterfalls and in the streams and rivers running throughout the wilderness. While drowning can happen anywhere, the risk is higher in these locations for a variety of reasons.
The most worrisome risks are extreme water temperatures, strong currents, and unguarded waters. Exercise extreme caution if swimming in any of the unguarded natural areas.
This popular fire tower is climbable and offers stunning 360-degree views of Fall Creek Falls State Park. The best part is you only have to navigate a short 1/2 mile hike to get there. Unfortunately, to reach the trailhead you will need to navigate a narrow gravel road that isn’t in the best condition.
While most cars should be able to make it, If you are feeling iffy about the capability of your vehicle, it’s probably best to pass on this attraction. Alternatively, you could walk down the gravel road instead of driving, which will add about 5 miles to your hike.
Festivals and Events
This list of festivals and events at Fall Creek Falls State Park is endless. There are regular educational events like yarn spinning classes, guided hikes, foraging classes, and stargazing parties.
There are also tons of annual special events like 5K runs, the Halloween Spooktacular, a July 4th Celebration, a Christmas festival, and more!
Restaurant and Snack Bars
The state park offers a variety of on-site restaurants. Their main lakeside restaurant is currently under renovation and will be reopening in 2021. There are also 3 snack bars with equally tasty but more limited menus.
One snack bar is located at the golf course, one is adjacent to the swimming pool, and one is next to the camp store. The snack bars serve breakfast sandwiches and limited lunch and dinner selections including, pizza, chicken tenders, burgers, and other quick-cooking menu items.
Fall Creek Falls Lake
This scenic 350-acre lake is surrounded by mountains and boasts several access points. At the boat dock, you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, paddle boats, jon boats, and pontoon boats.
For those dreaming of a scenic view in the morning, lakeside cabin rentals are available. The park is also in the process of building a lodge and full-service restaurant overlooking the water. It will be stunning!
Rent a boat and go fishing out on the lake or try your luck in one of the many streams throughout the park. All TN fishing license requirements apply inside the park. Some of the most popular fish available in this area include:
The park offers 2 different ropes courses. There is the Canopy Challenge course for adults and the Junior Canopy Challenge for kids.
The self-guided Canopy Challenge course takes around 2.5 hours to complete and includes zip-lining, tree-climbing, bridge-crossings, and over 70 ariel obstacles. Staff members remain nearby at all times to supervise from the ground in case there is an emergency.
The Junior Canopy Challenge course is for kids between 4 and 8 years old. It boasts a variety of obstacles that require climbing, swinging, balancing, jumping, crawling, and more!
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to a gorgeously scenic 18-hole golf course that spans more than 20,000 acres. Golf carts, food, and lodging are available on-site.
Fall Creek Falls Horseback Riding
The Fall Creeks Falls Riding Stables are located just outside of the park. This top-notch equestrian facility offers guided trail rides, overnight boarding, birthday parties, and more!
6 thoughts on “10 Incredible Things to Do in Fall Creek Falls TN”
Hello from California.
I did not see my questions covered in your Online information.
Would it be possible to have a Wedding and Wedding Reception at your Lodge and Conference Center?
May I please have any information available?
They do have a reception venue there, but you will have to contact the park directly to get booking information. 🙂
Do Seniors who live in Tennessee get a discount on cabin rentals?
You would have to contact the office of the state park to verify that. 🙂
So I could bring my own horse and board her overnight and ride the trails on her?
Yes, but you have to make sure to stick to the horse-friendly trails. They have trail maps available at the visitors’ center.