Waterfalls around Center Hill Lake

by Elizabeth Thompson

The Upper Cumberland of Tennessee is a beautiful part of the country with a uniquely diverse landscape. The ravines and ridges that traverse this region provide for some amazing views and delightful hiking opportunities. Among the many treasures of this region are a vast number of waterfalls. It’s very possible to happen upon an unexpected waterfall on the side of the road or along the lake as there is certainly no shortage here.  We’ve picked out our top 4 destination waterfall hikes to share with you here, listed in no particular order.


Cummins Falls

This waterfallThis waterfall has been a long-time treasured destination for locals and hiking enthusiasts, although it only became a maintained state park in recent years. This is also one of the area’s prime swimming holes. An initial short hike will take you to the lookout with a view of the falls from above. To get to the bottom, however, you have a bit of a longer hike down and along the river. Be ready to get your feet wet with this one, as you will have to cross the river a few times to get to the base of the falls. The effort is well worth it though, for the amazing view of the falls and the experience of enjoying them from below.



Burgess Falls

Burgess FallsBurgess Falls is a great visit for all ages and skill levels. At the time of this writing, the park is even working on completing a paved walkway that leads to an overlook of the first falls, so that anyone can access the beautiful views without getting on the trails. The main trail however, leads you on to views of three cascades increasing in height. At the final lookout deck, you can follow the path on down to reach the top of the falls. There is no railing here, so do be careful with kids, but it is thrilling to watch the water fall over the edge to create the powerful effects of Burgess Falls.



Fall Creek Falls

Probably the area’s best-known waterfall, this expansive park, offers a number of trails and views of multiple cascades. There is also an area that draws crowds as a swimming spot. The landmark Fall Creek Falls is acclaimed as the highest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River.


Rock Island

The unique topography


The unique topography and geological formations of this park make it stand out. This is where Center Hill Lake begins as the Caney Fork River pours over the Great Falls Dam and into the gorge. The park offers spectacular views of multiple falls accessible by various trails.




Check out these four gorgeous waterfalls and more when you stay at the Retreat at Center Hill Lake. Our unmatched hospitality will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed to take on the day while exploring the beautiful Upper Cumberland area of Tennessee. Check our availability for your next family vacation here.