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“Well worth the hike!”

Burgess Falls State Park
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Sparta
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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. The park offers several activities for family and friends to enjoy year-round. Fishing is popular below the dam and the main waterfall along the bank and at the fishing pier. There are no public boat ramps or canoe/kayak access areas in the park. A large covered pavilion equipped with grills and tables can be reserved for large groups and has a scenic view of the river. Additional picnic areas, most with grills, are conveniently located to restrooms and a playground is nearby. None of the picnic tables are equipped with water spigots and all are available on a first come, first serve basis. The 1.5-mile round-trip River Trail/Service Road Loop is a moderately strenuous hike taking visitors past the waterfalls and into the gorge. The waterfalls are 20’ cascades, 30’ upper falls, 80’ middle falls, and 136’ lower falls in height. A steep trail leads to the edge of the falls, and a rustic stairway leads into the gorge. This is not an easy hike; the trail from the main overlook to the bottom of the main falls is very strenuous. Most people prefer to hike back to the parking lot along the service road. The half-mile Ridge Top Trail is very scenic with views down the main canyon of Falling Water River. All trails are foot trails.
Albany, Kentucky
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Well worth the hike!”
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Very beautiful falls! The hike to all the falls overlooks is moderately strenuous. The trails can be a little scary at times...lots of tree roots, things to trip on...and very steep bluffs! I wouldn't bring small children here. Too many opportunities for accidents for me, but we did see several families with their children walking the trails. I guess most people are braver than I am, lol. We walked part of the way to the bottom of the big falls. (I couldn't believe I was brave enough to take those stairs!) We turned back when it became necessary to climb over large rocks to continue down the trail. Very glad we visited this place. Will definitely return!

Visited November 2013
4 Thank Heather C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Harrisonburg Louisiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Absolutely awesom!!”
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

Able to see several magnificent falls. The hike was not at all bad. However. to walk (or should I say slide , if the ground is wet) to the bottom of the last and largest fall is an accomplishment but well worth the effort. Such a powerful fall!

Visited October 2013
3 Thank JeanE93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Level Contributor
126 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Love this place”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

A must see anytime of the year. The hike is a little on the strenuous side but the scenic waterfalls make up for the extra steps. I find the big falls to be a little disappointing but the middle falls make up for what is lacking. Well worth a few hours of your time to get back to nature.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Lockerbietwilde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crossville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2013

Best falls I have been to so far! Hike is definitely strenuous so bring good shoes! And a camera to capture the beauty that God has created here.. Loved it!

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Marissa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
146 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

My partner and I came to this park on a Sunday morning this fall looking for fall foliage. The park is off the beaten path, but well worth a visit.

The river hiking path is moderate and the view to the three falls is awesome. When you reach the big fall, you have the option of viewing it from a lookout or walking down to the bottom of it. Beware, the path to the bottom is extremely difficult since you have to climb 300 feet in 1/4 of a mile. The walk back up can be very difficult if you have mobility problems or a heart condition.

The park is clean, has restroom facilities and enough parking. Would definitely come back.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Rick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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