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Burgess Falls State Park

4000 Burgess Falls Dr, Sparta, TN 38583-8456
+1 931-432-5312
Review Highlights
Awesome waterfall!

Three of us hiked to three different waterfalls at the state park. Moderate trails. Falls were... read more

Reviewed yesterday
marj h
West Bend, Wisconsin

We happened up on this by chance! WHAT A FIND! The hike along the river was beautiful! THere are so... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Lucasville, Ohio
Read all 274 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent75%
  • Very good20%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“service road” (12 reviews)
“burgess falls” (55 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
4000 Burgess Falls Dr, Sparta, TN 38583-8456
+1 931-432-5312
Write a Review
Reviews (274)
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1 - 10 of 274 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Three of us hiked to three different waterfalls at the state park. Moderate trails. Falls were really nice;wish the stairs would have made it accessible to get next to the falls for views-hopefully they will repair and reopen.

Thank marj h
Reviewed 6 days ago

We happened up on this by chance! WHAT A FIND! The hike along the river was beautiful! THere are so many picture perfect places. You truly cant appreciate the magnitude of the falls until youre there! A perfect way to spend a hot summer afternoon!...More

Thank angelaG7929NA
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is an amazing sight to see in Tennessee! It's a fairly short hike with many different views of various falls and rapids. The big falls which are the farthest point on the trail not only have an amazing view of the water, you also...More

Thank Stephen R
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

These are huge falls and not much walking required to see them! There are several trails, and although the lookout was damaged and closed the trail was very nice! A bit rocky and a huge flight of stairs at the end for the lookout. But...More

Thank dobbydoo
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I count on this forum for truth and I read that the staircase to get down to the base was fixed and opened. WELL it is not and there is no plans to fix it. I planned my trip from Florida around this Waterfall Stop...More

3  Thank mpeacock_10
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This is a must see! Amazing falls. So tranquil and calming. The steps are a little stretched out so come prepared with good hiking shoes. We were able to hike to the falls, enjoy the scenery in a short time. A great day trip.

Thank Tina B
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

enjoyed our pre dinner walk through the park with family. parking free n easy, gentle sort of hike through beautiful country. waterfalls impressive would return

Thank r s
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Hiking, grilling, waterfalls .... nature! Worth the stop if you are in the area or passing through. Off HWY 111 south of Cookeville, north end of Sparta

Thank 685carriea
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This was a great hike to a beautiful set of waterfalls! It was far less crowded here than at Cummins Falls so that was great. You can't swim here so I'm sure that helped with it being less crowded. It was a great hike, make...More

Thank Kmlkv
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Was there for my grandsons wedding it was beauitful there so tranquil and quite walking trails and breath taking water fall the only thing I did not like was the winding road coming there on hwy 30 ☹️ Very stress full for me anyway got...More

Thank Theresa G
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Erica J
Is swimming allowed
11 September 2016|
Answer Show all 5 answers
Response from Joy W | Reviewed this property |
No don't think so, but I hear you can swim at Cummins Falls. Havent been there myself yet since it became a state park. Obviously its a bit chilly now to swim.
Chris J
Planning to take some fall colors photos of the waterfalls at Burgess State Park but see the main falls walkway is closed for repairs. Any chance they will be open by the middle of October 2016? Can you find any other way to get to where you can take a nice photo of the main falls?
22 July 2016|
Answer Show all 11 answers
Response from veronica J | Reviewed this property |
U can take pictures from the top of the falls but you can't get down to them right now. Not sure when this will change. But the top view is beautiful as well.
Want to come but want to wait till all repairs are done. When will parts be reopened to the public? Amanda Hale
5 September 2015|
Response from mpeacock_10 | Reviewed this property |
As of July the repairs are still not complete with no sign of interest in making the repairs.