Burgess Falls

Burgess Falls in Tennessee

Burgess Falls State Natural Area TN – South of Cookeville

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of the Burgess Falls State Natural Area in Tennessee, Burgess Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers visitors a serene escape into nature. Located south of the charming town of Cookeville, this stunning waterfall is surrounded by lush forests, rugged terrain, and the soothing sounds of cascading water. A must-visit destination for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers, Burgess Falls provides a perfect backdrop for adventure and relaxation. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about visiting Burgess Falls, including how to get there, what to expect, and tips for making the most of your adventure.

Introduction to Burgess Falls

Burgess Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tennessee, featuring a dramatic 136-foot drop into a deep gorge. The falls are part of the larger Burgess Falls State Natural Area, a 350-acre park known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and diverse flora and fauna. The area around Burgess Falls is perfect for relaxation, exploration, and photography, offering spectacular views and a peaceful atmosphere. The tranquil environment, combined with the dramatic surroundings, makes it an ideal destination for a memorable day out in nature.

Getting to Burgess Falls

By Car

  • Location: Burgess Falls is located within the Burgess Falls State Natural Area, south of Cookeville, TN.
  • Directions: From Cookeville, take US-70 South for approximately 7 miles. Turn right onto TN-135 South (Burgess Falls Road) and continue for about 4 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your left.
  • Parking: There is a designated parking area at the Burgess Falls State Natural Area. Parking is free, but it can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons, so arriving early is advisable.

Admission and Hours

  • Admission: There are no fees or passes required to visit Burgess Falls.
  • Hours: The park is accessible year-round from 8:00 AM to sunset, but the best time to visit Burgess Falls is during the spring and early summer months when the water flow is strongest due to seasonal rainfall.

Exploring Burgess Falls

Burgess Falls offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some highlights:

The River Trail and Service Road Loop

  • Description: The trail to Burgess Falls is a moderately easy hike that takes you through scenic woodlands along the Falling Water River. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles round trip and is well-marked and maintained, making it accessible for visitors of all ages and abilities.
  • Highlights: The trail meanders through a beautiful forest, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the cascading water. Interpretive signs along the trail provide information about the local flora and fauna, enhancing your hiking experience.

The Waterfalls

  • Description: Burgess Falls features a series of three waterfalls, with the largest being a dramatic 136-foot drop into a deep gorge. The viewing platforms at each waterfall offer perfect spots for photography and relaxation.
  • Highlights: The viewing areas around the falls offer excellent vantage points for photography and sightseeing. The sound of the cascading water and the peaceful surroundings create a calming atmosphere perfect for unwinding.

The Overlook Trail

  • Description: For those seeking a different perspective, the Overlook Trail provides stunning views of the main waterfall and the gorge below. This trail is shorter but offers dramatic overlooks that are perfect for capturing breathtaking photos.
  • Highlights: The trail offers a bird’s-eye view of Burgess Falls and the surrounding area. The overlook platforms are ideal for photography and offer a unique vantage point of the falls.


  • Description: The area around Burgess Falls offers several spots perfect for a relaxing picnic. Enjoy a meal surrounded by the sounds of nature and the beautiful scenery.
  • Highlights: Pack a picnic and take advantage of the serene environment. There are picnic tables and grassy areas where you can sit and enjoy your meal while taking in the views of the falls. Be sure to pack out all trash to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Tips for Visiting Burgess Falls

  • Timing: The best time to visit is during the spring and early summer when the water flow is strongest. Early mornings and weekdays are less crowded.
  • Footwear: Wear comfortable walking shoes or sandals, especially if you plan to explore the area around the falls.
  • Safety: Stay on the designated paths and be cautious around the waterfall. The rocks near the falls can be slippery.
  • Hydration: Bring plenty of water, especially if you plan to hike and explore the area for an extended period.
  • Leave No Trace: Help preserve the natural beauty of Burgess Falls by carrying out all trash and respecting the environment.

Exploring Nearby Attractions

While visiting Burgess Falls, consider exploring other attractions in the Burgess Falls State Natural Area and the surrounding region:

  • Cane Creek Falls: Another beautiful waterfall located nearby, offering more opportunities for hiking and photography.
  • Cummins Falls State Park: A popular park featuring a stunning waterfall and swimming hole, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day.
  • Window Cliffs State Natural Area: A unique geological formation offering scenic hiking trails and stunning views.
  • Center Hill Lake: A nearby lake offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking.
  • Historic Downtown Cookeville: Explore the charming shops, restaurants, and attractions in downtown Cookeville, and learn about the town’s rich history.


Burgess Falls in the Burgess Falls State Natural Area, located south of Cookeville, TN, is a majestic and serene destination that showcases the natural beauty and tranquility of the Tennessee wilderness. Whether you’re capturing stunning photographs of the dramatic waterfall, exploring the scenic trails, or enjoying a peaceful picnic by the water, Burgess Falls offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Burgess Falls.

Accommodations for Burgess Falls are available in the following communities:
Light rain
H: 71°F L: 67°F



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