Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of Tennessee’s largest and most visited state parks. The park encompasses more than 26,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls within the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades.
The park is located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties, 11 miles east of Spencer and 18 miles west of Pikeville. It may be entered from Highway 111 or Highway 30.
In 1937, the federal government began purchasing the badly eroded land around Fall Creek Falls. The following year, the Works Project Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began restoring the forest and constructing park facilities. A few years later in 1944, the National Park Service transferred ownership of the park to the State of Tennessee.
Fall Creek Falls features 30 cabins and 222 campsites. Backcountry camping is also available with permit.
The park is home to a variety of activities suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities. Hikers can opt for short or long walks around the lake and to the base of Fall Creek Falls. There are two long-distance overnight trails for adventure-seeking visitors while the day-use trails are designed to accommodate recreational and educational activities for all ages. More than 56 miles of trails can be explored.
The Nature Center at Fall Creek Falls offers hands-on environmental education through a variety of naturalist-led programs. Additional programs include arts and crafts, movies, campfires, organized games, and live musical entertainment. In addition to individual and family environmental education, the park offers extensive programming geared to school groups. Since 1996, the Environmental Education Center has been educating and facilitating environmental education through the parks vast natural resources by offering a low cost, high quality overnight field trip for school groups. The park serves as an excellent outdoor classroom with programs designed to relate to your school's required curriculum.
Rock climbing at Fall Creek Falls State Park is by registration only. Registration is free and available at Park Headquarters in the Taft Village Area and online.
Aluminum jon boats may be rented year-round. Please bring your own trolling motor and battery. No privately owned, motorized boats or gasoline motors are allowed on the lake. Visitors may bring their own canoes and kayaks year-round. Paddleboats, kayaks and canoes are available for rent, April through October. Click “More Info” for complete details.
The Olympic-sized is open seven days a week. A children's wading pool, modern bathhouses and a snack bar are available. Lifeguards are on duty and the pool is ADA compliant.
There are over 56 miles of hiking trails around the park. Hikers can opt for short or long walks around the lake and to and from the base of Fall Creek Falls.
Fall Creek Falls has three mountain bike trails covering 24 miles. The park offers bike rentals at the Canopy Challenge Course near the pool and Park Office.
Fall Creek Lake (345 acre) provides catches of Largemouth Bass and is home to state record catches for Channel Catfish and Bluegill. Fishing is best in the spring and fall and is good from either a boat or the bank. Anglers enjoy bank and wade fishing in creeks throughout the park.
Fall Creek Falls is filled with deep gorges, dense and diverse woods, and bluff-top vistas, attracting awide array of bird life year-round. One hundred and forty species of birds have been observed throughout the year.
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to one of the most challenging 18-hole layouts carved out of the densely forested woodlands of the Cumberland Plateau.
The park has 222 campsites in five different areas. All sites have tables, grills, water, and electricity and are served by six bathhouses. 92 sites have sewer connections. Some sites will accommodate an RV up to 65 feet in length. Ice and firewood may be purchased year-round. Most campgrounds are accessible by persons with a disability.
The park also has 16 primitive sites, meaning they do not include water or electric hookups and are for tent camping only. Nine of the primitive sites are “walk-in” and are set back in the woods several hundred yards from the designated parking area. Reservations for walk-in sites are only available over the phone. The other seven primitive sites are “park-on” sites with parking adjacent to the actual campsite. These seven sites are located in Area C and are reservable online or over the phone.
Prepared food is available at The Village pool snack bar and FCF Golf Course Pro Shop. Groceries are sold at the camp store in The Village. A coin laundry facility, open year-round, is located in The Village by the Main Office and General Store. Fall Creek Falls t-shirts, caps and other souvenirs are available at our two gift shops; one is located at the park office and one located at the camper check-in building.
There are 16 back-country campsites located in four different areas along the overnight backpacking trails. For more information about these sites, please call the Nature Center at 423-881-5298 or click into the reservation section. From there, you can read specific details about each site. Reservations may be made online.
BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING - VIRGIN FALLS STATE NATURAL AREA
Now accepting on-line reservations. The distance to Virgin Falls is four miles one way. Please allow plenty of time to get to your campsite in the daylight. This is a strenuous hike. Campsites are primitive with no vehicular access or water or electric. Water is available from the Caney Fork River, except in drought times, but must be treated. There is no camping allowed above Virgin Falls. Please be sure to respect the resources, and to take out all waste brought in. If camping, please leave your campsite in as good as, or better shape than you found it.