On the eastern top of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, sits the 20,000 acre paradise of Fall Creek Falls State Park. It is one of the most spectacular scenic outdoor recreation facilities in the country. It features a magnificent panoramic landscape which includes forests of rugged hardwood timber, streams, waterfalls, gorges, and beautiful and intriguing cascades. Here, a person can fully experience nature at her finest.
Fall Creek Falls State Park is located in Van Buren and Bledsoe counties, approximately ten miles east of Spencer, and about twenty miles west of Pikeville. There are entrances to the park on both Highway 30 and Highway 111. The natural, scenic setting, as well as the park’s vast array of amenities, are just a few of the reasons that readers of Southern Living magazine voted Fall Creek Falls State Park the best park in the entire Southeastern United States.
Waterfalls and Cascades
The park is home to multiple waterfalls including Fall Creek Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the eastern half of the country. At over 250 feet high, it is an impressive and majestic sight that visitors will not soon forget. Among the other waterfalls enjoyed by outdoor lovers each year are the Cane Creek Cascades, the Cane Creek Falls, and the Piney Falls.
Forests and Hiking
Most of the park features oak and hickory forests, however, hemlock and tulip poplar trees can be seen throughout the gorges. Fall Creek Falls State Park offers hiking enthusiasts 34 miles of trails on which they can hike to their hearts content. Hikers can choose lengthy or short walks around the lake, or opt to try one of the two overnight, long distance trails. The daytime trails were created with educational and recreational activities in mind, including leisure walking, fitness walking, and simple hiking. Many patrons of the park choose to explore its fascinating geological features while hiking.
Boating and Fishing
The park provides year round fishing boat rentals, however, private boats and gasoline boats are prohibited. Canoes, as well as paddle boats, can be rented from April to October, although folks must bring their own trolling motors and batteries.
Those who choose to fish must acquire a Tennessee license and park permit. Fishing is a worthwhile endeavor at the park, as the lake features 345 acres, and is home to two record breaking catches: Bream and Channel Catfish. Large-mouth bass can also be found in the lake in abundance for those who prefer this type of fishing. Creek side fishing is allowed, as well, and many find this a relaxing way to make a catch.
Events and Programs
Annual events attract people to Fall Creek Falls State Park on a year-round basis. With the first weekend in April comes the yearly Wildflower Pilgrimage, while Labor Day weekend is host to the Mountaineer Folk Festival. Events and festivals exist throughout the year that are sure to please almost anyone.
The park’s golf course has been featured three times in Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Public Places to Play.” It has been named one of the top 25 courses in the United States. It is a 6,600 yard course that offers a challenging and attractive place to play. Those who want to brush up on their skills may wish to visit the park’s practice green or driving range.
For the biking enthusiast, 15 miles of moderately difficult paved bike trails are offered throughout the parks scenic mountains. However, mountain bikes are prohibited on hiking trails. Bicycles can be rented during the summer months, however, these are provided on a first come first serve basis.
Conference Center and Meeting Rooms
Fall Creek Falls State Park’s Inn and Conference Center provides over 5000 square feet of banquet and conference space throughout five generous meeting rooms. Each of these rooms can comfortably hold up to 400 adults. Catering and banquet services are available, as well, for a reasonable fee.
In addition to the aforementioned amenities, the park features an Olympic size swimming pool as well as a vast array of both covered and uncovered picnic areas. The park is open 24 hours, however, the road to the falls is locked after dark.
Further information can be obtained by calling 423-881-5298