Cummins Falls is a gorgeous natural waterfall in NE Tennessee. It is a beautiful place to hike and enjoy the peaceful sound of the flowing walls over the rock wall and falling to the plunge pool below. Hike to the overlook or down to the plunge pool to enjoy the cool mountain water.

Cummins Falls

 

Cummins Falls – The History

 

Cummins Falls was a place where the buffalo would roam. The Native Americans that called this area home would track them to the shores of the river where they would gather in the shallows to get relief from the heat wallowing there. 

The American Revolution raged in America but this hidden treasure lay unnoticed. After the war was over Sergeant Blackburn was awarded this land in a land grant as payment instead of pension for his service in the war in the 1790s.

Photo of the trail sign at Cummins Falls in Tennessee by rosevinecottagegirls.com

The land was later acquired by a man with a vision. In 1825, John Cummins bought the property dreaming of using the powerful river and building a mill there and attracting customers starting to move to the area. So along the Blackburn River he built a small mill. The demand was so high for his services that in 1845 he built a second larger mill and business was good.

Photo of the trail in the fall to Cummins Falls in Tennessee by Rosevinecottagegirls.com

In February 27, 1928, the temperatures in Tennessee dipped down low and snow began to fall. It kept falling until the snow was deep and heavy upon the ground. The residents woke up the next morning to snow over three feet deep on the ground and deeper in drifts.  Those who were not prepared struggled in this unheard-of amount of snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo is looking up at a gray sky and tree trunk and branches that has lost most of its leaves from the changing of seasons to autumn at Cummins Falls by rosevinecottagegirls.com article.
 

In true Tennesse fashion, a few days later the weather began to warm and very heavy rain began to fall and melted the deep snow making matters worse. 

 

Photo of the Cummins Falls State Park train in the autumn. The land has the autumn leaves all on the ground and the bare trees line the path. A woman walks away down the path before the camera by the roseinecottagegirls.com in the Cummins Falls article
 

What came next was what they would call the “worst flooding in history”. Tennessee saw massive flooding that tore out railroad lines, swept away homes and livelihoods.

 

A couple walks down the Cummins Falls State Park pathway in the fall with bare trees around them and fallen leaves across the ground. It is by the rosevinecottagegirls.com and the article on Cummins Falls.
 

A troop of boy scouts in a nearby town that were camping at a cabin for the weekend were trapped on the roof of their cabin and swept down stream. The cabin split into three pieces sending the boys into the roiling waters. Some boys were rescued and others perished in the flood. 

 

Photo from above of the Cummins Falls in Tennessee showing the white water falling like a bridal veil over the rocky stairstep layers of limestone making a beautiful serene scene below and falling into a pool at the bottom of the falls. The photo is by rosevinecottagegirls.com in their article about Cummins Falls. People can be seen at the edges of the water enjoying the falls.
 

The Cummins Falls mills were both washed away in the flood of 1929 and were never rebuilt again. This land remained in the same family for 180 years until efforts by the Parks and Recreation services succeeded in getting the land.

 

A portrait aspect photo from above of the Cummins Falls in Tennessee showing the white water falling like a bridal veil over the rocky stairstep layers of limestone making a beautiful serene scene below and falling into a pool at the bottom of the falls. The photo is by rosevinecottagegirls.com in their article about Cummins Falls. People can be seen at the edges of the water enjoying the falls.
 

Cummins Falls – A Hidden Treasure

 

Cummins Falls is a beautiful waterfall along the Blackburn Fork River located in southern Jackson County in the state of Tennessee. Cummins Falls are about 30 minutes from Burgess Falls so you should plan to see both of them while you are there. Cummins Falls is the eighth- largest waterfall in the state of Tennessee. 

Photo from above of the Cummins Falls in Tennessee showing the white water falling like a veil over the black rocky stairstep layers of limestone making a beautiful serene scene below and falling into a pool at the bottom of the falls. The photo is by rosevinecottagegirls.com in their article about Cummins Falls.
 

Cummins falls is nestled into a gorgeous 306 acre rugged state park that is nestled deep into the woods. There are two trails that will take you to the base of the waterfall in the plunge pool.  Both trails are unimproved trails and are rugged the trails are 1 mile and just over a mile long.

A landscape photograph from the cliffs above of the Cummins Falls in Tennessee showing the white water falling like a bridal veil over the rocky stairstep layers of limestone falling into a pool at the bottom of the falls. The photo is by rosevinecottagegirls.com in their article about Cummins Falls. People can be seen at the edges of the water enjoying the falls.
 

Since we visited they say that no one under five should go down to the gorge below and warn that flash flooding can and does occur at the falls with little notice when there are rain showers up the watershed leading to dangerous conditions at the falls. Children over five need to wear approved live jackets at all times when they are there. 

 

The waterfall Cummins Falls in NE Tennessee shows white water falling from dark black rocks and landing below in a series of cascades from limestone shelves flattening out into a flat area and then going down another series of cascading shelves and into the river below. Photo by the rosevinecottagegirls.com from their article about Cummins Falls
 

The hike is rocky, can be slippery, and requires wading 

There is no camping at Cummins Falls allowed but they do have a hiking area at Standing Stone State Park and Edgar Evans State Park which are 40 and 35 minutes from the Cummins Falls area. There is also Old Mill Park that allows camping in tents and RV’s and is across from the entry to the Cummins Falls Park.

The waterfall Cummins Falls in NE Tennessee shows white water falling from dark black rocks and landing below in a series of cascades from limestone shelves flattening out into a flat area and then going down another series of cascading shelves and into the river below. Photo by the rosevinecottagegirls.com from their article about Cummins Falls
 

Our Trip To Cummins Falls

 

We’ve had an unseasonably warm December so we decided to go hiking to Cummins Falls, one of the many waterfalls near us in Tennessee.  The air was warm and the leaves on the trees had fallen up there in the mountains but it was still a beautiful hike. We left the car and locked it up taking our water bottles with us and began our way. The birds were singing their chorus around us and the breeze blowing softly in our faces. We headed off down the trail to see the beautiful Cummins Falls. 

 

photograph of the Cummins falls being carved out of the stone by the river. Trees surround the river and have lost their leaves from the change from summer heat to autumn's chill up in the mountains of East Tennessee. This shows the upper falls but does not show the lower cascades of the Cummins Falls. by RosevineCottagegirls.com in their article about Cummins Falls Tn
 

It was off-season so we had the park to ourselves. The peace of the place settled on us and you can just feel the tension of life begin to melt away. 

 

The waterfall Cummins Falls in NE Tennessee shows white water falling from dark black rocks and landing below in a series of cascades from limestone shelves flattening out into a flat area and then going down another series of cascading shelves and into the river below. Photo by the rosevinecottagegirls.com from their article about Cummins Falls
 

We didn’t hike all the way down to the falls because it involves wading in thigh-deep water and we thought it was just a bit too cool for that.

The waterfall Cummins Falls in NE Tennessee shows white water falling from dark black rocks and landing below in a series of cascades from limestone shelves flattening out into a flat area and then going down another series of cascading shelves and into the river below. Photo by the rosevinecottagegirls.com from their article about Cummins Falls

 

 

 

 

We returned years later in the summer. There were so many people there that it was not as peaceful.  We hiked all the way down to the plunge pool and brought our border collies Faith and Charlotte with us. It was was not a very difficult hike but it is not flat ground to be sure. I would say it was medium level in difficulty. There are areas in the hike that you have to wade through water to get there. The water in those places was calf to ankle-deep. Once we got to the pool it was deeper. I went in about waist deep but I had a nice camera so I didn’t go in any deeper.  There are designated picnic areas that are above and not in the plunge pool areas.If you like this post check out our trip to Fall Creek Falls State Park here

 
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