Tennessee Waterfalls (USA)

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Tennesse Waterfalls dot the Volunteer state with a variety and quality rivaling other states we've been to that claim to possess more waterfalls or have more famous ones. To give you an idea of the waterfalling variety we were exposed to, our waterfalling excursions were combined with arch hunting, caving, and even swimming holes. On top of that, we were even able to combine our waterfall sightings with Fall Colors! To mix things up further, we also checked out the country music and blue grass scene at Music Row in Nashville as well as get some surprisingly good Southern fusion food in large towns like Cookeville and Chattanooga.

To make the waterfalls that we've surveyed in the state a bit more manageable, we're grouping the waterfalls into two subregions essentially dividing the state along the I-40 between Nashville, Cookeville, and Knoxville. We're calling these subregions Northeast Tennessee and Southeast Tennessee.

Northeast Tennessee pretty much contain all the waterfalls that we've visited immediately around the I-40 corridor as well as north of it. This includes Cumberland Mountain State Park as well as parts of the Big South Fork National River and National Recreation Area. It was in this subregion that we were able to mix an arch hunting excursion and some pre-Civil War history with a waterfall at Slave Falls. We were also able to see one of the more unusually-shaped waterfalls at Burgess Falls.

Bald River Falls Southeast Tennessee was pretty much everything else not covered by the other subregion. It went as far north as Falls Creek Falls State Park, which included one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls east of the Mississippi River in the namesake Falls Creek Falls. It also included one of the rare waterfalling excursions where we were able to visit an underground waterfall after some extensive caving at Ruby Falls. And although we weren't looking for a place to go swimming, we even visited a waterfall happened to be one of the state's most revered swimming holes (even though it wasn't easy to access) at Cummins Falls.

We always figured there was much more than the preconceptions we had of the state, which largely consisted of media-fed oversimplifications like its sports scene (e.g. the Lady Vols, Peyton Manning, and the Titans with their Music City Miracle and Super Bowl run) and the classic hip-hop song from Arrested Development titled Tennessee. So waterfalling here certainly helped us to pierce through our narrow and misguided pre-conceptions allowing us to better appreciate the essence of the Volunteer state.

In fact, we were so impressed with some of the waterfalls in this state that they even cracked our Top 10 Best of the USA Waterfalls List. Some of them even cracked our Top 10 Best Waterfalls for Fall Colors List. Find out which ones made them!

Moreover, we still have unfinished business regarding the variety of waterfalls we pursued in the state. This was especially the case with Lost Creek Falls, which we didn't get to visit, or Cane Creek Falls where I was talked out of doing the Cable Trail.

So check out the waterfalls below and see for yourself why we looked upon the waterfalls in Tennessee so favorably!

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To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.

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Northeast Tennessee

Burgess Falls 4 Burgess Falls
near Cookeville

Cummins Falls 2.5 Cummins Falls
near Cookeville

Ozone Falls 2.5 Ozone Falls
Cumberland Mountain State Park

Upper Piney Falls 2 Upper Piney Falls
Cumberland Mountain State Park

Slave Falls 1 Slave Falls
Big South Fork National Recreation Area

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Southeast Tennessee

Ruby Falls 4 Ruby Falls
Chattanooga / Lookout Mountain

Falls Creek Falls 3 Falls Creek Falls
Pikeville / Falls Creek Falls State Resort Park

Cane Creek Falls 2.5 Cane Creek Falls, Rockhouse Creek Falls, Cane Creek Cascade
Falls Creek Falls State Resort Park

Piney Creek Falls 1.5 Piney Creek Falls
Falls Creek Falls State Resort Park

Bald River Falls 2.5 Bald River Falls
Cherokee National Forest

Foster Falls 2.5 Foster Falls
South Cumberland State Park

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