Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of Tennessee’s largest and most visited state parks. The park encompasses more than 29,800 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 park’s 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. For more information visit Environmental Education Center or call the park office.
The Fall Creek Falls Golf Course is another popular attraction. The beautiful and challenging 18-hole golf course is one of the best courses in Tennessee. The park pro shop provides golfing supplies, lessons, rental clubs, and carts.
The Canopy Challenge Course at Fall Creek Falls includes over 75 wobbly bridges, rope swings, cargo nets, balance beams and zip lines of varying difficulty. Participants move through the aerial adventure course connected to a flexible lifeline system that uses smart-belay technology to ensure connectivity with overhead belay cables. More information is available here.
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. 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.
The park also has four playgrounds, five covered picnic pavilions and an Olympic-sized pool with a wading area that is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
For additional information about the services and amenities found in Spencer and the surrounding area visit the Van Buren County Chamber of Commerce website at https://vanburen-spencerchamber.com.
HOURS: All parks are open to the public seven days a week but the park office, museums, visitor centers and historic sites may be closed two days per week and their hours may vary. The hours for most parks are one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Contact the individual park for more information at www.tnstateparks.com/find-a-park.
LOCATION: GPS address: 10821 Park Road, Spencer, TN 38585 or, Mapquest by using: Park Road Spencer,TN 38585.
Source: Tennessee State Parks