Cummins Falls State Park is Tennessee’s newest addition to the state’s gorgeous natural area preserves. Cummins Falls has been a local favorite to the Cookeville area for years, so I’m told; but it officially opened up to the public this past Wednesday. Today was the first time David and I hiked out there and we had a blast!
This 211-acre park is located at 1225 Cummins Mill Road, Cookeville, TN 38501. The hours of operation are from 8:00am CT until sunset, year-round. The waterfall is part of the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River and drops 75 feet (Cordell Hull Watershed). A word of caution for anyone interested in hiking at this park: as it is a newly acquired property, the trails are very rustic. If you follow the trail to the bottom, be prepared to walk through the river and over a lot of boulders and rocks.
David’s sharp eyes were constantly scanning these rocks for fossils. He found several really nice ones. (Take only photos; leave only footprints behind.)
As always when I hike, I’m looking for anything that catches my eye. The above Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail allowed me to get very close for a photo as did the crayfish in the photo below. I did have to chase the crayfish for a few minutes, though, before it finally settled down enough to allow me a good photo opportunity.
The water is pretty shallow out there, but it’s perfect for swimming. After the hike down, a nice cool swim is a wonderful reward, especially on a day as hot as today! David was brave enough to stand under the main falls. He said, “It felt like 30 big guys pounding on me!” I didn’t want to lose my bikini, so I was content just swimming around.
Instead of hiking back the way we came, we decided to climb straight up the side of the bluff using the rope guides. Even with my fear of heights, can I just say, that was so much fun! The couple behind us made my day. I hope when I am 72 years old I can still climb up the side of cliff like that! Fantastic! It was truly a great day and look forward to many more trips out to Cummins Falls.
For more information about Cummins Fall State Park visit ~ Tennessee State Parks: Cummins Fall State Park.
The local newspaper, the Herald Citizen has an excellent write up about the park here: Herald Citizen – Cummins Falls a state park by Megan Trotter