Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls State Park is a premier Tennessee treasure located in Jackson County, just nine miles north of Cookeville. Its 211 acres of forest surround a layered waterfall area—a great place to cool off in the Tennessee summer heat. In 2011, TennGreen partnered with state agencies, nonprofits, and local businesses to purchase the Cummins Falls tract, which would become Tennessee’s 54th state park. Recreational opportunities include fishing, hiking, and picnicking; however, check online for water level alerts. If the water level is too high, the gorge and falls area may be closed to hiking and swimming.
Our Conservation Story
In 1790, Benjamin Blackburn—the man for whom Blackburn’s Fork is named—obtained the Cummins Falls tract and surrounding area totaling 640 acres by cashing in a voucher for his service in battle against the Chickamauga a few years earlier. In 1825, Blackburn sold the land to John Cummins, a Scottish mill-builder who during the Civil War used the mill to make gun stocks for Confederate soldiers. The Cummins family maintained possession of the land until TennGreen and its partners purchased 186 of the 211 acres in 2011 at auction in lieu of a proposed housing development. The remaining 25 acres were purchased separately.
Cummins Falls contains 1.5 miles of river frontage on the Blackburn Fork Scenic River and a 75-foot waterfall, the eighth largest in Tennessee. Protecting these scenic river corridors are a priority for TennGreen, since Tennessee’s aquatic ecosystems contain some of the richest biodiversity on the planet. Additionally, Cummins Falls has been named one of the top ten best swimming holes in America by Travel+Leisure magazine.
A Note of Caution and Awareness!
The hike down to the river gorge and swimming area is on an unimproved trail and includes several water crossings and boulders. Bring a sturdy pair of water shoes as flip flops are not advised. The adventurous hike to the gorge is not ideal for small children. Pack a snack for the bottom of the falls but leave your lunch cooler and pool floats at the car.
390 Cummins Falls Lane
Cookeville, Tennessee 38501
Lat: 36.252971, Long: -85.565807
Take I-40 to Exit 280, then take TN-56 N toward Gainesboro for eight miles. Turn right onto TN-290, then left onto Cummins Mill Rd. Take a left at the sign onto Blackburn Fork Rd and the entrance is the first gat on the left.