The Noe Family
Sick and tired of being cooped up in the house because of COVID-19?
We found one of the BEST weekend getaways, less than 2 hours from Knoxville and plenty of room for social distancing!
I-40 W – All images are subject to copyright
390 Cummins Falls LN
Cookeville, TN. 38501
We chose to camp out for the weekend, near Cummins Falls State Park
and decided to stay at the Old Mill Campground.
The Old Mill Campground is directly across the street from the entrance to Cummins Falls State Park. (4801 Blackburn Fork Road, Cookeville, TN 38501)
Old Mill Campground
The campground was the perfect place to stay. Beautiful views, plenty of space for tent camping, the staff was very accommodating and you can hike from your tent to the Falls.
The campground was very kid friendly, they have a great playground, the facilities are close to the campsites and the general store even serves ice cream!
Our son, soaking up the sun after a long day.
If you decide to walk to the State Park from the campsite it’s about .5 miles to the parking lot. I recommend driving over to the parking lot, especially if you are bringing kids along. You will need this energy for the hike downstream. The road to the entrance is gravel and partially paved.
Entrance Sign to Cummins Falls State Park
Once you get to the entrance you will need to show your permit, right now Cummins Falls
State Park is charging $6.00+ taxes per person to enter. They are only allowing up to 150 people in the park per day. So make sure you pre-plan for your trip and reserve your permit online
Gravel road heading towards the downstream
The total hike
is approximately 2 miles, you will walk about .3 miles before the trail starts to descend.
Sign before the descent to the downstream
If you are only wanting to see the Falls and not actually wanting to complete the hike through the downstream you can stop at the overlook
, only a few minutes from the entrance.
I would rate this hike; moderate to difficult depending on your hiking experience. Some of the rocks, tree roots and water ways can be a challenge once the gravel road ends.
Entrance to the downstream
Once you get to the downstream gorge you can walk along the shore or in the water to the water falls. Walking along the shore isn’t available the entire hike to the falls but it can be helpful sometimes when the rocks get too challenging to climb over. It’s an amazing view and the water is so clear.
Trail Tip: Just make sure you have comfortable water shoes, you won’t want to do this in flip-flops.
Heading towards the water falls
Keep your eyes open for wildlife, it’s all around you during your hike. You will see birds, turtles and plenty of fish!
Great Blue Heron
is memorizing, the water falls are breathtaking, the swimming hole is a great place to cool off after your journey and I promise you wont be disappointed!
Walking towards the water falls
Trail Tip: Bring plenty of water
if you are planning on staying for a while.
The rock beach area is a great place to lounge.
Trail Tip: Life vest
are available at the front entrance and the gorge area. They are required for kids under the age of 12.
I would rate the trip to Cummins Falls a 2 for little ones. Due to the water isn’t safe for kids to swim under the age of 12 without a life vest, the trail is rough with rocks and tree roots and the water can rise suddenly if there is rain.