Burgess Falls

During your Fall Creek Falls vacation you may want to take a day to visit nearby Burgess Falls. Located in Sparta, Tennessee, Burgess Falls State Natural Area is a nature enthusiast’s playground! Hosting one of the largest waterfalls in Tennessee, this natural area is well worth the visit.

Burgess Falls is located on the Falling Water River which also creates Fall Creek Falls, the largest waterfall in the state. Visitors to Burgess Falls can easily access the 132 foot fall from one of two foot trails in the park, the one and half mile Scenic Loop, or the one mile Ridge Top Trail.

A metal staircase, just a short walk from the main trail, is located along the side of the waterfall and hikers can use it to climb to the bottom of the fall. It should be noted that the descent to the bottom of the falls also includes slippery rocks which are home to snakes, and that the hike from the bottom of the falls back to the trails is very strenuous. Along the hiking paths are four other falls ranging from twenty to eighty feet.

Things to Do

Other activities popular at the Natural Area are butterfly and bird watching. Tours are available for those wishing to learn more about native bird species or visitors can enjoy the award winning butterfly garden. Organized programs such as nature hikes and butterfly identification classes are available all year.

Fishing beneath the falls is quite popular and the Falling Water River is home to several breeds of fish including both small and large mouth bass and bream. Boating is not recommended and is only allowed above the dam with trolling motors only. Hot summer days can be enjoyed at the park’s swimming hole.

Restrooms, picnic tables and a playground are also available for visitors’ convenience and enjoyment. Anyone wanting to visit Tennessee’s beautiful and majestic waterfalls, whether it be Burgess Falls, Fall Creek Falls or any number of others, need only spend a day or weekend exploring the Falling Water River, a true natural wonder!

Burgess Falls State Park

4000 Burgess Falls Drive

Sparta , TN 38583-8456


Burgess Falls Facts

LocationSparta, Tennessee, USA
Park NameBurgess Falls State Park
RiverFalling Water River
Major FeaturesSeries of waterfalls culminating in the main Burgess Falls
Height of Main FallsApproximately 136 feet (41 meters)
Trail LengthAbout 1.5 miles round trip, leading to the main waterfall
Park SizeApproximately 350 acres
ActivitiesHiking, photography, picnicking, fishing, bird watching
AccessibilityThe main trail to view the falls is not wheelchair accessible due to steep and uneven terrain
Best Time to VisitLate spring through early fall for fuller water flow; beautiful in all seasons
Unique FeatureThe park is home to multiple waterfalls, including smaller cascades leading to the main falls
WildlifeVariety of birds, amphibians, and typical forest wildlife
Nearby AttractionsWindow Cliffs State Natural Area, Center Hill Lake, Cookeville, TN
ManagementTennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

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