Cane Creek Falls

Cane Creek Falls is located within Fall Creek Falls State Park. It is one of the six large Fall Creek waterfalls, which are some of the most impressive waterfalls in the East. The Falls have an 85’ drop into a deep plunge pool. While not the tallest of the falls, it is the largest by water volume of all the Fall Creek waterfalls.The pool at the bottom is deep enough for a great swim.

Cane Creek Falls is easily visible from overlooks and trails. The easiest view can be obtained on an overlook just right of the entrance to the nature center. It is a short easy walk, but has a couple of steps so may not be wheelchair accessible. The Gorge Trail, with a spur for extra views, runs from the nature center to Fall Creek Falls.


The 5-mile Paw Paw Trail has an overlook about halfway through, marked by a sign that says “Cane Creek Falls Overlook”. Leafy trees may partially block the view, but following a spur off the Paw Paw Trail offers a clearer, more beautiful perspective. However, this trail isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is a short hike. The Cable Trail, is so called because it is lined with cables to assist walkers, leads hikers to the base of the falls. The 45-degree trail features loose rocks, very steep areas, and sections requiring some climbing.

Cane Creek is responsible for carving the Cane Creek Gorge, currently protected by the 22,000 acre Fall Creek Falls State Park. The gorge possibly harbors some of the last uninfested Carolina and Eastern hemlocks, spared from the hemlock wooly adelgid. There is no admission charge to enter Fall Creek Falls State Park, and there is ample camping and amenities. However, permits are required to use the long distance backpacking trails.

cane creek waterfall

Cane Creek Cascades

The Hike to Cane Creek Falls

The hike to Cane Creek Falls in Fall Creek Falls State Park is a straightforward yet rewarding experience. Starting at the nature center, hikers find the well-marked and relatively easy-to-navigate trail leading to the falls. The trail features varied terrain with rocky areas needing cautious footing.

A key feature of this hike is the Suspension Bridge. This sturdy bridge provides a unique vantage point over Cane Creek, perfect for taking in the surrounding forest scenery. After crossing the bridge, the trail continues to the main attraction, Cane Creek Falls. The falls showcase nature’s beauty and power, particularly majestic after rain with peak water flow.

The viewing area near the falls provides a great opportunity for photos or peaceful enjoymentof the sound of the water. The Cane Creek Falls hike is a manageable, enjoyable exploration of Fall Creek Falls State Park’s natural beauty.

cane creek waterfall cable trail
Cable Trail Bridge

Trail Data

Trail NameCane Creek Falls Trail
LocationFall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
Trail TypeOut-and-back
DistanceApproximately 1.5 miles round trip
Difficulty LevelModerate
Elevation GainApproximately 200 feet
Approximate Duration1 to 1.5 hours
Trailhead LocationNear the Nature Center
FeaturesSuspension Bridge, Waterfall View
SurfaceNatural, includes rocky and uneven sections
AccessibilityNot wheelchair accessible; not stroller friendly
Dogs AllowedYes (on leash)
Best Time to VisitSpring through Fall
FacilitiesRestrooms and parking available at trailhead
Cell Phone ReceptionVariable
Permits/FeesNone required for hiking

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Falls

  1. When is the ideal time to visit?
    • Spring through fall offers optimal conditions for exploring the trails and enjoying the water flow.
  2. What should I expect on the hike?
    • The trail is moderate, stretching 1.5 miles with rocky and steep areas, demanding careful navigation.
  3. Is there a fee to enter the park?
    • Access to the park and its attractions, including the falls, is free of charge.
  4. Can I bring my pet?
    • Yes, you can bring pets, but they must stay on a leash.
  5. Is swimming allowed in the pool below the falls?
    • Due to safety concerns, swimming in the plunge pool is not recommended.
  6. Are the trails wheelchair accessible?
    • The natural terrain and elevation changes make the trails unsuitable for wheelchairs.

Remember, trail conditions and accessibility can vary based on weather and maintenance. Check the park’s official website or contact the park directly for the most current information before planning your hike.

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