Cummins Falls State Park, Tennessee

IMG_3127rrWhile visiting family in Cookeville, Tennessee, my son-in-law, Taylor, offered to lead me on a hike to Cummins Falls. It was early and cold, so we had this popular trail to ourselves. IMG_3126rrDescending to the creek bed led us past beautiful bluffs followed by two wet creek crossings. IMG_3151rrWe passed massive boulders while approaching the roar of the falls. Notice the water level marked on Taylor’s pants. IMG_3166rr

IMG_3180rrI didn’t bring a tripod, but placing the camera on rocks along the creek provided stability for longer exposures. IMG_3196rrAfter enjoying Cummins Falls, we began the trek back downstream.

IMG_3207rr

Two hikers having fun with a wet crossing.

Most photos of Cummins Falls show swarms of people on the watery stair steps at the base. We saw only two hikers moving toward the falls as we were leaving. The parking lot was filling fast, so we were pleased we’d done this as an early morning hike.

The best benefit from hiking early was having more family time with this beautiful little fella after our hike. It won’t be long before Taylor and Anna have our first grandson on the trails!

Sam_blogpost

Little Taste of Tennessee

IMG_8910rr

Taylor taking in the view next to Falling Water River

On our first visit to my daughter and her husband’s new home in Cookeville, Tennessee, my son-in-law offered to take me on a short hike along Falling Water River.  I jumped at the chance, knowing the next day would be filled by a 500-mile drive back to the Ozarks.

IMG_8942rr

I liked the sound of the river’s name, and Taylor said waterfalls were on the menu. After a 20-minute drive, we were walking along the river’s edge wading out on the pitted Mississippian limestone shore.

IMG_8847rr

A “smaller” set of falls located upriver from Big Falls

The water flow was greater than I anticipated on this popular stretch of river. Several waterfalls were formed as the main riverbed eroded and fell away over time.

The trail comes to Big Falls Overlook before switching back down to the upper deck of Big Falls. Metal stairs leading to the base of the falls were closed due to past flood damage. My only regret on this beautiful day was that we didn’t have more time to explore. 

IMG_8916rr

Two of many hikers next to “Big Falls” on this sunny day.

IMG_8863rr

The appropriately named “Big Falls” where a powerhouse was once located down below.

IMG_8955rr

Fern growing in the moist rocky bluffs above the river.

Here’s a link to the Burgess Falls State Park Brochure

IMG_8952rr

One lost “soul” along the trail.