One of the many benefits of living in the great state of Tennessee is the ability to easily explore a number of natural wonders. We all love the hustle and bustle of the consistently congested streets of Nashville, but sometimes escaping the city lights is the perfect medicine for reviving your lust for life. As Nashvillians we’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy the benefits of city life while also having great outdoor adventures within driving distance. One of the many options we have is to visit the several waterfalls in the region and one of the local favorites is called Cummins Falls.
Never been? Now is the time to plan your trip! Here are the 5 things you need to know before you go:
1. Arrive Early – Cummins Falls State Park is located about an hour and a half from Nashville, near Cookeville, TN. The park’s hours are about 30 minutes before sunrise to 3o minutes after sunset, which means longer hours in the summertime! Cummins Falls is one of the most popular waterfall destinations in the state, so make sure to arrive early to get a good spot on the rocks near the main waterfall. Yes, rocks. There’s no sandy beach, so don’t expect to dig your toes in the sand, rather spread out anywhere you can find a spot to lay your towel.
2. Remember the 3 S’s: Sunscreen, Swimsuits, & Snacks – Treat this like an all-day activity. Don’t be heading out there unprepared! Make sure to wear your swimsuit under some comfortable hiking clothes, bring extra SPF, and sustenance to reenergize while you explore the falls.
3. Pack Portable: Bring a backpack! Don’t be trying to carry ten bags out to the falls with you. The hike isn’t incredibly hard, but it’s not super easy either. Getting down to the falls requires some elevation change, navigating fallen trees and rocks, and walking in the water. NOTE: There is NO way to avoid the water on the way to the falls! Which brings us to the next point…
4. Bring Water Shoes: You cannot avoid the water on the way to the falls, this is not a beach day, so wear or bring water shoes or old gym shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. You WILL get in the water before you reach the falls, so just go with it and enjoy it.
5. Be Adventurous: Make a day of it when you go to Cummins Falls and immerse yourself in it. Cell service is not great, so just put the phone away once you take your obligatory pictures because you won’t be able to post them immediately anyway. Get in the water, climb up the falls, bring friends and enjoy yourself. Take yourself out of the city for the day and enjoy the fact that we’ve got such amazing outdoor adventures around us.
For more information on Cummins Falls go to the Explore Like a Native page!
Bottom Photo by Hannah Coad