Cummins Falls - Tennessee

Cummins Falls is a spectacular swimming hole and water fall located around an hour and a half outside of Nashville and 9 miles north of Cookesville. Cummins Falls is the perfect day trip to enjoy the natural beauty of Tennessee and cool off on a hot summers day.  Only negative is that the park is open until 6pm during summer...and the park rangers will kick you out!

Open green country roads lead you to the Cordell Hull Watershed on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River from the I-40.  My brother and his girlfriend had never seen the country before so the one lane road through the backwoods while blasting Top 40 country music radio was a humorous and unique experience with in itself.  

From which ever direction on the I - 40 exit on TN - 56.  The highway has many signs for Cummins Falls and it is hard to get lost. 

Upon arriving into the park,  I was surprised to see a large dirt parking lot, taco truck and park ranger check in.  The parking lot almost reminded me of  a country music concert.  

The park ranger checked us in, checked our bag for drugs, alcohol and guns (yes its the south).  Drugs and alcohol are not allowed and I would advise against going to this water fall wasted or with the intention to drink for a few reasons. First, it is a very popular family destination with a lot of little kids and second the hike upstream to the waterfall on the wet river rocks is already a little difficult to navigate in flip flops. 

It takes a little bit to complete the 1.5 mile hike down to the river.  I would give yourself around 30 min to actually reach the waterfall from the parking lot.  

After hiking down you walk upstream through the shallow waters surrounded by the heavily wood forest.  You can stop to swim at different locations.  A lot of spaces along the river were less crowded than the waterfall itself.    

The waterfall itself is amazing.  The watering hole is deep enough to walk all the way to the fall or be able to dunk yourself for a swim.  You are able to climb up the varying levels of the waterfall and set up your spot there as well.  

We got there late in the afternoon and floods of people were leaving as we walked up.  I would advise going on a week day or after school is in session.  A Sunday afternoon weekend in the summer was very packed! 

Park rangers watch guard and act as life guards and photographers.  


Cummins Falls was a great get away to escape the heat and have a solid all around Sunday fun day. Being a California girl I miss the beach and ocean a lot so waterfalls, rivers and swimming holes help sooth my broken heart.  I was glad I got to take my brother on this trip to show him Tennessee outside of the city of Nashville.  

I can't wait to go back this fall...hopefully it will be less crowded!

Natalie Lang