The Most Beautiful Waterfalls Near Nashville

Twin Falls waterfall, in Rock Island State Park, is one of many stunning cascades in the area worth a visit
Twin Falls waterfall, in Rock Island State Park, is one of many stunning cascades in the area worth a visit | © Kenneth Everett / Alamy Stock Photo
There’s more to Nashville than country music, honky-tonks and fried chicken. Nearby are rocky ridges and lush green gorges laced with waterfalls that make the perfect summer bathing spots. Our local insiders pick their favorites.

Nashville is close to the Cumberland Plateau, which stretches 1,000ft (305m) above the Tennessee River Valley, with turrets of crystal-clear water that gush into pools below. They’re the perfect place to head out of the city on a hot day.

Fall Creek Falls

Natural Feature
View of Fall Creek Falls and Autumn Color in Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
© Daniel Dempster Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Just east of the Mississippi river, Fall Creek Falls is the tallest waterfall in the eastern United States. Set within Fall Creek Falls State Park, it’s a spectacular medley of cascades, gorges and hardwood trees. From the top, the view of the valley is astonishing. It’s just a short hike to the plunge pool, where you can swim, have picnics and take in the natural paradise around them. It’s usually empty of crowds, too. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

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Cummins Falls

Natural Feature

Cummins Falls, on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, is 75ft (23m) high. Its only accessible by foot, and the climb is steep, but the view you get from the top is worth it – with deep forests of oak, beech, buckeye, sycamore and hemlocks. A variety of wildlife roam the riverbanks and treetops, including eagles, quail, turkey, minks and turtles. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

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Twin Falls

Natural Feature
Twin Falls waterfall in Rock Island State Park in Tennessee emerges from an underground source into the side of Caney Fork River
Twin Falls waterfall, in Rock Island State Park, is one of many stunning cascades in the area worth a visit | © Kenneth Everett / Alamy Stock Photo

The majestic Twin Falls, in Rock Island State Park, belches out an intimidating roar of cascading water – gallons of the stuff – into a dazzling blue pool below. It takes a short hike to get here, and your trail is peppered with enormous oaks and maples. World-class rapids offer excellent kayaking and canoeing opportunities, and there are two campgrounds within the park. A note of caution: the gorge water can rise rapidly, so keep an eye out. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

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Burgess Falls

Natural Feature
BURGESS FALLS IN TENNESSEE USA. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.
© DAVID NEWHAM / Alamy Stock Photo

Burgess Falls, deep within the Burgess Falls State Park, spills into a massive limestone gorge surrounded by steep, slippery walls of rock. The loop trail to get here might look short on the map, but it’s actually a long hike that can take hours, so wear comfortable footing. It’s well worth checking out, though, even if you’re not a big hiker, as the gorge offers visitors great fishing opportunities, and there’s a butterfly garden close by. Recommended by local insider Erica Commisso

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Rattlesnake Falls

Natural Feature

This picturesque waterfall drops into a box canyon surrounded by moss-carpeted hills and pine trees. This then leads to a second waterfall and a deep pool. It’s a remote spot, but there are plenty of marked trails and in spring, hundreds of wildflowers bloom on the hills. The cliff edges are steep, though, so take care – and of course, watch out for rattlesnakes. Recommended by local insider Erica Commisso

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Cane Creek Falls

Natural Feature
Families enjoying the cool water cascades of Cane Creek, Fall Creek Falls State Park,Tennessee
© Norman Barrett / Alamy Stock Photo

Near Spencer, Tennessee, Cane Creek Falls lies above the area where Rockhouse and Fall creeks meet. Cane Creek Falls is one of five waterfalls in the area, and the trails offer different views of the surrounding mountains. It’s great for a day trip, complete with a suspension bridge, but be warned: the Cable Trail involves climbing down a steep precipice via a metal cable. Recommended by local insider Erica Commisso

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