BURGESS FALLS STATE NATURAL AREA
Burgess Falls State Natural Area, located in Middle Tennessee, lies on the eastern edge of Tennessee's Highland Rim adjacent to the Cumberland Plateau. This is characterized by sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, rolling water and abundant mixed forest. The Falling Water River runs through the area, providing breathtaking scenery and numerous waterfalls.
Burgess Falls Natural Area is a sanctuary. All areas, features, including plants and animals (living and deceased), rocks, minerals, and artifacts are protected by state law. Violators are subject to prosecution. Fires are allowed only in grills. Trails are moderately rugged. Stay on the trails and watch your step. Help us keep the park neat and natural.
Boats are not allowed below the dam and fishing boats are allowed only in the shallow lake above the dam. Due to heavy silting, this is not a desireable lake for boating. Trolling motors are the only type of motor allowed on boats.
There is no boat ramp at Burgess Falls.
Fishing is available on Burgess Falls Lake and on the river below the dam when the park is open. The waters of Center Hill Lake reach the base of Burgess Falls.
Fishermen can expect catches of bream, bass and catfish.
There is no boat ramp.
Valid TN fishing license required.
Burgess Falls State Natural Area is located near Cookeville, Smithville and Sparta
Burgess Falls Natural Area offers picnicking below the dam with a scenic view of the river.
The park has 24 picnic tables, twelve of which are equipped with grills. Picnic tables are not covered and are available on a first come, first serve basis.
A larger, covered picnic shelter is also available and can be reserved up to a year in advance. The shelter is equipped with tables, grills and restrooms. It is ideal for supervised groups such as reunions and church groups.
Shelters can be reserved for a half day (either 9 a.m. ? 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. ? 6 p.m.) or all day 9 a.m. ? 6 p.m. Shelters may be reserved between April ? October.
The primary trail is River Trail ? ? mile long ? non loop. This trail passes three waterfalls. It starts at the picnic area and ends at a platform overlooking the Big Falls.
Trails are moderate in difficulty. All are non-loop, foot trails (bikes, horses, etc., not permitted).
Children should always be accompanied by an adult.
Hikers should always stay on trails.
Combined total length of parks trail is approximately 1 ? miles.
Throughout the year, the park manager conducts the interpretive programming. The park also conducts park programs to groups upon request within the community (primarily within 25 miles)
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From I-40, take Exit 286. Turn South off the 286 ramp onto State highway 135. Proceed on Hwy 135 for 7 miles following the signs to the park.