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Tennessee State Parks

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USA Parks
Cumberland Plateau Region
Cummins Falls
Cummins Falls © Brenton Rogers from Cumberland Gap, TN / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls © mitchellma / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Cummins Falls, TN
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1081 Cummins Mill Road
Cookeville, Tennessee   38501
(lat:36.2495 lon:-85.5716) map location

Phone: 931-261-3471
Located on the beautiful Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, this idyllic 211-acre site in Jackson County is home to Tennessees eighth largest waterfall at 75 feet high. Cummins Falls is formed on the Eastern Highland Rim and has been a favorite scenic spot and swimming hole for residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years.
Nature of the Area
This park is located in the Cordell Hull Watershed. The forest that borders the river includes a variety of oaks, beech, buckeye, sycamore and hemlock. Woodland plants include Octobers lady tresses, star chickweed, liverleaf and Allegheny spurge. The propertys long forested streamside protects turkey, quail, eagles and other birds soft-shell and other turtles fox, mink, and myriad insects including damselflies and dragonflies.
History of the Area
Cummins Falls rich history includes a time when Indians used the area to track the numerous buffalo that wallowed in the rivers shallow areas. In the 1790s, Sergeant Blackburn, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and for whom the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River was named, was awarded the land in lieu of a pension. The land was acquired by John Cummins in 1825, and he used the land to build the first of two mills. Because of his growing clientele, a larger second mill was built in 1845. Local residents would visit the mills and the falls for both commerce and recreation.

The mill was washed away during the great flood of 1928, but cars and paved highways had already begun to make the trek to Cummins Falls more accessible. The land was not rebuilt, but stayed with the Cummins family for more than 180 years until efforts by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to purchase the land through private and public donations for resale to the state of Tennessee.
Cummins Falls also has been listed as one of the ten best swimming holes in the United States by Travel Leisure and Conde Naste magazines.
This section of the Blackburn Fork Scenic River provides wade and bank fishing for bass and Bluegill.

The parks picnic area is located across the road from the parking lot. The area has several tables scattered around the old Cummins Family home site that are shaded from the sun. The picnic area is considered primative - the ground is not level and there are no grills or trash cans so please pack out what you bring in. Although not formally landscaped, the old home site provides a particularly scenic backdrop in the spring when the daffodils are in bloom.
Waterfall Overlook Trail 0.4 Miles Natural Surface Moderate

Downstream Trail 1.5 Miles Natural Surface Difficult

Shortcut to Downstream 1.0 Miles Natural Surface Moderate

Upstream Trail 0.5 Miles Natural Surface Moderate

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Tennessee State Parks