15 Most Stunning Waterfalls Near Nashville

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If you’re looking for waterfalls near me in Nashville, Tennessee, then you’re in luck! There are plenty of stunning waterfalls in the area, many of which you may not have known existed.

From majestic cascades to hidden gems tucked away in lush forests, we’ve rounded up nine of the best waterfalls near Nashville that you can easily explore.

So get ready to discover some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tennessee – because you won’t want to miss these!

Waterfalls are some of the best natural beauties to enjoy if you want to spend quality time with your family especially if your family loves the outdoors like my family.

There are well over 500 Tennessee waterfalls, from booming cascades to hidden rivulets.  Some are reached by an arduous hike, others a short stroll.

One, Ruby Falls, is located underground, plunging 145 feet within Lookout Mountain.  Discover Jackson Falls from the Natchez Trace Parkway

Stop by Machine Falls near Tullahoma. Hear the roar of Twin Falls at Rock Island State Park and admire the interesting rock formations along the way.

You may already know about Ruby Falls, Cummins Falls, and Burgess Falls because they are the more famous waterfalls in Tennessee.

There are many more waterfalls in Tennessee that should be on your spring and summer bucket list. 

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If you decided to take a road trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg you will love one of these 10 waterfalls near Nashville.

Tennessee State Parks is home to some of our state’s most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls and swimming holes.

All of the waterfalls in Tennessee require hiking so you will be able to take some Instagram-worthy photos.

Every corner of the state is unique and special in its own way, but the one thing that stands out the most about the eastern and middle portions of the state is the breathtaking waterfalls near me.

Best waterfalls near Tennessee

15 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls Near me in Tennessee

  1. Cummins Falls
  2. Falls Creek Falls
  3. Grotto Falls
  4. Rock Island State Park Falls
  5. Cane Creek Falls
  6. Twin Falls
  7. Geeter Falls 
  8. Fern Branch Falls
  9. Laurel Snow Falls
  10. Stinging Fork Falls
  11. Great Falls
  12. Margarette Falls
  13. Burgess Falls
  14. Carmac Falls
  15. Conasauga Falls – Tellico Plains
  16. Dripping Springs Falls
  17. Virgin Falls
  18. Waterloo Falls

1. Cummins Falls

Location: Cookeville, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, and 45 minutes

Cummins Falls is one of the most popular Tennessee waterfalls. Getting to Cummins Falls it’s not an easy hike so get ready to be completely out of breath. 

Make sure you’re wearing hiking shoes that can get wet and dirty and not your cute Nike running shoes which will be ruined by the time you are done. 

Most of the hike is walking through water so I can not express enough that you need to be safe.  I promise seeing the water splash over the fall will make you forget about the hike it took to get to Cummins Falls. 

Be prepared to jump right into the swimming hole and forget all about your worries. 

Before you visit Cummins Falls, please note the following:

    • The base of the waterfall is only accessible on fair-weather days.
    • Cummins Falls is a natural area with inherent safety risks.
    • The gorge is prone to flash flooding.
    • Visiting the gorge is a very strenuous and physical activity.
    • You should comply with the park’s safety instructions.
    • We recommend that children 5 and under not go to the falls.
    • Children under 12 must wear life vests at falls and be accompanied by an adult.
    • Visiting the waterfall will require:
      • Strenuous Hiking
      • Swimming or wading through water
      • Climbing Rocks
      • Crossing Slippery Rocks

All Tennessee State Parks, and most park facilities, are open. Some operations may have occupancy and usage limits.

Signage throughout the parks will encourage proper social distancing and provide information about the cleaning standards for particular facilities or spaces.


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2. Fall Creek Falls

Location: Spencer, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 2 hours

One of the most breathtaking waterfalls near me not far from Nashville is Falling Creek Falls, located within the Savage Gulf State Natural Area in southwestern Tennessee.

This amazing waterfall plunges down from a height of around 25 feet over rocky terrain and is a great place for an outdoor adventure.

You can access Falling Water Falls from the Savage Gulf Ranger Station or from one of the many waterfall hikes near Nashville that lead to this spectacular spot.

The path leading to the falls is relatively easy, but keep in mind that you’ll need to climb up and down some steep terrain. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lush forest, cascading water, and a beautiful waterfall.

3. Grotto Falls

Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 4 hours

If you don’t mind the 4-hour drive from Nashville to Gatlinburg I suggest taking a day trip to the Smoky Mountains.

Grotto Falls is found along the Trillium Gap Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is the only waterfall inside the park where you can actually go behind the falls.

This popular trek will likely be packed by mid-morning, so be sure to get an early start.

The hike to Grotto Falls and back is only 2.6 miles, which makes it easily accessible for families, a new hiker, or anyone short on time.

If you add a trip up to Mount LeConte and then down the Rainbow Falls Trail past Rainbow Falls, you can get away from the crowd for a 14-mile hike filled with beauty and epic views.

Pets are not allowed on this trail. The only two trails in the park that allow pets are the Gatlinburg Trail near the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Oconaluftee River Trail near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. 

4. Rock Island State Park Falls

Location: Rock Island, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour and 33 minutes

Located about an hour and a half from Nashville, Rock Island State Park is home to a majestic waterfall.

To access the waterfall, take one of the many waterfall hikes near Nashville located in the park. You’ll be rewarded with a view of the 60-foot-tall Twin Falls, which is made up of two cascading waterfalls that meet at the bottom.

Along the way, you’ll also be able to spot other smaller waterfalls and views of the Caney Fork River. As you reach the top, you’ll also get to take in the lush Tennessee countryside and views of the Cumberland Plateau.

The hike will take around two to three hours, depending on how often you stop to admire the views.

Sewanee Natural Bridge Falls

Located near Sewanee, Tennessee, Sewanee Natural Bridge Falls is one of the most unique waterfalls near Nashville. The natural bridge itself is made of sandstone and is estimated to be around 100 million years old. This waterfall spans across a gorge, with a drop of 30 feet into a beautiful swimming hole. Although the trail to the waterfall is short, it’s steep and can be difficult. 

The best way to experience this amazing waterfall is by taking a day-long hike. There are several hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the waterfall and surrounding area.

The most popular trail is the Sewanee Natural Bridge Trail, which leads hikers to the base of the waterfall. This 3.4-mile roundtrip hike takes about 2 hours to complete and offers some breathtaking views along the way. 

If you’re looking for an adventurous day trip from Nashville, make sure to check out Sewanee Natural Bridge Falls. You won’t regret taking the time to explore this stunning natural wonder.


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5. Cane Creek Falls

Location: Pikeville, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 2 hours

Talk about a gift from Mother Nature! Cane Creek Falls will blow you away. The best view you can get is from the bottom. Looking at the huge swimming hole and the volume of water flowing down the rocks will leave you awestruck.

Yes, the waterfall itself is impressive, but the swimming hole is what makes it so fun on a summer day. It’s big enough to swim, even if the water’s cold.

The mist from the rushing falls and sunlight streaming through the trees on a clear day creates a mystical setting, and the sound is downright tranquil.

Falls Creek Falls and Cane Creek Falls is a 2.4-mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Spencer, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.

The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.


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One last waterfall picture before we leave this place in the morning.

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6. Twin Falls

Location: Rock Island, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, 20 minutes

You’ve gotta make a trip to Twin Falls this summer this is one of the waterfalls near me that I must visit each spring. Pack a towel and lunch, because you’ll want to stay for a full day of swimming, kayaking, and hiking.

While most waterfalls flow over rocks, Twin Falls flows out of rocks. The water rushes from the crevices at a whopping height of 80 feet in two places, hence the name ‘Twin” Falls.

Twin Falls is not a natural waterfall. It is a byproduct of the damming of the Caney Fork River and the powerhouse. The dam backed up the Caney Fork and Collins River.

The Collins flows into the Caney Fork about a mile upstream of Twin Falls, but at this point, the two rivers are only 1000 feet apart.

Water is diverted from the Collins to feed the powerhouse along man-made channels, but the water also found its own paths through the limestone to feed Twin Falls.

The water pours out of the gorge walls about 80 feet above the Caney Fork River, and about 40 feet below the top of the gorge. This is truly one of my favorite Tennessee waterfalls.


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We can’t wait for it to be warm enough to take a dip in Rock Island State Park. ?: @codybryantbennett

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7. Greeter Falls

Location: Altamont, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, and 40 minutes

Greeter Falls is a great pick for those in search of a short and safe journey. Not to mention, the scenery is stunning from start to finish. A lot of trails surround the falls, making the hiking distances optional.

What’s known as the Blue Hole is the charming swimming hole that’s perfectly deep enough for summer swimming!

Greeter Falls Loop and Greeter Trail is a 3.2-mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Altamont, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.

The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash at this Tennessee waterfall.


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Greeter Falls

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8. Fern Branch Falls

Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Drive time from Nashville: 3 hours, 55 minutes

Fern Branch Falls is a waterfall near me that is really easy to miss, but the hike to the waterfall is absolutely fantastic.

Access the waterfall by taking the Porters Creek Trail up the banks of Porters Creek, passing by an old farmstead, giant trees, moss-covered boulders, a 20th-century cemetery, and through a lush forest.

In the spring, the Porters Creek trail is one of the top spots for seeing blooming wildflowers, but honestly, it’s a wonderful place to escape into the mountains any time of year.

The main hike is 4 miles roundtrip.


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Fern Branch Falls • 40’ waterfall along the Porters Creek Trail. What’s your favorite waterfall in the Smokies?

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9. Laurel-Snow Falls

Location: Rhea County, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 3 hours, 55 minutes

The Laurel-Snow segment of the Cumberland Trail is a moderately strenuous hike along creeks and gorges, so plan to get your feet wet.

Located just outside of the busy streets of Dayton, this tranquil area is a fantastic day trip or a wonderful spot for backcountry camping.

The hike out to Laurel Falls alone is about five miles roundtrip, or continue on to see Snow Falls for just under 10 miles roundtrip.

There are tons of photo ops along this trail—the old Richland coalmine, the Dayton Reservoir with its turquoise water, multiple cascades, and scenic overlooks of the gorges and the Cumberland Plateau.


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Laurel Falls is part of Laurel-Snow State Natural Area is located in Rhea County near Dayton, TN. This is part of the Walden Ridge of the Cumberland Plateau. #laurelsnow #laurelsnownaturalarea #laurelsnowpocketwilderness #laurelsnowfalls #laurelsnownaturalarea #socumos #cumberlandplateau #daytontn #tennesseephotographer #tennesseephotography #waterfallsoftennessee #tennesseewaterfalls #tennesseemountains #thisistennessee #onlyintennessee #exploretennessee #theonlytennisee #tenneseeoutdoors #tennesseeadventures #hiketn #hiketennessee #tennesseehiking #tennesseehills #waterfallsofinstagram #chasingwaterfalls #gochasingwaterfalls #southcumberland #southcumberlandmountains #cumberlandtrail #friendsofsouthcumberland #naturaltennessee

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10. Stinging Fork Falls

Location: Spring City, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 2 hours, 36 minutes

This hike on the Cumberland Trail is only two miles roundtrip but is a lovely, moderate walk to a beautiful waterfall. The cove with the falls is stunning, so have your camera ready.

About half a mile in, take the spur trail out to the Indian Head Point Overlook for a view of the Stinging Fork Gorge. It will only add about .2 miles to your trip and is worth the detour.

If you want a longer adventure, add on a hike to the nearby Piney Falls in Grandview, named one of the 10 Best Waterfalls Near Nashville.

You’ll avoid the crowds that frequent some of the other trails, and add a couple more miles to your day.

11. Great Falls

Location: Rock Island State Park,
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, 13 minutes

Great Falls is a large, horseshoe-shaped waterfall in Rock Island State Park. You’ll immediately see Great Falls from the overlook, but to truly experience this spot, take the steep, 0.5-mile Upstream Trail that leads down into the gorge.

You’ll find multiple waterfalls and walls of water dripping along the way, limestone paths, and unique rock formations.

It’s fun to rock hop down in the gorge, but the area can flood very quickly so be very careful when visiting this waterfall.

If you hear the sirens, get out of the gorge immediately. There are also times when the gorge is closed to the public, so double-check before you go.

Professional freestyle kayakers from around the world try to tame the whitewater under their paddles. Hiking and scenic overlooks can easily fill any afternoon.


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Sieve City all covered up but just Rumbling away…#rockislandrules #bigwater #greatfallstennessee

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12. Margarette Falls

Location: Greeneville, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 4 hours, 00 minutes

Margarette Falls is a great summer hike thanks to several creek crossings that give you the opportunity to cool off on a hot day.

Located in an area that was once a thriving logging community, it’s now a part of the Cherokee National Forest.

This 2.7-mile roundtrip hike will get your heart pumping, but it’s a walk in the woods that you won’t soon forget. The trail winds through formations and around several smaller cascades on your way to the 60-foot tall fan-shaped waterfall.

With both free-falling and cascading water, the picture-perfect falls are especially worth visiting after a good rain.

To reach the trailhead, take exit number 39 to Erwin/Jonesborough and turn onto State Route 81/107 west and stay on this for 6.5 miles.

Then you will turn left to stay on Route 107 and continue on for 16 more miles. Then you will take a left on Route 351 and drive 4.5 miles.

Then you will take another left on Greystone Road and continue 3.8 miles and then you will take a right on Shelton Mission Road.

After 1.3 miles turn right into a quite large gravel parking lot.

The trailhead is located on the right side of the parking lot.

13. Burgess Falls

Location: Sparta, Tennessee
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to Burgess Falls, where you can enjoy birdwatching and fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

But if you’re on the hunt for waterfalls, lace up your hiking boots, and take to the River Trail/Service Loop Road, which takes hikers past four breathtaking waterfalls. 

Beware, though, that the hike to the bottom of the falls is a strenuous one.

All hiking within the park ranges from moderate to very strenuous, so plan accordingly!

Located on the Falling Water River, this park is noted for its natural beauty and four waterfalls that cascade down from over 250 feet in elevation.

The last of these falls is the most spectacular, plunging more than 130 feet into the gorge.

The area was originally populated by Native Americans of the Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes.

These tribes used the land as a hunting ground until the late 19th century when a gristmill and sawmill began operating on the river.

14. Carmac Falls 

Location: Smithville, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 38 minutes

Located near Smithville, Tennessee, this is a waterfall near me whose hike is a bit steep to get to but the reward is ample.

It’s situated on the property of Evins Mill Resort, so call ahead and reserve the day picnic/hike package that’s listed for $25.

It’s a great way to spend a romantic afternoon or family outing.

15. Conasauga Falls – Tellico Plains

Location: Tellico Plains, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 3 hours, 5 minutes

The 1.2-mile is a hike down to the falls but all uphill on your way out so careful footing is essential. It’s secluded with few people expected while hiking to the falls.

The trail is accessible from April through October. Pack lunch for an enjoyable Saturday afternoon activity.

Conasauga Falls Trail is a 1.3-mile moderately trafficked out-and-back trail located near Tellico Plains, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.

The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.


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#nikon #nikond750 #nikonphotography #nikonphotographers #water #waterfall #naturephotography #tennessee #conasaugafalls #magicintheair

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16.  Dripping Springs Falls

Location: Fall Creek Falls Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 2 hours, 09 minutes

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near Fall Creek Falls State Park, Dripping Springs Falls is a popular waterfall hike near Nashville.

The falls cascade over a series of ledges and drop down into a large pool below, surrounded by lush greenery. The trail to the falls is relatively easy but can become a bit slippery during wet conditions.

The view at the bottom of the falls is worth it – you’ll get a great view of the entire waterfall as well as some beautiful scenery along the way.

If you’re looking for a peaceful, enjoyable nature hike near Nashville, this is a great spot to check out.

17) Virgin Falls

Location: White County, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, 58 minutes

Located in the lush Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, Virgin Falls is an awe-inspiring sight that stands out among the many stunning waterfalls near Nashville.

Although it is situated in the beautiful Savage Gulf State Natural Area, it can be quite a challenging hike to reach Virgin Falls due to the rugged terrain and steep inclines.

From the Big Creek Ranger Station, the hike to Virgin Falls takes approximately 4 hours round trip. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of pine forests, wildflowers, and clear streams.

Once you finally reach Virgin Falls, you’ll be met with a 115-foot cascading waterfall that has created its own unique mini-ecosystem. Here, you’ll find rare species of plants and animals that have adapted to the cool mist created by the waterfall.

If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous waterfall hike near Nashville, then be sure to check out Virgin Falls. It may take some effort to get there, but it’s worth it for the amazing views of nature and wildlife that you’ll experience!


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18. Waterloo Falls

Location: Cookeville, Tennessee,
Drive time from Nashville: 1 hour, and 15 minutes

Waterloo Falls is located in the Falling Water River area of Cumberland County, TN. It is one of the most popular waterfall hikes near Nashville and a great spot for experienced hikers.

The falls are made up of several smaller cascades that flow into a large pool at the bottom. The total drop from top to bottom is approximately 35 feet and you can get up close and personal with the falls by climbing up the rocks.

There are several trails available to reach the falls and it’s recommended to bring plenty of water as well as an insect repellent as the area can be buggy in the summer months.

Enjoy the stunning views and make sure to take lots of pictures!


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Conclusion of the Best Waterfalls Near me in Tennessee

Tennessee isn’t just home to all things country music. In fact, some of the most jaw-dropping waterfalls can be spotted throughout the Volunteer State’s rolling hills if you know where to look.

Hopefully, I have inspired you to get out and take a road trip to explore waterfalls in Tennessee. 

Experience southern hospitality, attractions, waterfalls, creeks, and local shopping that reflect true mountain living.

Click here for my list of the best hotels in Nashville and BOOK YOUR NASHVILLE VACATION TODAY!

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Do any of my top waterfalls in Tennessee peak your curiosity? 

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