Summer is over which means another brand new season! Have you noticed the days getting shorter, the lack of humidity and that fresh coolness to the air?

Fall is a gorgeous time – especially in Tennessee. Luckily, there are so many places to go and see to enjoy this weather! We are a few weeks away from all of the leaves catching fire and turning bright red, orange and yellow. You will want to be out and about!

So where can you go? Here’s a few local places you need to see to believe:

p.s. just trust us on this. You will not regret going to any of these places! Don’t even read the context – just let it be a good surprise! 😂

Note: Water level fluctuates and may prevent access to a few of these places. Please call ahead.

Rock Island State Park

82 Beach Road
Rock Island, TN


Features: waterfalls + hiking trails

This park has some great hiking trails and multiple waterfalls. You can read a lot about this place, but until you see it for yourself, you can’t truly appreciate it. It’s easy to spend the day here.

Note: The address above (Beach Road) will take you to the park. To see the waterfalls, go past the park entrance and turn on Power House Road. This is a country road (so becomes one lane) and ends near the falls.

Stop at the visitor center and grab a map – it’s super handy to have because this is a large park!

Rating: 10 / 10

burgess falls waterfall center hill lake
burgess falls sparta tn center hill lake

Burgess Falls State Park

4000 Burgess Falls Dr,
Sparta, Tennessee


 Features: waterfalls + hiking trails

Some people get confused about Burgess Falls – you can visit the park – or – you can paddle / boat to the bottom of the largest waterfall. There used to be a ladder at the state park that led to the bottom of the largest waterfall at the park, but it has been closed for a while.

It’s still worth seeing. The hiking trails are gorgeous and run alongside the river. There are also hiking trails on the bluffs. There are a few overlook areas, and you can hike down to the large waterfall and stand on top. You will probably see kayakers at the bottom.

Rating: 10 / 10

burgess falls center hill lake tennessee

Burgess Falls Waterfall

By kayak, canoe, paddle board or boat

This is a great trip if you like to paddle! If the water level is high enough, you can take the boat to the waterfall.

Note: the water is usually lower in the fall / winter. You may have to walk a few yards – wear hiking boots or water shoes. It can get muddy.

Rating: 10 / 10

fancher falls center hill lake tennessee waterfall

Fancher Falls

By kayak, canoe, paddle board or boat

Another waterfall on the lake – we told you this place was cool! And you thought it was just a lake!

Fancher Falls is really nice. This waterfall rolls over a ledge and creates a pool that is great for swimming. It’s much like a dome so plenty of places to sit and hang out.

Again, boat access is subject to water level which fluctuates.

You can drop in or rent a kayak at Cookeville Boat Dock. 

Rating: 10 / 10

fancher falls center hill lake tennessee waterfall

Window Cliffs

8400 Old Cane Creek Rd,
Baxter, TN 38544


Features: hiking + waterfalls

Okay so not on the lake but close enough. This is near Cookeville Boat Dock and connects to Burgess Falls State Park. There are two separate entrances though.

This is a tough hiking trail with multiple creek crossings. Prepare to get your feet wet, and be sure to take snacks. DO NOT LEAVE TRASH.

The creeks, bluffs and waterfalls are beautiful. It ends on top of 200′ high cliffs. It may be a tough hike but well worth the work.

Rating: 10 / 10

fancher falls center hill lake tennessee waterfall

Edgar Evins

Features: hiking + lakeside louning

Edgar Evins State Park is right off I-40 so it’s easy to get to. This is a great place to drop your board or kayak in. It’s a 6000 acre park with numerous outdoor recreation activities for the whole family. Activities include, camping, rental cabins, boating, fishing, hiking, and nature watching. While Edgar Evins does not have a designated swimming area, the docks and shoreline make it easy to set up a lawn chair and jump in for a dip. There is also a look out tower that is worth checking out.

Rating: 10 / 10

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Floating Mill or Ragland Bottom

Features: swimming + kayaking

Even if you don’t have a boat and just want to lounge around, go to Floating Mill or Ragland Bottom. These two places have beach areas and ramps to drop in your paddle board, kayak or canoe. Grab some folding chairs and have at it! The view ain’t bad either.

Rating: 10 / 10

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