The Upper Cumberland Region

of Tennessee

Where is the Upper Cumberland region?

Centrally located between Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga Tennessee

Home to 14 State Parks (the most in any region)

What if we told you there is a place just up the road from Nashville, Tennessee that has some of the best views, offers several waterfront properties, lake homes, and plenty of room for growth? AND is very affordable and drastically different from Nashville in terms of housing prices?

Welcome to the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee. We are humbled to introduce you to our hometown area and our stomping grounds. This is true, country living at its absolute finest.

Step outside of the big city and come to the country! See beautiful rural Tennessee. And if you do…well, you may never go back to Music City or even Knoxville or whichever state you’re visiting from. Over the past few years, Tennessee has seen a lot of growth and for good reason.

Have you heard of the Upper Cumberland region in Tennessee? Possibly. If not, you have heard of the major attractions. Places like Center Hill Lake, Burgess Falls, Edgar Evins State Park…just to name a few.

Bee Rock Overlook in Monterey. Read about it and see photos.

So where is this place? What should you know about it? Is it a good place to work and live? Yes.

To start, let’s look at which Tennessee counties make up this region.

14 rural Upper Cumberland Counties:

Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White

A quick overview:

The Upper Cumberland Region is located in Middle Tennessee, centrally located to Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.

Cookeville is the region’s hub and home to Tennessee Tech University.

Known for our beautiful lakes including Dale Hollow Lake, Center Hill Lake, and Cordell Hull Lake, this area is the best of rural Tennessee. The Upper Cumberland also houses countless waterways, caves and sprawling state parks.

burgess falls waterfall center hill lake tennessee-81

Burgess Falls on Center Hill Lake, Tennessee. Read about it.

Waterfalls are also common in this area – adding to the magic of the wild backwoods of Tennessee. Some were just recently established as state parks – also adding to the folklore-like wonder of this rural region.

From deep hollers to scenic ridge and bluff points, this little pocket of Tennessee so effortlessly conveys the true beauty of the volunteer state.

Mostly undeveloped, this is fine and true country living – a place to go to hear your wheels hum against the pavement, to see every star in the sky, to hear the crickets at night and a place to venture into the untapped and sometimes mysterious depths of the state.

cookeville tn center hill lake

Waterloo Falls, Cookeville, Tennessee. Read about it.

The UC is steadily growing by attracting those living in Nashville and also those relocating to the state.

But why?

Promising Growth

For a lot of reasons! In both 2018 and 2019, the hub of the Upper Cumberland, Cookeville, was noted by the US Census as one of the top 10 fastest growing micropolitan areas in the US. Cookeville is also a college town and home to Tennessee Tech University

Central Location

This region is an upcoming & undeveloped area just east of Nashville and west of Knoxville. Not to mention Chattanooga is close as well! By looking at this region on the map, you can see it’s central to most large cities with Interstate 40 and other highways providing easy access. There is also the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport.

With such a promising growth rate and central location in Tennessee, it’s a great area to live, work and play. Business owners, take note as well! Whether you want to own a small cafe or bring your large corporation here, we have the space and opportunity!

Quality of Life

You have probably heard the term rural a lot – what does it mean though? Well, for starters, it means we have the best backroads to cruise. We are able to enjoy each of Tennessee’s four seasons in the wide open not surrounded by high rises and narrow homes on a small lot. It means our communities are close, and people feel more like famliy.

Rural means: We have some rolling farms where you can watch the sun rise and set. It means there’s no traffic or headache getting from point A to B. And…as far as day to day goes, it means we have affordable housing and ample opportunity for business.

If you’re in Nashvlle or visiting, just tune into any country music station. Listen to the song – they’re talking about us! And like Morgan Wallen said whatcha know about that? Those Friday night football games, the wide open pastures, starry nights listening to the frogs, a Sunday potluck…that’s all right here!

Affordable Housing & Living

So we know the countryside is beautiful, but let’s get a little more practical.

Take a look at housing. In 2020, Nashville approved a 34% tax hike – ouch! Take a look at a few homes in Nashville and the surrounding area, and you will see the prices are pretty high – or at least for Tennessee.

While we are only about an hour away, the Upper Cumberland’s housing marketing is drastically different from Nashville. That big farm or custom home on some land or house on the golf course or maybe that white decked out farmhouse you saw on HGTV is actually affordable!

Things to Do & Attractions

Love to be outdoors? Single and looking for a cool place to live? Have energetic kids who love to be kids and play? Want to live in a place that feels like a vacation? Retirement? Dog person wanting to hit the trails?

The Upper Cumberland houses a ton of waterfalls. Not just mini falls to splish and splash around in. We are talking about 130’+ high waterfalls. That you sit at the top of. That you can hang out at. Surrounded by hiking trails.

Are you with me?

Side note: Most well-known waterfalls around here were just recently made a state park or officially opened to the public. What I am saying is there are still private places just as cool or….yet to be discovered! 

AND having a waterfront piece of land with a pond, creek, waterfall or all three is not a rare thing here. Most of the time, you can find a few listings that have a cool place to cool off. 

Not just waterfalls though – lakes. Center Hill Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Cordull Hull Lake. The cleanest, most beautiful water in the state. There are also state parks galore – three of which contain portions of Center Hill Lake’s shoreline.

Hike, fish, swim, boat, jet ski, wakesurf, wakeboard (yes, there’s a difference), camp….it’s all right here. Marinas at the lake offer waterfront dining. So Friday at 5:00, don’t hit the road. Or do but just drive down to the lake. Belly up and grab a cold one. Or sit under the covered patios and chow down on some nachos.

rock island state park center hill lake tennessee

Rock Island State Park. Borders Center Hill Lake. Read about it.

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