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Burgess Falls State Park, Sparta

(4.7/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
Burgess Falls State Park is a state park and state natural area in Putnam County and White County, Tennessee, located in the southeastern United States. The park is situated around a steep gorge in which the Falling Water River drops 250ft in elevation in less than a mile, culminating in a 136ft cataract waterfall.The Burgess Falls State Natural Area, which covers 350acre, is managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.GeographyThe Falling Water River rises near the base of the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Putnam County and winds its way across the Highland Rim to its mouth along the Center Hill Lake impoundment of the Caney Fork, which is located in an area where the Highland Rim drops off into the Central Basin. The Burgess Falls State Natural Area comprises the section of the river just above its mouth, where the river drops from roughly 900ft atop the Highland Rim to just over 600ft at Center Hill Lake.Over time, the Falling Water River's rapids have cut a deep gorge just above its mouth. The river drops to the Central Basin in a series of cascades and waterfalls, each gaining in size and intensity as the river approaches Center Hill Lake. At the Falling Water Cascades, located just downstream from the old Burgess Falls Dam, the river gradually spills over a 10ft embankment of rocks. Almost immediately downstream from the Cascades, the river drops another 30ft at Little Falls. Beyond Little Falls, where the river briefly bends to the north, is an 80ft cascade known as Middle Falls. Downstream from Middle Falls, where the river bends westward again, is the 136ft Burgess Falls. The distance between Falling Water Cascades and Burgess Falls is less than a mile. Burgess Falls spills into a large limestone gorge enclosed by sheer walls 100– high. The Falling Water River enters Center Hill Lake downstream from Burgess Falls.
Use our Sparta travel itinerary planner to visit Burgess Falls State Park on your trip to Sparta, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My wife and I traveled from Franklin and really had a great time. The Falls were amazing and the hiking was fun. Most shouldn't have any problems waking on the trails. Will definitely be back!  more »
  • Burgess falls is a beautiful waterfall are the other 2 waterfalls you walk by on the trail to the overlook for Burgess. I was really disappointed that the trail is not deemed safe to work your way to ...  more »
  • I went on a short, solo day hike here in November. It is 8 miles from I-40 in Cookeville. You follow a very winding country road for what seems longer than 8 miles, but it just seems longer due to the...  more »
Google
  • Fantastic views from a very do-able trail. Great place to bring the family for a ~1.5 mile hike. The main falls overlook has been reopened (as of July '16) but the stairs down to the base of the 136 foot main falls will not open for at least another year or two.
  • Great state park with gorgeous falls. An easy trail takes you about a mile to the main viewing point with great views along the way. Nice facilities to use before/after your hike with a playground for the kids to play.
  • Enjoyed the falls they are beautiful! Nice viewing areas. Ran in to a park ranger while at one lookout point she was very nice! We wish that they still had the staircases to get to the base, but still worth the stop!
  • Definitely worth the long hike, the set of 3 separate falls and also the cascades are stunning. Unfortunately floods washed out the stairs that led down to the falls but the views from above are breathtaking.
  • Burgess Falls is one of the most awesome waterfalls I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. I've been going out there for hikes for the past 6 years and dearly love this park. It's a great place to recharge your energy with so much natural beauty and great hiking trails.