Trip Planner:   USA  /  Tennessee  /  Sparta  /  Nature  /  Burgess Falls State Park

Burgess Falls State Park, Sparta

(260+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
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.
Create a full Sparta itinerary

Plan your trip to Sparta

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • These are huge falls and not much walking required to see them! There are several trails, and although the lookout was damaged and closed the trail was very nice! A bit rocky and a huge flight of stai...  more »
  • I count on this forum for truth and I read that the staircase to get down to the base was fixed and opened. WELL it is not and there is no plans to fix it. I planned my trip from Florida around this W...  more »
  • This is a must see! Amazing falls. So tranquil and calming. The steps are a little stretched out so come prepared with good hiking shoes. We were able to hike to the falls, enjoy the scenery in a shor...  more »
  • Visit here after a rain showers to see the most incredible show God created this side of the Smokey's. Great place for a picnic. Bring a camera!😮
  • Fun side trip! The walk was not as strenuous as the sign stated. There was an easy path back as well along the top of the falls/driveway.
  • Beautiful water falls bit of a walk. If you walk the gravel road at the end of the parking lot you can walk the road to the big falls. The two smaller are along a hiking trail that's pretty exhausting.
  • It was a nice break from driving. We did a little over 600 miles driving, so it was good to move around some and enjoy the scenery! Nothing beats a little bit of Mother Nature -and the weather was just perfect!
  • So glad we made the 3.5 hr trip. It was definitely worth it. We were not sure what to expect from a free state park, but this place is awesome and a hidden treasure. The views of the falls are incredible and would highly suggest you seeing for yourself, pictures don't justify being there.