Tennessee might be the home to some of the most famous musicians in the United States, but it also has a plethora of beautiful landscapes worth visiting. Tennessee’s waterfalls are particularly beautiful yet underrated. That’s why we curated this list of the 10 best waterfalls in the state.
The Best Waterfalls in Tennessee
1. Hen Wallow Falls
If your hunt for waterfalls must include plenty of leisure and the chance to admire local plants and wildlife, Hen Wallow Falls is the perfect place for you.
The trail to reach the cascade is an easy, meandering walk through the forest that most hikers can easily do despite its 4.4-mile loop.
What you’ll find at the end of your trek is a 90-foot waterfall that offers a picturesque photo opportunity all year round.
You can even see salamanders around the pool during the warmer months.
In the winter, the cascade becomes glittering ice.
2. Ruby Falls
Ruby Falls is a spectacular entry on this list, making it a must-visit destination.
Hidden underground within Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you’ll find this cascade.
Measuring an impressive 145 feet in height, the waterfall towers over visitors as it pours from the above-ground creek.
You can thank Leo Lambert for this entry. He first discovered the waterfall in 1929.
If it hadn’t been for him, who knows when or if the waterfall would have been found?
If you plan to visit the falls, be prepared to walk for over an hour.
3. Cane Creek Cascades
Fall Creek Falls State Park is the proud home of the Cane Creek Cascades, a waterfall on Cane Creek as it enters the Cane Creek Gorge.
This waterfall, like many, is accessible via a hiking trail.
However, don’t expect this cascade to make itself obvious.
Despite its impressive size, it’s nestled in the landscape in a way that can make it easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.
The size of this waterfall is up to speculation, with some claiming it’s 45 feet and others claiming it’s a much more massive 85 feet tall.
4. Laurel Falls
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-famous for its wilderness and ambiance that make visitors feel as if they’ve gone back in time.
However, while there’s much to love about the park, perhaps one of its most special sites is the Laurel Falls waterfall.
The 2.6-mile looping trail that takes you to and from the cascade brings you deep into the Tennessee woods and makes stumbling upon the waterfall that much more majestic.
You can get a unique up-close look at the falls thanks to the observation bridge accessible via a hike.
5. Ramsey Cascades
No trip to the Smoky Mountains would be complete without visiting Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall this national park has to offer.
Towering at 100 feet in height, this cascade is a site that can’t be replicated by any other falls in the state.
However, enjoying the views won’t come easy.
The falls are accessible via an 8-mile hiking loop that usually takes between 5 and 7 hours to complete due to its strenuous nature.
If you feel up to the effort, the waterfall is definitely worth all the exertion.
6. Fall Creek Falls
The Fall Creek Falls are the namesake of the Fall Creek Falls Park, and it’s no wonder why.
These falls measure a gargantuan 256 feet in height, making them not only the tallest falls in the state but one of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern half of the entire country.
All it takes is a short and relatively easy 1-mile walk through the beautiful park’s wilderness to reach the falls.
Most hikers shouldn’t have any trouble with the route and can usually complete it in about 30 minutes unless they decide to meander.
7. Burgess Falls
The Burgess Falls State Park in the Putnam and White counties in Tennessee gets its name from its main attraction, the Burgess Falls cascade.
This 136-foot fall carries water from the Falling Water River into a large gorge that’s completely enclosed by natural rock walls.
However, those walls don’t mean you can’t get a good look at the cascade.
You can take the 5.4-mile loop trail to get up close to the falls in about an hour. Keep in mind, the hike is strenuous.
Adventurous visitors can also reach the falls by kayak
8. Foster Falls
If you’re looking for a Tennessee waterfall that will make you feel like you stepped into a movie, Foster Falls is the place for you.
With a drop measuring 60 feet, it might not be the tallest waterfall in the state, but it still towers over visitors.
The waterfall’s pool is deep enough for swimming during the warmer months when it’s deemed safe by authorities.
After the 0.3-mile hike, you can relax to the sound of the rushing water and enjoy views of hemlock, azalea, and more growing around the water.
9. Indian Flats Falls
Indian Flats Falls may not be the most famous cascade in the Smoky Mountains park, but it’s a favorite among frequent visitors.
Made up of 4 side-by-side water drops, these falls feel like they belong in a storybook and not the real world.
The falls aren’t terribly tall and are nestled into the landscape so perfectly that you might miss them if you’re not careful.
The trail to get to the falls is made up of a 7.8-mile loop.
While some hikers don’t have any trouble with the hike, others do find it mildly challenging.
10. Bald River Falls
Amateur and professional nature photographers alike flock to Bald River Falls in Tellico Plains all year long.
It’s not hard to see why it’s become a beloved natural site in the entire state.
The 90-foot cascade follows a natural step system of rocks that create a scenic picture that feels too perfect to be real.
However, enjoying this view takes some effort. Hikers have to be prepared to take on an over 3-hour trek to get to the falls.
Though there are usually other people on the trail, you won’t feel overcrowded.
Amar was born and raised in England and embarked on an 11-country round-the-world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second, which ended up being a 23-country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then, Amar has spent the last 14 years traveling the 7 continents.