By now, I feel like I am an expert in all things outdoors in Tennessee. I’ve been a Tennessee resident for over a year (just don’t check my ID! I may or may not still have a Florida drivers license…). With countless weekends spent exploring the volunteer state, Tim and I have logged a couple of miles on some awesome hikes in Tennessee. We get asked all the time where we recommend people visit, so as we’ve explored each part of the state with friends and families, we’ve come up with some of our favorite hikes.
Awesome Hikes in Tennessee: Upper Cumberland PlateauIf you love to hike and explore, the Upper Cumberland Plateau is the perfect place to be. While there are many small trails to enjoy, here are a few awesome trails that I think you will enjoy and I want to share with you. These all make for great day trips! One of my favorite things about these trails is the fact that quite a few are dog-friendly since they are found within the Tennessee State Parks system. Just make sure you keep them on a leash and bring poop pick up baggies.
City Lake Falls, Cookeville (Putnam County)City Lake Falls is a great 1.2 mile round trip trail near Cookeville, Tennessee. The trail is great for all hiking levels and is a great option for a quick walk on a nature trail. This kid-friendly hike has a short wide path that is stroller friendly. As the creek runs alongside the path, you will get a chance to hear the water flow. This quick and easy hike has the payoff of a waterfall, so grab the kiddos and some snacks for a quick day of exploring.
Black Mountain Crest Loop Trail, Crab Orchard (Cumberland County)Black Mountain Crest Loop Trail, located near Crab Orchard, is a one-mile trail in a gorgeous forest setting that is accessible year-round. It shares a portion of the Cumberland Trail and passes through some pretty awesome rock formations. Along the trail, you will find several scenic overlooks with some stellar views! If you’ve been hoping to catch a mountain view of a sunrise or sunset, the Black Mountain Crest Loop Trail is a great place to catch one. On clear days you can even see the Great Smoky Mountains from the trail! And don’t forget Fiddo! Dogs are also welcome on the trail just keep them on a leash.
Twin Falls, Rock Island (Warren White County)Rock Island’s Twin Falls Trail is a 1.1-mile hike you don’t want to skip. At its best between March and October, this is another great trail to bring your dog on. Twin Falls is located in Rock Island State Park, near Great Falls Dam at the end of Powerhouse Road in Walling where you can step out and take in some breathtaking views of the falls and its dazzling cascades. Twin Falls is a strong and powerful waterfall, but we can’t give all the credit to mother nature on this one. The falls are actually caused by the local dam that backed up the Caney Fork and Collins Rivers. Though man-made engineering diverted water from the Collins River to the powerhouse, mother nature can’t always be tamed. Water from both rivers forged its own path and gave us Twin Falls.
Nearby ExplorationThe area has lots of trails and areas to explore so be sure to pack a lunch or dinner and stay awhile. You never know what hidden nature gem you might find… If you are looking to chase some waterfalls there are plenty nearby!
- The mostly dry Great Falls is just upstream.
- Burgess Falls, Fancher Falls, Evins Mill Falls, and Cul-Car-Mac Falls are all to the north around Center Hill Lake.
- Cane Creek Falls and Fall Creek Falls are 40 minutes away to the south.