Top 5 Tennessee Waterfall Hikes You Can Do With Kids

By Jenny Williams, Girls Who Hike Tennessee Ambassador

Hi! My name is Jenny Williams, I’m an ambassador for the Tennessee chapter of Girls Who Hike. My husband, Nate, and I have always loved hiking and being outdoors. I have such great memories of our adventures before having kids. But, experiencing the trails with our littles makes us crave the outdoors even more. We live in Middle Tennessee with our 3 kids Ryder, Finn, and Adell and have explored many of our beautiful state parks. I love to connect with other adventure loving women and mamas over on Instagram @williamsgowild, would love to hear from you! Here are my Top 5 Waterfall Hikes with Kids!

 Girls Who Hike TN Ambassdor Jenny with her family at Greeter Falls, TN

Girls Who Hike TN Ambassdor Jenny with her family at Greeter Falls, TN

1. Foster Falls and Greeter Falls

These two amazing waterfalls are close by one another in South Cumberland State Park. It’s definitely worth visiting both in one day.

Foster Falls:

 Jenny and her two boys at Foster Falls, TN

Jenny and her two boys at Foster Falls, TN

TRAIL: From the parking lot, it’s about .3 miles to the overlook with a gorgeous view of the falls. Then, you can continue on the trail down to the base of the falls, which is pretty rocky but easy and short.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
SWING BRIDGE- Our boys LOVE the swing bridge you cross at the base of the falls! 
CLIMBERS- Once you cross the bridge you can go right to the falls or left to continue on the trail. The trail is very rocky, but up ahead you are likely to catch a glimpse of some talented rock climbers doing their thing. Foster Falls is a very popular climbing spot. 

 Jenny's two boys on the swing bridge on the trail to the base of Foster Falls

Jenny's two boys on the swing bridge on the trail to the base of Foster Falls

Greeter Falls

 Jenny's boys at Greeter Falls, TN

Jenny's boys at Greeter Falls, TN

TRAIL: A 1.6 mile loop trail will take you to Greeter Falls, one of our favorite waterfalls in the state. It’s an easy trail, perfect for kids.
WHY WE LOVE IT:
SWIMMING HOLE- At the falls, the swimming hole is awesome with a stream flowing from the falls, fun to splash around in. 
INSTA-PERFECTION- Right in front of the falls, you’ll find a rock out in the water that is great for that epic Instagram photo ;) 
BROAD TREE FALLS- On the way back, take the short trail detour to Broad Tree Falls, you’ll be glad you did! Just watch for the sign.

 Greeter Falls, TN

Greeter Falls, TN

2. Lost Creek Falls

 Jenny with her youngest at Lost Creek Falls, TN

Jenny with her youngest at Lost Creek Falls, TN

TRAIL: Lost Creek Falls are only .2 mile from the parking lot! Our family visited this state natural area for the first time recently and fell in love. 
WHY WE LOVE IT:
NO CROWDS- We only came across a few other people so, it’s a little more low key than some other popular Tennessee waterfalls. 
DISNEY LOVED IT- This was a filming location for Disney’s 1994 The Jungle Book!
CAVE- Across the path there is a large entrance to Lost Creek Cave, one of the larger caves in Tennessee. There is a waterfall in the cave, but the trek to the falls may not be safe for children. If you are sans-kids, bring your headlamps ready to explore! To be official, you can get a free permit to explore the cave at the Fall Creek Falls Nature Center. *We also love nearby Fall Creek Falls State Park!
 

 Jenny's son at Lost Creek Falls, TN

Jenny's son at Lost Creek Falls, TN

3. Cummins Falls

 Cummins Falls, TN

Cummins Falls, TN

TRAIL: A 1.1 mile trail will take you to Cummins Falls. Be prepared to hike in the water! There is an overlook near the parking lot to see the falls. Then, you hike down the hill and back up the creek to the falls. 
WHY WE LOVE IT: 
BIG FALLS- The falls are absolutely gorgeous and a fun place to climb around and play!
GORGEOUS TRAIL- Our boys loved the portion of the trail through the water, makes for a fun adventure. 
*TIP- can be crowded in the summer, especially on weekends. We made the trip in the fall and only saw one other family at the falls. It was a great day.
 

 Jenny's son in the water at Cummins Falls, TN

Jenny's son in the water at Cummins Falls, TN

4. Machine Falls and Rutledge Falls

These two waterfalls are just down the road from one another with short trails.  Could definitely squeeze both in one day!

Machine Falls:

 Machine Falls, TN

Machine Falls, TN

TRAIL: A 1.6 mile loop, but you could see the falls without doing the full loop distance. When you see the bridge, look to your right for the trail over to the waterfall. The trail before you get to the bridge is a steep downhill hike that could be difficult for tiny kiddos. 
WHY WE LOVE IT: 
SHALLOW WATER- This waterfall is perfect to play in with shallow water at the bottom and a few levels to climb around on.
TRAIL SYSTEM- If you want to get more mileage, there are a few connecting trails as part of the Short Springs State Natural Area.
 

 Jenny's boys on the trail to Machine Falls, TN

Jenny's boys on the trail to Machine Falls, TN

Rutledge Falls:

 Jenny at Rutledge Falls, TN

Jenny at Rutledge Falls, TN

TRAIL:  Find the trail parking area by following your GPS to “Rutledge Falls Baptist Church”. You will see a small parking area on the side of the road across the street from the church. The path to the falls is extremely short with a steep section to climb down to the base of the falls. This trail is on private property but open to the public.
WHY WE LOVE IT:
WATERFALL JUMPING- If you’re brave, you can climb up the right side of the falls and jump into the pool below!
SWIMMING HOLE- There is a perfect swimming hole, especially in the summer when water levels aren’t high.
COLD- The spring water is so refreshing during our hot Tennessee summers. You can feel the temperature change as you get down to the falls.

 Jenny's son playing in Rutledge Falls, TN

Jenny's son playing in Rutledge Falls, TN

5. Stillhouse Falls

 Jenny and her youngest at Stillhouse Falls, TN

Jenny and her youngest at Stillhouse Falls, TN

TRAIL: It’s 2/3 mile to the falls from the parking area, an easy trail.
WHY WE LOVE IT: 
HAMMOCK TREES- There are 3 trees right in front of the falls perfect for hanging two hammocks. This makes it the perfect picnic and chill spot. 
 

 Jenny's son and his friend playing in Stillhouse Falls, TN

Jenny's son and his friend playing in Stillhouse Falls, TN


Jenny Williams is the Ambassador for our Tennessee chapter. You can join her local meetups and discussions through the Tennessee chapter by clicking here.

Sharron McBrideComment