Photo Credit: Chuck Sutherland
Jackson County

Cummins Falls

PROJECT PARTNERS Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Technological University, Dr. Glen Hall, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Heritage Conservation Trust Fund, and numerous private donors.

Teaming up with a number of partners, TennGreen Land Conservancy saved one of America’s most scenic waterfalls and helped establish Tennessee’s 54th State Park.

Cummins Falls, a 75-foot-high waterfall located in Jackson County on the Blackburn Fork River, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. It’s Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in magnitude of water, and has been named in the Top 10 List of America’s Best Swimming Holes (Travel & Leisure).

In 1790, Benjamin Blackburn—the man for whom Blackburn Fork is named—obtained the Cummins Falls property by cashing in a voucher for his service in battle against the Chickamauga a few years earlier. In 1825, Blackburn sold the land to John Cummins, a Scottish mill-builder who during the Civil War used the mill to make gun stocks for Confederate soldiers. The Cummins family maintained possession of the land until 2011, when TennGreen Land Conservancy partnered with State agencies, other nonprofits, and local businesses to purchase 186 acres of the property at auction in lieu of a proposed housing development.

Cummins Falls is owned and managed by the State of Tennessee and is a highly-visited spot for swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. However, individuals who are interested in visiting the park should check the State’s website for water level alerts. If the water level is too high, the gorge and falls area may be dangerous and closed to hiking and swimming. Gorge Access Permits are required for any visitor wishing to enter the gorge or travel to the base of the waterfall. For more information, visit the Tennessee State Parks’ website HERE.