COOKEVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — Tennessee State Parks report an unprecedented number of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Burgess Falls continues to be one of the most popular places on the list.
Some ways to take in the beauty of the waterfall include a moderately accessible overlook to see the falls from afar; a heart pumping hike to the top of the falls; or a paddle by kayak to the bottom of the falls; or a boat ride – if water levels are high enough.
“It’s historical as well as being a natural wonder,” Tennessee State Parks Naturalist Randy Hedgepath told News 2.
Tennessee 225: Dive into the history of the Volunteer State.
Burgess Falls was once owned by the Burgess family. From 1928-1944 The Falling Water River was used to generate hydroelectric power for the city of Cookeville. It became a designated natural area for the state in 1973.
“Remnants of the generating station are below the falls on the left bank of the stream,” Hedgepath pointed out. “Upstream of the falls, there’s a flume that dropped through turbine to produce electricity.”
Burgess Falls factoids
- Located on the Falling Water River
- Four waterfalls gush from over 250 feet elevation
- 1.5-mile round-trip moderately strenuous hike
- Service road loop accessible to hikers
- Nearby Native Butterfly Garden