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Cummins Falls State Park: A dramatic waterfall amphitheater

One of America's best deep-water swimming holes.

  • 5
  • 03:07
  • 138 mi
  • $20

Created by Airstream - June 28th 2016

A waterfall that looks more like a theater stage welcomes swimmers to this 211-acre park that's just 80 miles outside Nashville. Deep in the heart of Tennessee lies Cummins Falls State Park, a visual feast and an opportunity for countless hours of fun and relaxation.

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With an idyllic, rugged location about an hour’s drive from Nashville, Cummins Falls State Park is a must-see for any nature lover. The falls are 75 feet high and resemble an outdoor amphitheater in their size and shape. The area is a great spot to go for a dip in the water or relax and just enjoy the view.

The parking area, restrooms, and trailheads are located at the top of the falls, and you can hike to the bottom of the gorge via one of two routes: The first is a mile and the second is about 1.5 miles. Both hiking trails are a bit steep, so wear good shoes. Once you're done exploring and swimming for the day, head to nearby Standing Stone State Park to set up camp.


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Dale Hollow Lake State Park

Dale Hollow Lake State Park is home to Dale Hollow Lake, which is a popular place to go boating. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own boat: Rentals are available at the marina. In addition to offering ample opportunities for boating and fishing, this “resort park” features a 145-site campground, the Mary Ray Oaken Lodge (with 60 guest rooms and private balconies), the Island View Restaurant, and even a golf course. Call ahead of time to reserve a campsite.

Standing Stone State Park

With more than 855 acres and a man-made lake, Standing Stone State Park is a great park located in southeastern Tennessee. The park was named for the mysterious Standing Stone (said to be of Native American origin); the stone was demolished for a railroad project in 1893, but a local society gathered up and preserved the pieces. One of the pieces still sits atop a monument at Monterey City Park. Standing Stone offers a 36-site campground, an Olympic-sized pool, and 21 cabins that range from modern to rustic.

Tennessee Barbeque

Located only 20 minutes from Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee Barbecue is a family-owned restaurant in the small town of Livingston. The restaurant is famed for its pulled pork, and each day, it offers different homemade desserts, which are listed on their specials board. If you’re looking for fresh traditional barbecue, friendly staff, and a great hometown feel, Tennessee Barbeque is a great place to go.

With a rich history of more than 300 years, Burgess Falls State Park is known for narrow ridges, steep bluffs, and the Falling Water River. Native Americans used the park as a hunting ground before the Europeans even began settling. It was then converted into a gristmill, and later a hot spot for logging and farming. The park is now home to hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and even an organic produce stand that’s open March through October. Make sure to hike the 1.5-mile River Trail Loop that takes hikers past four separate waterfalls.

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Waterfalls galore, camping under the stars, and finger-lickin’ good barbecue are only a few things you will find on your trip across Tennessee. So get your Airstream packed because your adventure begins soon!


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