Fall Creek Falls is
located on the Cumberland Plateau near Spencer and Pikeville
(11-18 miles). This is what the state of Tennessee calls a
"resort park". That's because of amenities of the park.
There is a lodge, tennis courts, and most importantly (from
the resort standpoint), an 18 hole golf course honored as
one of the top 25 public courses in America. Both these
features are great, but the Richardson Tribe has used
neither. It's the other features that appeal to us
Fall Creek Falls State
park is a great place to camp. Unlike most other state parks, they
have full hookups and you can reserve specific sites. They also have
some great paved bike trails, a lake with boat rental, a recreation
center, a big pool, playgrounds, horseback riding, scenic falls,
tennis courts, hiking, and more.
Entry Date: September 2015
I noticed the last Adventure
Journal entry was in 2008. Wow! Has it been that long?
It's not for a lack of desire to return. We missed it!
For years we've heard great things about the Mountaineer
Folk Festival held annually in at Fall Creek Falls State
Park, and we've tried to schedule a trip around the
festival, but there was always some scheduling conflict.
Well, not this year. When I tried to book a campsite
back in the summer, but it was already sold-out. I
persevered, logging onto the reservation site sometimes
3-4 times a day, anxiously hoping someone cancels. Then
BAM! We're in!
Our oldest son had a football game/marching band
commitment, so the "littles" and I went up Friday
evening, and Mama and LT drove "Willy B" the Jeep up
Saturday morning. We got a pretty early start at the
festival, and dove right in to the yummy snacks. Kettle
corn, cookies, fudge, brittle, burgers, funnel cakes,
honey, sorghum syrup, and on and on and on... We
actually saw a mule turning a cane mill that squeezes
the juice from the cane. The juice runs into a bucket,
then it goes into a vat to cook down. Eventually it
becomes syrup. We watched the entire process from
beginning to end, then bought one of the rather
expensive jars of syrup. It was worth it just to meet
dozens and dozens of tent booths set up all over the
park's commons area near camp stores and recreation
center. There were leather goods, crafts, and art. We
met some ladies with an angora goat and angora rabbits.
We'd already talked about fiber animals, and I think
spending time with these sweet ladies and their animals
closed the deal. Lainey's started knitting some, and we
think it would be cool to get a spinning wheel and try
to make some of our own yarn. Why not!
We also met
a man with a "bluegrass instrument petting zoo." He was
encouraging people, especially kids to come pick up an
instrument, and play with it. He was showing kids simple
chords. I think he was impressed when our kids were
actually able to play along with him. We have guitar,
banjo, mandolin, and fiddle playing kids.
Speaking of music, there were two stages of folk music,
gospel, and bluegrass. There was a lot of talent at the
festival, so we wandered back and forth listening. By
the time we'd seen it all twice, we decided to drive up
to view the falls. Then we headed back to the campground
for a quiet evening and a campfire.
Back at the
campground, we met a neighbor that had birds. Lots of
birds. Parrots and cockatoos. They were all on perches
just outside his camper. He told us the story of many of
the birds, mostly rescued and previously neglected. Very
We had to head back to civilization on Sunday, but we
were so glad we'd come for the festival. Maybe next time
we'll have more time to enjoy more of the parks other
features we know so well.
The Richardson Tribe
Entry Date: October 2008
We spent this Fall Break with
friends camping at
Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. We made
reservations for this weekend several months ago. Since
that time, gas prices went through the roof (over $4),
so we considered cancelling. Lucky for us, Fanny
Mae, Freddy Mac, and most of the big banks went under,
the stock market crashed, and gas prices dropped, thus
making this nice trip a little less painful. The Lord
does work in mysterious ways.
We have been moderately
disappointed with Fall Creek Falls' camp sites in the past (unlevel,
unkempt). However, after locating our site, all concerns about
the place were soon forgotten. We couldn't have asked for a better
spot (with full hookup no less). Our very good friends occupied the
neighboring site, and the kids played in the large wooded area until
they dropped. The camp site is adjacent a large meadow featuring a
play set, volley ball court, and lots of room to play. The field is
surrounded by camp sites and a paved road, perfect for bike riding.
We also loaded the bikes up and hauled them to the lake and falls
bike trails. Everyone rode their bikes for a long way on the
trails. I had to pull four-year-old Lainey in the doodle bug for a
little while, but her twin, John Micah, rode he whole way.
We did a bit more hiking
on this visit to Fall Creek Falls. We really enjoyed the
trails and canyons in the park. It's really a beautiful place to
explore, and the trails are challenging and fun.
We rode by the horse
stables to price a ride, but at $25 apiece ($150.00 total) for a 45
minute ride, I couldn't justify the expense. Instead, we
decided to just ride around the park with the top down in the
Jeep. In all, our experiences at the park have convinced us that
this is still a place to come back to in the near future.
The Richardson Tribe
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Entry Date: July 2008
On this visit, the kids rode their bikes almost constantly.
Lee Thomas, Heath, and Cal rode the full lake trail and the falls
trail (almost 5 miles). The twins rode to the falls and back to the car
(about a mile), then rode in the doodle bug behind Daddy for the
following 4 miles (Daddy's legs are still tired). After we got
back to the campsite, they continued to ride, and ride, and ride.
Heath had three little girls swooning over him at the campground, but
they were very sweet to Lainey too. They have no bears at Fall
Creek, but there were almost always dear around. They would almost
walk right into our campsite. They have no shortage of squirrels
and chipmunks either.
Note: There are some
negatives with Fall Creek Falls' campgrounds. While many of the
sites have been updated, some are kind of run-down. For instance,
our sites were, for the most part, bare dirt. That sure makes it
hard to keep a camper's floor clean. Most of the sites are not
level either. You can probably see from the pictures how much
jacking and shimming was necessary to get Homer close to level, and the
Parkertops had even more of an issue with their camper. One thing
that struck me was how much time and money they have spent upgrading
campground A. It's beautiful. New landscaping, a new
playground, and a nice smooth cap for all the inner roads. the
clincher is that the sites still slope off like a barn roof. Yeah,
we like Fall Creek Falls, but we still think that Georgia's parks rule
Entry Date: November
I remember going to
Fall Creek Falls when I was a kid, but I think it's probably
changed a lot. Now they have lots more to do. There is,
of course , camping and a lake, but they also have miles of paved
bike trails, horses, a golf course, a huge pool (closed for the
season), tennis courts, a gym, and more. Unfortunately, the
drought has reduced the falls to a trickle. Seeing this really
drives home how serious the drought is. On a lighter note, the
one thing that made this weekend great was participating is our new
Geocaching. It's a type of treasure hunting game where you
use a GPS (global positioning system) receiver to track down a
"cache" that someone has hidden. There was one hidden along
the bike path by the lake. The kids all got a little cheap toy
from the container, and we left
some polished semi-precious gemstones (agate). On the way
home, we stopped near Dayton, TN and found another cache. This
one was just a tiny container with a little log book that we signed.
The general idea of Geocaching is to add a new element of fun and
excitement to traveling (especially the kids), and to introduce
travelers to sights, views, and history that they won't find in a
Although it was probably past peak
for the colors up on the Cumberland Plateau, we still saw lots of
Fall color. I wish I could have stopped and taken more
pictures while driving, but we would have never gotten home!
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Watch for special events.
Tennessee's state parks are
ranked in the top three for the nation. Their website is ok,
but, as is the case with most, it is sorely lacking in
Full hookups for some sites.
Very pretty campgrounds. Too bad they didn't grade the sites
out more level. Otherwise, would've been a 10.
We have never stayed in the cabins before.
Lodge/Park Inn -
We have never
stayed in the Park Inn but it looks very nice.
The pool is very nice and large.
We have never played golf at Fall Creek
Falls, but the course is rated as one of the top public
courses in the nation.
decent looking courts.
Ping Pong, pool, video games. A really good
place to spend arainy afternoon.
There are two stores in the village. One is a
camp store with some food and necessary items. the other is
a gift shop.
we have attended just one interpretive
program at Fall Creek Falls. We learned about qwls and
dissected owl pellets. It was a very educational experience
for the grown-ups and kids alike.
Hiking is great in the park with
over 35 miles of trails. Regarding bikes, a very nice paved bike
path goes around the back side of the lake (pass a Geocache
in the process) and winds all the way to the high fall
overlook. Awesome for kids and grown-ups.
Fall Creek Falls was our first Geocaching experience..
Well, the park itself is
absolutely awesome, but it is relatively remote. We have
always spent all our time in the park while visiting the
*Note: We rate
only the amenities we have personally reviewed.
No financial consideration or favor has been received for
listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way
affiliated with this facility or any other facility we
review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged
after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the
reviews to be unbiased.