Middle Burgess Falls

November 2006

State: Tennessee

Location: Burgess Falls State Park

Height: 40?

Crest: 200?

Water Source: Falling Water River

Waypoint: 36.042597N 85.598431W

Summary: Middle Burgess Falls is a good sized waterfall, and elsewhere it would be the star attraction, but it is outclassed by its much larger neighbor just downstream. Unless you boat up to Burgess Falls, you will pass the middle falls on your way to see the big falls.

Middle Burgess Falls is located in Burgess Falls State Park. It is a 40' drop located a few hundred feet above the big falls. The middle falls is a good size waterfall and in other areas would be an attraction all by itself. However it is definitely outclassed by its neighbor downstream.

The middle falls are easily seen from the trail that leads to Burgess Falls. There is an overlook that gives you a perfect head on view of the falls. From the brink of the lower falls you can walk upstream towards the base of the middle falls. However the view is obstructed, and you have to cross the river to get a good view of the falls. Crossing the river is not too hard when the water is low, but is probably impossible when the water is high.

I am not sure how high this waterfall is. The park website lists it at 80', but that is much too high. Upstream of the middle falls there is a smaller upper falls, and a smaller cascade. You will see both of these on your walk from the parking lot to the big falls.

The falls are about 13 miles southwest of Cookeville and are easy to find. There are signs for it on Interstate 40. Turn South off the 286 ramp onto State Highway 135. Proceed on Hwy 135 for 7 miles following the signs to the park. The final turn into the park is very sharp. The trailhead is right next to the parking lot.

[Cumberland Plateau] Nearby Falls

The Burgess Falls are a short distance downstream. Falling Water River flows into Center Hill Lake, which was created by the damming of the Caney Fork River. Fancher Falls, Evins Mill Falls, Cul-Car-Mac Falls, and Twin Falls are all around Center Hill Lake. Virgin Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Fall Creek Falls are all within an hours drive to the south. Cummins Falls can be found north of Cookeville, and a dozen other waterfalls are in the general area.

Photo Gallery

Distant view of Base

View of Base

View of Base

View from Brink

View of Base

Upper Falls

Upper Cascade

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