Located on the beautiful Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, this idyllic 211-acre site in Jackson County is home to Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall at 75 feet high. Cummins Falls is formed on the Eastern Highland Rim and has been a favorite scenic spot and swimming hole for residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls also has been listed as one of the ten best swimming holes in the United States by Travel & Leisure and Conde Naste magazines.
The park’s picnic area is located across the road from the parking lot. The area has several tables scattered around the old Cummins Family home site that are shaded from the sun. The picnic area is considered primative - the ground is not level and there are no grills or trash cans so please pack out what you bring in. Although not formally landscaped, the old home site provides a particularly scenic backdrop in the spring when the daffodils are in bloom.
Cummins Falls’ rich history includes a time when Indians used the area to track the numerous buffalo that wallowed in the river’s shallow areas. In the 1790s, Sergeant Blackburn, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and for whom the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River was named, was awarded the land in lieu of a pension. The land was acquired by John Cummins in 1825, and he used the land to build the first of two mills. Because of his growing clientele, a larger second mill was built in 1845. Local residents would visit the mills and the falls for both commerce and recreation.
The mill was washed away during the great flood of 1928, but cars and paved highways had already begun to make the trek to Cummins Falls more accessible. The land was not rebuilt, but stayed with the Cummins family for more than 180 years until efforts by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to purchase the land through private and public donations for resale to the state of Tennessee.