Fall Creek Falls State Park is Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park. Fall Creek State Park encompasses more than 26,000 acres across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. This Park has many cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and beautiful stands of virgin hardwood timber. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls within the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades. A pine-hardwood forest covers much of the tabletop plateau above the falls. The pine-hardwood forest is a rich mixed forest area, which has adapted to a moist environment above the falls. This Park is consistently the most-visited state park in Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls has something for everyone, including 35 miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views.
The earliest residents of this area were Native Americans followed by the early white pioneers who began farming, logging, and mining the area during the late 1800’s. Evidence of their stay in the area can still be seen throughout the natural area and park. In 1937, the federal government began purchasing the badly eroded land around Fall Creek Falls. The following year, the Works Project Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps began restoring the forest and constructing park facilities. A few years later in 1944, the National Park Service transferred ownership of the park to the State of Tennessee.
The Nature Center at Fall Creek Falls offers hands-on environmental education through a variety of naturalist-led programs. Additional programs include arts and crafts, movies, campfires, organized games and live musical entertainment. In addition to individual and family environmental education, the park offers extensive programming geared to school groups. There is also a Canopy Challenge Course at Fall Creek Falls that includes over 75 wobbly bridges, rope swings, cargo nets, balance beams and zip lines of varying difficulty. Participants move through the aerial adventure course connected to a flexible lifeline system.
The park is located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties. From Knoxville, take I-40 West to Crossville, Peavine Road, exit 322. Take a left off the exit, onto Hwy 101 South. At the four-way stop, go straight on Hwy 392, through the first traffic light (at 127). Continue straight to the second traffic light (Lantana Road, Hwy 101). Take a left turn onto Hwy 101 South and travel approximately 30 minutes to a dead-end. Turn left (still on Hwy 101 South) and go approximately four miles to Hwy 30. Turn right on Hwy 30 West. Park entrance is about five miles on the left (at Hwy 284).
The park has 222 campsites in five different areas. All sites have tables, grills, water, and electricity and are served by six bathhouses. 92 sites have sewer connections. Some sites will accommodate an RV up to 65 feet in length. Ice and firewood may be purchased year-round. In addition to the 222 campsites, there are 16 primitive sites, 9 are walk in the other 7 are park on. Most campgrounds are accessible by persons with a disability. Fall Creek has two group camps, both featuring rustic bunkhouses clustered around central dining halls, bathhouses, and recreation buildings. Both camps provide private swimming beaches, playfields, fire rings, and private staff quarters. There are also three back-country sites located on the overnight backpacking trails.
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Pikeville,+TN,+USA there are 9 free campsites within 40 miles of Pikeville, Tennesee.
—-Hiking & Biking & Horseback Riding—-
There are lots of great hiking options at this Park, with a 35-mile system through the Park that leads to some great views. For a good intro hike, the Paw Paw trail is an easy 2.6-mile stroll offering access to two overlooks—Fall Creek Falls and Cane Creek Gorge overlooks. Other easier hikes include a paved, ADA-compliant trail where hikers share the path with cyclists and a couple of easy, short natural trails (the .2-mile campground connector path and .5-mile Turkey Pen Ridge). Moderate hikes range from the .9-mile Woodland Trail to the 4.6-mile Gilbert Gaul Loop, which runs near its namesake homestead and up to the head of Fall Creek Lake. For a more difficult adventure, try one of the overnight options on the Cane Creek Trail—the moderate 14-mile Upper Loop or the difficult 13.2-mile Lower Loop.
—-Things to Do—-
Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to the 345-acre Fall Creek Falls Lake, famous for its abundance of largemouth bass, channel catfish and bream. Rent a pedal boat, fishing boat or canoe for the day and enjoy the scenic setting as you explore the creek and lake. A bit off to the south is Chattanooga where you will find the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. TVRM’s 6-mile round trip run stands as the only full-size operating railroad museum in the state and is providing the only regularly scheduled passenger service in East Tennessee and is generally pulled by a steam locomotive.