America's Best Swimming Holes

waterfalls and pools in Cummins Falls at Cookeville, TN
Skip Ad
Paul Meacham

Nature’s swimming pools are key to beating the summer heat. Fortunately, you’ll find them everywhere, from New York to California.

Cummins Falls, Cookeville, TN

11 of 21

About halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, Cummins Falls cascades 75 feet over wide stair-stepped rocks into a deep cold-water pool. It was once a hard-earned scramble to the bottom that involved hiking to the overlook, wading across the ankle-deep stream, and using a rope guide to walk down to the water. The path was made much easier in recent years, and the falls more accessible. That said, this is not a swimming hole for lightweights. Rangers ask visitors to tread carefully as rocks can be slippery and recommend children wear life vests at all times. But if you’re agile (and sure-footed), the descent into the cavernous pool is worth the effort.—Alice Bruneau

waterfalls and pools in Cummins Falls at Cookeville, TN

America's Best Swimming Holes

Cummins Falls, Cookeville, TN

About halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, Cummins Falls cascades 75 feet over wide stair-stepped rocks into a deep cold-water pool. It was once a hard-earned scramble to the bottom that involved hiking to the overlook, wading across the ankle-deep stream, and using a rope guide to walk down to the water. The path was made much easier in recent years, and the falls more accessible. That said, this is not a swimming hole for lightweights. Rangers ask visitors to tread carefully as rocks can be slippery and recommend children wear life vests at all times. But if you’re agile (and sure-footed), the descent into the cavernous pool is worth the effort.—Alice Bruneau

Paul Meacham [1] [1] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nashboro/
Sponsored Content
More from T+L
Advertisement