The Essentials

Middle Falls

G Rating 6.0
WOW Factor 5

Plumb Rating 

Height: 80'


Distance: 1.0 miles (RT)



GPS and Map Details
Latitude:   36° 2.56' N
Longitude: 85° 35.905' W
Elevation:   ~800 ft
Face:         ~320° (NW)

Maps:  Topozone

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Middle Falls



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New Hampshire



Middle Falls

Burgess Falls State Park, Putnam, Tennessee

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Middle Falls at Burgess Falls State Park, TN

Middle Falls (5/30/2006, 33 mm, f/5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO 100)


This waterfall is located in Burgess Falls State Park along with 3 other waterfalls all within one mile of the parking area - Falling Water Cascades (20'), Little Falls (30'), and the namesake Burgess Falls (136').


The magnitude of this waterfall is not properly captured by the photo, probably due to the width of the river.  This waterfall appears much smaller than it really is.  Middle Falls would get a higher rating from me but access to the falls is limited and close approach appears to be impossible.  As it is, the overall rating is pretty good at 6.0, not bad considering the main attraction is not even this waterfall.



Getting There

Burgess Falls State Park is located in middle Tennessee near the city of Cookeville.  Directions can be obtained from the state park website or you can get personalized directions from Mapquest.



Hike Details

The hike follows the Falling Water River downstream toward Burgess Falls.  There's a little up and down action on the trail but in general the trail is fairly easy.  You are following the river downstream so the overall trend is downhill on the way out to the waterfall.


Photo Tips

I had high contrast conditions when I was there since it was midday and sunny, not exactly ideal photography conditions.  As with Little Falls, I took the picture above from the overlook on the trail.  I did a small amount of scouting for alternate photo locations.  There were none along the top of the bluff that weren't obstructed by trees  and I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to navigate down the bluff.


As with any of the waterfalls in Burgess Falls State Park the river is very broad and open so sun is a constant problem except very early or late.


You will want to use a polarizer to cut down on reflections.


As far as a tripod goes, you really don't need one for this waterfall.


I know - shocking.


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