Sandy beach
Cliff jumping
Hike-in Required
Sensitive Habitat
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Stinging Fork Falls is located just west of Spring City, Tennessee, and is maintained by the Cumberland Trail State Park. Although the hike is only 2 miles round trip, Stinging Fork is by far one of the more tranquil and picturesque swimming holes in the area.

You'll begin your adventure into the Stinging Fork Gorge on the gravel section of Shut-In Road. The parking area is clearly marked, and you'll see a flat and smooth trail just to the right of the sign. However, the first half-mile of the trail is a bit deceiving; you'll take a right at the trail junction and very quickly begin your half-mile descent into the gorge. The trail crews have built a few sets of steps throughout this area of the trail, but many sections are narrow, rocky, and have steep drop-offs into the gorge.

The second half of the hike to the falls is by far the most enchanting part of the journey and is well worth the trip in and out of the gorge. You'll be able to see Stinging Fork Falls much sooner than you'll reach the swimming hole at the base. Pay close attention to the trail markers as you continue your descent; you can very easily make a wrong turn.

Once you reach flat ground and the creek, you will know you've arrived at your destination. The solitude found in the gorge feels like you're a thousand miles from civilization, not just a mile from your vehicle. Explore the creek, take a ride on the sliding rock, and swim in the pool below. Then, continue on to the absolutely paradisiacal Stinging Fork Falls, a 30-foot waterfall flowing into one of the most peaceful swimming holes in east Tennessee.

Logistics + Planning

Parking Pass

Not Required


Solitude. Short hike. Wildflowers. Geological features.




Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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