Outdoors Explorer

A comprehensive guide to all of the outdoors activities and locations that that you can experince in and around Cookeville.

Bee Rock

Bee Rock

Take in the spectacular overlook of the Calfkiller River and Stamps Hollow. Legend has it that Native Americans gathered honey from hives underneath the cliff.

1420 Bee Rock Road Monterey, TN 38574


Burgess Falls State Park

This park is known for its sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, rolling water and abundant mixed forest. The area is on the National Register of Historic Places. There was once a gristmill, sawmill and powerhouse on this site. The park is home to over 300 species of trees, plants and an abundance of wildlife, including the white-faced grey squirrel. Visitors can enjoy the large Native Butterfly Garden, fish and hike the 1.5-mile round-trip loop to see four waterfalls on the Falling Water River, the tallest being 136 feet.

4000 Burgess Falls Dr Sparta, TN 38583

center hill lake

Center Hill Lake

Center Hill Lake is the largest of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in Tennessee, covering 18,200 acres. It’s also one of the most popular recreation destinations in Middle Tennessee—with good reason. Hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and many other water sports are enjoyed on Center Hill’s beautiful water.

City Lake

City Lake Natural Area

The 35-acre City Lake Natural Area is located on Bridgeway Drive and is preserved in its natural state, with some improvements to help accessibility.  The park is a favorite area of fishermen as they can catch catfish, bass and bream. Cookeville’s first water treatment facility was constructed here.

Cookeville, TN 38501


Cummins Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park is an idyllic, but rugged, 211-acre day-use park located nine miles north of Cookeville on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River on the Eastern Highland Rim. Located in the Cordell Hull Watershed, the area has been a scenic spot and swimming hole for local residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls is Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in both volume and height. It was also voted the 6th best swimming hole in the nation by Reader’s Choice Magazine.

390 Cummins Falls Lane Cookeville, TN 38501


Pickett State Park

Pickett State Park lies within the 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest, and is adjacent to the massive 120,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. In 1933, the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company donated nearly 12,000 acres of land to the State of Tennessee to be developed as a forest recreational area. Initial development of the area by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) occurred between 1934 through 1942. The CCC constructed hiking trails, five rustic cabins, a recreation lodge, a ranger station and a 12-acre lake. The park memorializes and preserves the unique work of the CCC who first developed the park.

4605 Pickett Park Hwy. Jamestown, TN 38556

Lorem Ipsum Dolor

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is an 883 acre park located on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers. The rugged beauty of the park includes the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam. These overlooks are some of the most scenic and significant along the Eastern Highland Rim. Great Falls is a 30 foot horseshoe cascading waterfall, located below the 19th century cotton textile mill that it powered over 100 years ago. Rock Island became a Tennessee State Park in 1969.

82 Beach Rd. Rock Island, TN 38581

standing stone monument

Standing Stone State Park

Standing Stone State Park is located in Standing Stone State Forest on the Cumberland Plateau that encompasses more than eight miles of day-use hiking trails that provide access to some of the park’s loveliest areas. Trails range from easy to strenuous and pass into virgin woods through vivid wildflowers and over-flowing streams and around beautiful Standing Stone Lake. The park has 36 campsites, each with a grill, picnic table, water and electricity. There are also 17 historic WPA cabins and seven more modern cabins available that can be reserved up to a year in advance. All cabins are completely equipped for housekeeping including appliances, microwave oven, cooking utensils and linens. The park has three group lodges ranging in size and accommodations. The Tea Room at Standing Stone is a conference-style meeting room that can accommodate up to 80 people and is approximately 800-square-feet. The Tea Room includes a large back deck and five picnic tables. Great views of the lake and natural scenery make it an ideal location for wedding receptions, family reunions and small conferences.

1785 Standing Stone Park Hwy. Hilham, TN 38568