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Window Cliffs is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Baxter, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 662 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Please note: They close the trail when the water is high, often on short or no notice because water levels can change so quickly in this area. Please consult the park's website before visiting: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/burgess-falls Please be mindful that this trail crosses a creek several times. Water levels vary depending on weather conditions. After periods of rain, the water level will be higher and the creek may be difficult to cross. Park opens at 8am.

hiking
11 days ago

My 11 year old and I did this trail midweek. Not a lot of people, so it was nice. Streams were an easy cross, water was low, highest was maybe just below knee deep (we're short though). We spent quite a bit of time exploring the stands. Lots of wildlife to observe. Trails were well-maintained. The waterfall was beautiful. We went all the way to the cliffs and back. We hike quite a bit and spend most of our time outdoors and didn't find the hike difficult at all (the last bit out is a little steep and could be tough for some). I will definitely take my younger two next time we go, although probably not up to the cliffs just yet. Whether you choose to go to the cliffs with kids I think depends on the maturity of the child. The hike up isn't too difficult, but the cliffs are narrow and a misstep would be tragic.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful, well-maintained trail. There are 9 stream crosses on the way to the cliffs. The first is the deepest and can get too high to cross safely with high water. We had an easy time though and the cable is fixed now. Two streams were completely dry and easy to walk over. Parts of the trail are in a wooded pasture area and those paths are not wide (read: no room to pass without getting off trail). The falls are beautiful and there’s a swimming hole at the base. The cliffs are really cool to go see. Be mindful of the amount of people up there as there’s not a ton of space for sitting. The last quarter mile going back out is steep but doable. Take your time and drink plenty of water. I recommend going early in the day as it gets busy around lunchtime. There are portable potties at the trailhead but they are not cleaned by park rangers so use at your own risk.

hiking
11 days ago

I took my gaggle of Ginger Militia here on a Saturday. We parked our van in a clean, organized, and park ranger monitored lot. The last mile or so of the drive leads you to believe you are NOT in the right spot but stay the course. You will find it. Clean Port-a-Potties and hand sanitizer available. But you’ll need to pack your own water. Or if you’re a real hardcore outdoorsy savage, you can fill your canteens with the easy rushing creek water. You’ll have multiple opportunities for this and no other chance for a toilet until you get back. You can venture off trail the relieve yourself if you absolutely have to though. There are plenty of varied terrains and areas to take breaks but this is a serious trek to the top of the cliffs. 9.31 miles I tracked from parking lot to the window cliffs and back. Plenty of water features to cool off in if your meat suit needs a chill. The cliffs at the top are breathtaking but are a serious feat to conquer. I would be very weary of bringing any child under 5 or 6 to the top. There is one slightly sketchy rock crossing that if not done right... will be the last thing you ever do. But adversity is good thing and I think we need more of it in this world. Especially our little tikes and the soft life we’ve created for them. The cliffs are the very last portion so if you want to skip that and just hang at the waterfalls near the bottom then that would be a good option. Decent size and deep pool to swim in at the falls and even a little cliff jumping. A great day trip for any Nashville native. But don’t bring the dogs! Not allowed.

hiking
12 days ago

Good trail worth doing. Bring hiking poles or get a stick from the selection at the trailhead. The wires at some of the creek crossings are not where you want to cross if you want to keep your feet dry. Sticks allow you to cross where it is shallow but slippery.

hiking
bugs
rocky
14 days ago

Really enjoyed the hike today! The trail had been mowed on the sides which was nice. The waterfall was very beautiful even though it hasn't rained lately! Love the water crossings, even though most were dry crossings. A few flies will likely buzz around you in the open areas, but no complaints here!

hiking
bugs
rocky
15 days ago

The water was pretty low when I went today which was great! You’ll still have to cross water 14 or 16 of the 18 times. There’s a waterfall you can veer off to and go play in the water! The giant hill you go down in the beginning is quite a beast at the end but totally worth it. Met two girls at the top who were braver than I and encouraged me to go out a little further on the cliff. It was beautiful... and terrifying. Def wear some bug spray if you’re like me and get chowed on.

hiking
19 days ago

Varied, challenging trail. Multiple water crossings and you will definitely get wet. Beautiful scenery. Some paths slightly overgrown. Pay attention when you get close to the cliffs, as the trail splits into two well traveled paths. Steep path to the left goes to the cliffs, and going straight/right brings you to the water. Tail end of the hike out is uphill and strenuous. Multiple opportunities for swimming. Loved it and will definitely be back.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a fantastic trail with many opportunities to get into water while hiking. The beginning/ending of the trail is what makes it a moderate hike. It’s not bad going down, but coming up is very difficult.

hiking
20 days ago

Please read all of this post for your protection. This is a great trail. You cross over 9 creek beds, 2 of which were dry at the time of crossing. Some creek beds are very slippery but cables across the creeks are provided. The trail in and out with overlooks is about 8 miles. Please note and beware! The parking lot is subject to vandals. My car and another were broken into by busting windows to get personal belongings. Do not leave purses or wallets or things of value in your car at this trail head parking area.

hiking
21 days ago

Easy hike. I really enjoyed the stream crossings. I wore shorts and my Chacos which made the trek through water no big deal. The cliffs are really cool!

hiking
22 days ago

Great.

bugs
over grown
rocky
24 days ago

Took this hike alone, so I did not climb on top of the cliffs; it did make the end of the trail a little anticlimactic. There is a beautiful waterfall about halfway, and the first creek pass looks to have a wonderful swimming opp. You will pass a creek bed and get wet at least every 1/8th of a mile, making for quite a little adventure. There are two longer stretches on narrow paths that were becoming overgrown with grass. At the end, you will have a chance to ascend rock formations and can hear a fall very clearly. The trail is worth the drive out, for sure, and I will bring my family back out with me. Some things to be mindful of: The trail is mostly flat and not very vigorous, but can be narrow and in the sunny patches you may encounter a barrage of flies. If you decide to hike on a sunny day, bring sun screen. Even if the trail is not closed immediately after rain, the decent down and up can be dangerous, as can the rushing creek beds. The rocks crossing the creek beds are quite slick. There is a place about half way where there is a metal rope, but the path to continue is beyond the rope, on the left, NOT alongside the river.

hiking
24 days ago

We loved this trail! Crossing the creek/river was so much fun. It was a great exercise, and the end was so worth the trip! I have a terrible fear of heights, but I crawled up to the top on all fours. I am so glad I didn't miss that view!

hiking
26 days ago

We really enjoyed this trail. The multiple stream crossings were refreshing. Beautiful trail, plenty of people out enjoying it today. The beginning has a decent decent which, of course, means a decent climb at the end. Will definitely be back.

hiking
28 days ago

Due to the rain I was am unable to cross the river at all. Will come back another time.

hiking
1 month ago

We enjoyed this trail. Went with our five year old and three year old. We brought the baby carrier to wear the three year old through more difficult times. Our hike ended up being 7.4 miles because after the last stream crossing we missed the trail veering left to the woods rather than following the river. So we ended up going into what we now realize was private property - also what another reviewer referred to as the cliffs being “closed” by a gate. We turned around and finally got back on trail. Beautiful views. Bring water and snacks. People underestimate the TN weather in summer. Lots of fun spots to let the kids play in the water. I wouldn’t wear hiking boots, it wouldn’t be too fun to walk all this with wet soggy boots. There is no avoiding the streams. I would recommend sunscreen for the face also during the summer.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail. Be aware that you do have to cross eight streams some of which are deeper than others. The first stream you cross is the deepest and probably the most difficult to cross. There are ropes to help you get across the creek. This is a long hike although not very strenuous. The waterfall is beautiful. When we went you could not go to the window cliffs there was a gate and they were shut off

1 month ago

The reviews provided for this trail were extremely helpful. You have to cross 8 streams of water, some deep and some not so much. We took off the shoes for the first two, then it just wasn't possible to keep doing this for all. At first the water felt very cold and freezing, got better in the second one. You have to return on the same route (no loop). We went at 9 am to avoid crowd, it got crowded later. There's less space, so be as early as possible. It was a very refreshing experience overall!

1 month ago

Excellent hike. The only tough part is right at the end. 90% of this hike is on flat ground, but the parts that aren't flat are very steep. The trail is wide (most of the time) and well managed, but they could stand to tighten up the ropes at creek crossing. The ropes won't keep you from falling over, but they will keep you from being pushed around by the current. You will absolutely get wet. Hiking sandals and quick drying shorts are your best options. The scenery is varied - there's tunnels through forest, walks through pines, inclines, wide open meadows, tall grasses, rocky creeks, and of course a beautiful view at the Window Cliffs. Get there early to avoid larger groups.

hiking
1 month ago

Highly recommend!! Has multiple creek crossing with several being knee high. I recommend going on to the top on the cliffs unless your fearful of heights. Regardless the hike to the big waterfall is worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! There are about 8 different stream crossings. None of them are terribly difficult, but they can get deep and you (and your shoes/socks/long pants) will get wet. Pretty views and interesting rock formations, definitely worth checking outs!

hiking
1 month ago

Not an easy trail. I hiked in Chacos and ended up with major blisters due to the constant river crossings. Several waterfalls throughout the rivers, but only one is directly on the trail. The cliffs are beautiful but dangerous. Park Rangers check often to ensure no one is playing in the windows, they will ticket you.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is no joke! I didn’t realize how out of shape I was until the half-mile uphill at each end. The views are worth it, though. I can’t stress enough that your feet WILL GET WET, so wear suitable footwear. It is also a bit rugged, so I recommend Tevas or something similar. The trail was very clean, well-kept. This may be my new favorite trail in this area.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, mostly shaded, must take water shoes as you cross 9 streams (18there and back) be sure to stop at the lookout point otherwise the hike up the rock is anticlimactic. We saw frogs, lizards, lots of blooming flowers, bees, no snakes and people were generally considerate about passing and trying to social distanced. I saw very few with masks, mostly older people. Great spots for a hammock. Hike back up at the end was the toughest part. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Diverse views. We saw a large black snake near the trailhead. ***Will need to wear water shoes or be okay with soaking your hiking boots.

hiking
1 month ago

Bring some good hiking sandals! Saw one chicken snake near the trail head. Get there early to avoid the traffic. My favorite parts are the waterfall and the limestone. Not a big fan of the cliffs. Too much trees can’t see any thing.

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