Window Cliffs

HARD 199 reviews

Window Cliffs is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Window Cliff Estates, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
662 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Note: Pets are not allowed. Camping and climbing is prohibited. For more information please visit: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/info/burgess-falls Please be mindful that this trail is rated as "Hard" because it crosses a creek. 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.

off road driving
4 days ago

No off road driving :/ Somebody incorrectly tagged this as such.

13 days ago

Save some energy going the last stretch back to the parking lot...its all up hill for a good workout. Beautiful hike! Good idea to take a pair of dry shoes to change into because the ones you wear to hike in will get wet.

17 days ago

Was a Awesome hike! Not too hard and so much fun! You will have to get wet up to shorts.
Great overlooks, well marked trail and beautiful water fall.
I’d say just moderate not hard hike. 3-4 hours and I’d do it 100 times again.

23 days ago

Very well maintained and easy to follow. If the rivers are low it really isn’t hard, and even if they are there are cables at every big crossing. Well worth the hike for the view of the cliffs and the waterfall.

27 days ago

This is one of my favs in the Upper Cumberland! Half of what makes this so much fun are all the water crossings. They range from ankle to waste deep. Cables run across for a stable handhold but they sometimes wash out after a really bad storm. (Do NOT go down here if there's a flood warning) The view from the top of the window cliffs is icing in the cake.

1 month ago

Challenging and the creeks and meadows were beautiful. The park is full of wildflowers and your in the shade most of the time. That combined with crossing the creeks makes it a great spot for a summer hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

My favorite day hike. GPS length varies between 5.5-6.2 miles. Save some energy for the ascent as you finish the trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail!! Loved every minute of it!! Not very long, and even with some people on the trail, it wasn't crowded at all. The views were spectacular and the falls, even somewhat dry, were still really nice! Planning on going back in the fall, for rainy season, to have more fun in the creek crossings and the falls. Definitely a top 3 in my book!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! Even with a full parking lot it didn’t feel crowded. The river crossings are beautiful, and the window cliffs are worth the effort. The waterfall at the very end would be great for swimming!! Only 4/5 because there are no dogs allowed.

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike. Not overly strenuous. Your feet will get wet, there’s no way around it.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was in excellent condition obviously receiving routine maintenance. The creeks were pretty low (6”-8”) with crossings 3 and 4 being dry. The waterfall was flowing well and worth a short stop to admire. A ranger was present at the top of the cliffs to ensure hiker safety.

hiking
1 month ago

Boring and easy trail I have no idea who put it down as hard

1 month ago

A really nice afternoon hike. your feet will get wet. Good view at the end

hiking
1 month ago

really enjoyed this trail, lots of creek crossing, the only part I found to be strenuous was coming back up the trail after the first creek crossing on the way back, it was pretty steep. will definitely go back this fall.

1 month ago

I’ve done this hike a few times, once when the water was low and today with lots of free flowing creeks. It was an amazing time a day to hike. Went all the way to the top to see the Window Cliffs first and then stopped for a refreshing dip in the falls!! If you want to get in the falls i recommend hiking down the far side and climbing into the water at the bottom of the falls. There is a nice rock shelf for you to walk all the way up to the falls! Bring your GoPro for great pictures!! Poles are always recommended for passing through the 7 creek crossings, they Tend to be slippery no matter the amount of water/current flow!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Creeks were high due to recent rain although easy to pass using guide wires. View at end of trail would be better in fall with less foliage. Overall a strenuous hike with poles recommended!

hiking
2 months ago

VERY STRENUOUS!! VERY WORTHWHILE!! Please make sure to bring a backpack with hydration & snacks. Heavily inclined.

hiking
2 months ago

I wouldn't consider the trail hard. There is hardly any elevation gain and the creek crossings weren't terrible. I went late July and some of the creeks were dry or hardly had any water. Definitely wear water shoes, otherwise your shoes will be wet the entire time. I had a hard time locating the viewing area of the window cliffs. It says overlook, but usually when it says that you assume it's below you, but instead you need to look up and you will see them. Definitely missed that and had to ask another hiker. So be sure to look up!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a marvelous hike. Wear proper shoes and clothes for getting wet. Depending on the levels, the creek can be high or low. If current is mild, great swimming holes. Pack a lunch and enjoy the view. Before it was a park, it was not as diverse as now. Great low lands to enjoy. State has done a great job putting in split rails to keep you from sliding down the hills (thanks)! If in the area, please enjoy but know this is a hike, not a walk in the woods. The hard rating is earned

hiking
2 months ago

Closed for today due to strong currents

3 months ago

This is a great trail. I liked it better before it became a park due to all the people that are now on it. But it's a great place with beautiful views. Just remember if you go to the bottom, you will be walking through a creek most of the way, so wear appropriate shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

It’s really nice hike overall. I took my 7 year old and she got through all the creek crossings just fine and we hiked all the way to the cliff. Just wear shoes made for hiking and getting wet and you’re good. The only bad part is the hike back to the parking lot because it is steep!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike. But please be cautious, especially with children. The cliffs have no railing and four of the nine river crossings lack guide wire as they have flooded. Otherwise a wonderful experience

hiking
3 months ago

what an awesome hike. very hot and the water crossings were great. hardest part for me was the incline coming back out, had to just take my time. and yes the wild blackberry's were a very nice treat. most likely will be our annual 4th of July hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Went today and loved it. The hike was great and the creek crossings were a welcome sight. 97 degree temps made the creek that much better. Oh , and the wild blackberries were awesome.

3 months ago

Great hike!! You will definitely get wet, great on a hot day. I would rate moderate, but the hike from the last creek crossing to the parking lot is steep. Poles or walking stick are a must. Will definitely be back.

hiking
3 months ago

Did the hike in about 1 hour 30 min. The water level was low when I went so no need to remove my steel toe boots. The hardest part of the hike was at the front of the trail after that it's smooth hiking. Looked around the cliffs a little and the signage is there for a reason, the limestone is extremely fragile and no good footing around it. Explore at your own risk

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail, did it in a little over 2 hours. Bring extra socks, you cross creeks 9 times each direction so your feet will get wet. Not necessarily worth going all the way to the top, but there’s a nice lookout of the formation and then a little further is a waterfall, I’d stop there if I were to go again. But definitely recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

A friend and I did the trail in 4 hours from 11 AM to 3 PM. We are middle-aged women in decent shape. We took our time and were in no hurry. We ate lunch at the second creek crossing and took time to sit in the creeks when we got hot. This was the hottest day of the year this summer. There are some portions that required us to walk in the full sun, so sunscreen, hats, bandanna, and sunglasses are a good idea.

There is one trail and it is well-blazed and marked with signage that tells you how far to the actual cliffs and how far back to the parking lot. The trail is well-maintained although it narrows in parts. It wasn't too overgrown and the proof was that I had no ticks at the end of it. I have had ticks on other trails this summer (Bearwaller Gap in Carthage , TN).

There are only 2 strenupus parts. One is the ascent up to the cliffs, which is 0.75 miles. The other tough part is the climb out at the end of the hike. Even with the switchbacks, the last mile is steep and I had to stop and catch my breath several times. I am not that out of shape, but it was HOT!

There are 9 creek crossings - marked as "CC" on the trail. Only crossings 3 and 4 were dry. The rest had water. It was so nice to walk through the cool water. You get to go through these same 9 creek crossings on the way back. My friend and I wore water shoes. I wore Chacos and she wore Keens. I checked out other hikers on the trail and the majority wore some kind of water shoe. Most also wore clothes that would allow them to get wet.

There are no bathrooms at the trailhead other than port-a-potties. No vending machines, so take a lot of water, at least a liter. I take two just to be on the safe side. Pets are not allowed on the trails. This is a kid-friendly trail until you get to the actual cliffs, which are very narrow. I would not want to take young kids up on the cliffs.

We had a good time and will definitely go back!

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