Burgess Falls in Tennessee

Water rushes over the tallest waterfall at Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee

Water rushes over the tallest waterfall at Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee, as seen during our Tennessee Waterfalls trip.

Burgess Falls was the first of four Tennessee State Parks that we visited on our Waterfalls trip, and it was worth the visit. We walked along the trail that runs alongside the appropriately-named Falling Water River. Could there be a better name for a river with waterfalls? I can’t think of one. Maybe Waterfall River, but that does not sound as good as Falling Water River.

Burgess Falls is actually a set of four cascades and waterfalls.1 The falls pictured above are the largest at 136 feet in height. I have photos of the others that I will share eventually. Perhaps I should have started with the smaller ones and saved the biggest for the last.

Hiking the Burgess Falls Trail

Laura at Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee

It was a bit of a hike to make it to the largest falls, but we did not mind. As you can tell from this photo of Laura, it was actually a little cool on this day (which was also Laura’s birthday, by the way). After reaching the largest falls, some people walk back on a service road, but we chose to take the trail back, since we had come there to hike. That way, we got to see the waterfalls again, too.

And another plug for hiking poles. I joked in the previous waterfall post about feeling old for using them, and I mentioned that in a couple of social media posts as well. At least I thought I was just joking. I got a couple of replies of people defending the use of poles. And I heartily agree. They are not just for old people. Some of those rocks and trails can be slippery, and it is great to have some extra balance and stability with poles.2


Whenever we visit a big waterfall like this, I usually make a joke somewhere along the way about how quiet it must be when they turn the waterfall off at night. Laura deserves some great wifely credit for not hitting me every time. Fortunately, we do not see large waterfalls all that often.

But if you have been to enough theme parks or hotels with fake waterfalls, you will sooner or later catch them with a waterfall turned off. And when that happens, it does get rather quiet.

But with a real waterfall in nature, there is no on/off switch. Yes, there can be droughts and men can build dams, but there is no way to just turn off a waterfall. It is constantly flowing - overflowing, actually, by its very nature. Always rushing, day and night. And that reminds me of God’s love for us.

God’s love is always overflowing. There is no switch to turn it off, and it cannot even dry up. We can choose to ignore it. We can act as if it is not there. But God’s love continues to flow, day and night, forever.

And because God’s love for us is overflowing, our love for others should be overflowing as well. You might even think of it being another waterfall downstream from God’s waterfall of love. His overflowing love runs down to us, filling us up so that we overflow as well.

Don’t stop the flow of God’s love through you. Let it flow on to others, too.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:34-35

Love One Another

About the Photos

Sometimes for me, a little green goes a long way. And I sometimes feel the same about yellow, too. So I toned down the greens and the yellows in these photos a good bit. The green was in the leaves of the trees, obviously. And the yellow was in the river flowing from the base of the falls, which apparently has a bit of mud in it. If you think about it, it does make sense that the constantly-falling water would churn up a good bit of mud at the bottom. Nothing wrong with that, except that it was just a bit glaring in the photo originally. The resulting photo does not quite have the same amount of color saturation that many of my photos have, but I think this look works well here.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
Date: April 12, 2024
Location: Burgess Falls State Park, Tennessee

  1. What’s the difference? Cascades are smaller with a more gradual slope, while waterfalls have steeper drops. I learned something! ↩︎

  2. Not that I plan to stop trying to be humorous about getting old. You might as well laugh about it, because what else can you do? ↩︎


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.