Have fun counting the number of stream crossings on this adventure through the Tennessee back woods and bring an extra pair of socks for the car!
About The Hike
Window Cliffs is a 275-acre park that was newly formed in 2016 after several private landowners wanted to protect the land and create a state park. It became the 85th State Natural Area when opened. The trailhead is located deep into farmland in Baxter, Tennessee which is about 18 miles south-west of Cookeville. The site is near Burgess Falls making these a good duo to pair together for a day of hiking and exploring.
The hike is approximately 5.5 miles round trip in an out & back hike with moderate elevation. The most elevation is at the start once the access road ends and once arriving at the cliffs. The majority of the hike is within the base of the wide gorge. So with no elevation is this hike easy? Well not quite...there are actually at least 8 or 9 stream crossings each way! So in total you could be crossing close to 20 streams in this less than 6-mile hike.
The water level varies throughout the year so the number of actual streams that you get your feet wet will vary greatly. However, I think when I hiked the water level was extremely low and still could not avoid getting my feet wet in the last two crossings. If hiking in the spring or after heavy rain I would advise going online to the TN.gov website for the cliffs to check any high or swift water advisories. About half of the streams when I hiked were dried up stream beds but there was plenty of evidence of full-grown trees washed away in the stream and piled against the walls of cliffs so don't underestimate the varying conditions.
The trail is very well marked with mile points every mile or even half mile so getting lost is unlikely. Towards the cliffs there will be a section to breakoff and get a vantage point of the 'Window' within the cliffs before heading to the summit. The cliffs are fragile and are cliffs so be sure to exercise caution when climbing on them. Also, be sure to check out the waterfall on the side trail near the last stream crossing. I was a bit waterfalled out from all my other Tennessee waterfalls (Check Out This Post!) but still they are some solid falls.
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