I have visited Niagara Falls three times while harboring the desire to return and then return again, and so on. You get me. I'm a huge fan.

My first time? It was March of 1987--spring break when I was a student at Western Kentucky University. The weather was perfect...until the day I visited. That's when Niagara Falls NY--just north of Buffalo--became what you expect from that region of the country during March. My second and third visits were during the summertime, so no issues.

I'm a big fan of waterfalls, so seeing the granddaddy of them all was a must. But I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em. Small, medium, large, Niagara...you name it.

Cummins Falls State Park in Tennessee -- an Adventure Is Waiting

However, if I'm going to "take 'em any way I can get 'em," I suppose I should ALSO be prepared for a waterfall that comes with its own list of prerequisites and--let's just say it--warnings. Warnings like THESE that you will find when you visit the section of the Tennessee State Parks website that describes Cummins Falls State Park.

  • Gorge Access Permit required to visit the base of the waterfall.
  • The base of the waterfall is only accessible on fair-weather days.
  • Cummins Falls is a natural area with inherent safety risks.
  • The gorge is prone to flash flooding.
  • Visiting the gorge is a very strenuous and physical activity.
  • You should comply with the park’s safety instructions.
  • We recommend that children 5 and under not go to the falls.
  • Children 12 and under must wear life vests at falls and be accompanied by an adult.

Visiting the waterfall will require:

    • Strenuous Hiking
    • Swimming or wading through water
    • Climbing Rocks
    • Crossing Slippery Rocks

If you clicked the above link, you noticed that the waterfall overlook is currently closed for construction. But when it opens, the coast will be clear for exciting fun at one of Tennessee's most popular and challenging state parks. But you can still enjoy the hike and get in a decent workout.

Spring isn't very far away. And spring-like weather is probably going to be here--in fits and starts--even sooner. Follow the words of wisdom and guidance and you will be richly rewarded.

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

Gallery Credit: Abby Monteil

LOOK: The best minigolf in every state

Using 2022 data from Tripadvisor, Stacker compiled a list of the highest-rated minigolf courses in all 50 states including Washington D.C.

Gallery Credit: Madison Troyer