In 1935, the National Park Service proposed the creation of Fall Creek Falls State Park situated in both Van Buren and Bledsoe Counties. The original plans were to include the entire
Cane Creek Gulf watershed, but only 15,777 acres of land were purchased from local farmers
centering on the upper portion of the Cane Creek and Fall Creek watersheds. Workers from the
Works Progress Administration began construction of the park in 1936, and by 1944 the management
of the park was turned over to the fledgling Tennessee Department of Conservation.
In the early stages of the park, development was kept to a minimum. The rustic park was a
destination for hikers, hunters, bicyclists, swimmers, and other nature lovers. Camping was in an open
field; groups could also stay in Youth Camp One, which was built around 1938.
An instrumental person in the development of Fall Creek Falls as a state park was James
Taft, a teacher, Boy Scout leader, and preacher, who lived in the area. Taft quickly recognized
the value of the area as a park and began his lobbying efforts to see it set aside for the public.
Through his passionate insistence about the possibilities for this land, James Taft helped get
the area set aside as a state park.
The park now covers 22,000 acres of land.
The park was used as one of the primary filming locations for the Disney live action movie, The Jungle Book.
Click here for more information about Fall Creek Falls State Park,
and here for even more information about the park.