We love music – it’s a huge part of our lives. However, there’s something restorative about the natural environment, especially when experiencing the mountain’s beauty. In fact, there are so many trails, climbing and hiking opportunities within a short drive from Pelham Pointe rental cabin that the options are simply staggering. Vistas for viewing, forests, rock walls and formations, waterfalls, blue holes, rivers and streams – there’s literally something for everyone. Pictured is a regional trailhead map of the South Cumberland and surrounding areas with descriptions for many of the routes listed below. And these are just a *few* of the local offerings. Enjoy!
The Meadow Trail (at the South Cumberland Visitor Center on US 41 between Monteagle and Tracy City) The Meadow Trail, immediately behind the South Cumberland Visitor Center, provides an opportunity to sample the flora and fauna of South Cumberland in an easy, 1.3 mile walk. Once part of a golf course, much of this trail route now meanders through meadows of wildflowers and native grasses, bordered by hardwood forests. Several small bogs and creeks allow you to examine wetlands up-close. Coupled with a leisurely browse through the Visitor Center, this is a great hike if you have young children you’d like to introduce to the natural world! The Meadow Trail map can be found on our downloadable maps page.
Grundy Day Loop/Sycamore Falls (at the Grundy Forest area, just south of US 41 in Tracy City) The Grundy Forest Day Loop is perhaps one of the best short hikes in the entire Park. This 2-mile circuit takes in the northernmost section of the famed Fiery Gizzard Trail, and follows both Fiery Gizzard Creek and Little Gizzard Creek for much of its route, with tumbling cascades, several waterfalls and swimming holes along the way. If you wish to continue on, try the 3-mile Sycamore Falls spur that brings you to some interesting geologic formations and waterfalls. Don’t forget your bathing suit to take a dip in the refreshing Sycamore Falls swimming hole! The Grundy Forest Day Loop is shown on the “Fiery Gizzard” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
Lone Rock Trail (at Grundy Lakes, just east of US 41 in Tracy City) An easy 1.3 mile roundtrip hike circling the Grundy Lakes. Set time aside to explore the coke ovens and to enjoy the views of the lakes in this historical area. Bring a swimsuit and enjoy the swimming area at Grundy Lakes after your hike! Ask a desk attendant at the Visitor Center for a brochure about the history and purpose of the coke ovens, and watch our “Hike into History” video to learn more about the fascinating history of this area!
Foster Falls/Climber’s Loop (at the Foster Falls parking area, just west of US 41, 4 miles south of Tracy City) The tallest falls in the Park, Foster Falls can be viewed from a handicapped-accessible viewing platform just 1/4 mile from the Foster Falls parking area. For a better look, take the trail past the viewing platform and descend into the gorge at the base of the falls. If you wish to continue on, try the 2-mile roundtrip on the “Climber’s Loop” trail, which takes you past several popular rock-climbing cliffs, then back up to the Plateau where you join the southernmost stretch of the famed Fiery Gizzard trail, and circle behind Foster Falls on your way back to the parking area. The descent into and ascent out of the gorge can be strenuous. Foster Falls and the Climber’s Loop can be found on the “Fiery Gizzard” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
Sewanee Natural Bridge (off TN 56, 2 miles south of Sewanee) A remarkable natural sandstone arch, the Sewanee Natural Bridge is easily accessible via a 400-foot stair-stepped path from the parking lot. Take US 41A west from the Sewanee village area, then left on TN 56 for about 2 miles; Sewanee Natural Bridge Road will be on your left. Please respect the privacy of landowners whose homes flank the narrow tract that contains the Natural Bridge formation.
Buggytop Cave Trail (at the Carter State Natural Area, off TN 56, 6 miles south of Sewanee) A moderately difficult 4 mile roundtrip hike to one of the largest cave openings in Tennessee. Watch your footing as you descend into Lost Cove and enjoy the cool air at the opening of the cave before heading back up. Bring lots of water and be sure you have sturdy footwear! The Buggytop Cave trail can be found only on the “Fiery Gizzard Topographic Map”, on our downloadable maps page.
Savage Day Loop (eastern prong of the Savage Gulf canyon area, at the Savage Ranger Station, west of TN 399, 5 miles north of Gruetli-Laager) The Savage Day Loop is an easy 4.2 mile roundtrip hike and a perfect afternoon outing if you’d like to see the eastern part of Savage Gulf, as well Savage Falls and the impressive rock cascades immediately above the falls. The Savage Day Loop can be found on the “Savage Gulf” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
Greeter Falls/Blue Hole (western prong of the Savage Gulf canyon area, just off TN 56, north of Altamont) A moderate one-mile out-and-back trail with a spiral staircase, taking you to Greeter Falls. Also check out the spur trail to the Blue Hole swimming area, as well as some smaller waterfalls and historic sites. Trails to Greeter Falls and Blue Hole can be found on the “Savage Gulf” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
Stone Door/Laurel Falls (junction of the three canyons of Savage Gulf, at the Stone Door Ranger Station, off TN 56 at Beersheba Springs) This easy 2 mile out-and-back hike is a must for all those first visiting the park. The Great Stone Door and the cliffs are not to be missed! Also be sure to check out the 400-foot stair-stepped spur trail, directly behind the Stone Door Ranger Station, that leads down to Laurel Falls! The Stone Door and Laurel Falls trails can be found on the “Savage Gulf” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
Suter Falls/Horsepound Falls (southern prong of the Savage Gulf canyon area, just north of TN 108 in Gruetli-Laager) A difficult 2 mile out-and-back viewing Suter Falls, rock shelters, and high bluffs. If you wish to continue on, 2 miles past Suter Falls you’ll come to Horsepound Falls, a unique waterfall formation with overlooks and lush wildflowers in the spring! The Suter and Horsepound Falls trails can be found on the “Savage Gulf” Maps, on our downloadable maps page.
- Hike on designated trails only. No off trail hiking, shortcuts, or “bush whacking.”
- All trails are marked with a white or blue blaze.
- Absolutely no hiking after dark.
- Do not jump from waterfalls or cliffs in any park area. Swim at your own risk.
- Pets must always be leashed and under control.
- Horses, bicycles and vehicles of all kinds are prohibited on trails and backcountry roads, except in specially designated areas.
- Destroying, digging, removing or possessing any live tree, shrub or plant is prohibited.
- Hunting, killing, wounding, harassing, or capture of any wildlife is prohibited.