North Rim and North Plateau Trails is a 14.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Palmer, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Starts at mile 2.2 of Savage Day Loop
Great Hike. The trail is very well marked. We were under the impression it was a loop we could finish in a day, that was incorrect though. It's about a 2 mile hike from the Savage Gulf parking lot to the start of the North Rim trail. You could easily hike out to the cabin and stay the night and finish the loop on the North Plateau trail the next day. We just had not prepared for this. Beautiful views of waterfalls and the rim. Highly recommend it!
My 21y son and I did an overnight point-to-point starting at the Savage Gulf Ranger Station (Palmer, TN), took the North Rim Trail and camped at Hobb's Cabin. The next morning we hiked the Connector Trail to Stone Door.
Dropped of a car at Stone Door and drove to the Savage Gulf Ranger Station. It was an easy 8+ mile hike to Hobb's Cabin Camp. We passed Suter Falls and had lunch with our feet hanging off one of the many scenic overlooks. When we arrived at the Hobb's Cabin site back in woods we had fresh spring water and ample fire wood. There was a light rain at dusk and a hint of snow about 19:00. We refilled our water for breakfast and the next day’s hike out and up then called it a night settling into our bunk hammocks
Breakfast, coffee and repacking was not bad because it started to warm up as soon as the sun peaked though.
This is where I woke up. Immediately after leaving Hobb's you pick up the Connector Trail headed West and start dropping through the rocks. Fallen leaves and lack of foot traffic to clear them added a degree of difficulty on the hike to valley floor. The Connector Trail is 6.7 miles to the 1 mile ascent up and through the Stone Door. The Connector Trail has enough ups, downs and rocks that help you appreciate level footing. The River (or River bed depending on the water level) bridges added some fun. I am a kid at heart and like the springy ones. By the time we reached the Stone Door ascent I was feeling it. Hours of following the 21yo jack-rabbit son of mine made the climb out a dozy. I reached the top and felt like I had finished a crossfit workout. He of course was spry and talking food, love that kid. Recovering quickly we loaded the car headed back to the Ranger station to retrieve the other ride and headed home.
I love backpacking almost as much as spending time with my kids. Savage Gulf and the South Cumberland are a great place to do both. We keep going back.
My hike started at Stone Door Trail, to the Connector Trail, the North and South Rim Trails, the Stage Coach Trail and back up the Connector and Stone Door Trails. This 30 mile plus loop is very difficult especially in the summer time. The only sure water is located in the springs at Hobbs Cabin and Schwoon Springs. The Rim Trails are very nice with great overlooks. The Gulf trails are very difficult, with rock hopping on slick boulders for many miles. Bridges are also dangerous with very slick planking. Hobbs, Savage Falls and Sawmill Camp sites are very nice and can make the distance manageable. I did this solo and don't suggest it was a smart idea. There are too many opportunities to get hurt due to falls. Probably the loop is best hiked in the cooler months.
Took a ranger-led hike on this trail. The ranger was great - very informative. It was a couple of years ago, but if I remember correctly it took us about 6 hours including a lunch break.
Great views along this one. Stayed the night in Hobb's cabin and returned back along same trail. Hiked this one by myself but returned two weeks later with a friend and took North Rim Trail to the Connector trail over and out through the Stone door.
The North Rim trail is loaded with overlooks, creeks, and small waterfalls. It is a little more difficult than the North Plateau trail but has more to offer as far as scenery.
Great trail anytime of year, lots of great views and overlooks. Today was my third time on this trail and a because of the lack of leaves I was able to view waterfalls from the overlooks I;ve never seen before.
Certainly the most difficult section of South Cumberland State Natural Area, the Connector Trail offers hikers the ability to truly test their stamina in the backcountry. Because this section is in the interior of the park and links other main trails to one another, be prepared to already be a bit worn down when you get to this point. Have LOTS of water, pace yourself and take frequent breaks to both enjoy the vast beauty of the area and to give yourself a rest.
This portion of South Cumberland is absolutely gorgeous. Depending on the time of year, water sources may be scarce, so plan to carry in enough with you. If you get far enough into the interior of the park on the North Rim side, and if you're luck enough to arrive first, you can stay at Hobbs Cabin, a cozy cabin with 4-6 bunks on the walls, a fire pit out front and an outhouse nearby. The trail itself leading to the cabin is fairly easy with only a couple of short-lived rough patches. Be prepared to gaze across South Cumberland from atop the North Rim and enjoy great views from various overlooks and bluffs.
I hiked this trail Stone Door ranger station to Savage Gulf ranger station with a shuttle car waiting at the other end. The trail is an awesome but demanding, since I hiked rim, gulf to rim I enjoyed the way way the terrain changes. The way out of the gulf is steep, rocky and has features found nowhere else in Savage Gulf. If you want to burn a few calories try this route.
Good trail. My wife and I did this as an overnighter and stayed at the Hobbs Cabin campsite. I would rate this trail as moderate and plan to take my brother and his wife here this spring. FYI there is an outhouse at the campsite and places to filter water.