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A list of trails in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area

Savage Gulf Trails Map
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on Savage Day Loop

5 hours ago

this is the fourth time I've been to this trail. usually it's great but today the trail was closed due to dangerous conditions and fallen trees from a recent storm. We hiked anyway but encountered many obstacles that forced us off the main trail. We never made it to the falls due to impassable piles of large fallen timber, brush and branches. Heed the warning signs until they finally get the trail cleaned up and cleared again.

It is absolutely beautiful

hiking
8 days ago

Very nice hike - fairly easy - just the distance. Waterfall is beautiful as is the overlook. Great walk for someone like me trying to get into shape and get some outdoor time. Was fun!

Awesome trail. The views are excellent. We did the full loop clockwise, which I would highly recommend. Going down into the gorge was very steep and rock filled. The gorge itself was lovely, and the river was flowing pretty strong. The way back up to the rim was not near as steep as the descent (again why I would recommend clockwise). Overall a good challenge but very doable if you are active.

[TL;DR: Solid trail, good workout. Varied terrain so you won't get bored. Watch out for false trails.]

First, if you're reading this close to the date of this post, go now. The leaves just started really changing color about a week ago, and now it is in full swing. Lots of pines, but in the deciduous areas it is all red and gold. The trail is casually beautiful, with the occasional stunner just laying nonchalantly in full view of the trail. Waterfalls, cliffs, boulder fields, etc.

Second, someone below said this is harder that Fiery Gizzard; I would disagree. I would say it is equal to Fiery Gizzard to Raven's Point Loop, but with a different kind of difficulty. I would compare it more closely to Lower Loop at Fall Creek Falls, but with rougher paths and more and longer scrambles.

You will have a scramble on either side of the trail head. The one to the right (counterclockwise) is more continuous, with no real flat spots until you're out of the scramble. The one to the left (clockwise) is not a continuous scramble, but seemed more difficult due to a number of odd angles and weird transitions. I would call them equally difficult, but in different ways. I would recommend going to the right from trailhead, though, if only because the left-hand side gives you a beautiful spot to appreciate once you get close to trailhead on the way back.

Outside of the scrambles the path tends to be very broken and rough, but nothing worrisome. You will need to cross 4-5 streams, so keep an eye on the rain and prepare accordingly.

The ascent on the way back is fairly rapid, but not too much so.

I will note that I cut the loop close to the end: I cut across the connector trail by the sawmill campsite instead of completing the last nub of the loop, trying to save 30 minutes to an hour as I was racing sunset (late start, thanks Google Maps). It was a good choice, as I made it back to the parking lot just in time for a golden sunset. I carry night gear, but doing a scramble in the dark on a new trail did not seem like a good idea.

One important warning I haven't seen anyone else mention: there are false trails everywhere. Some seen ike abandoned paths, some for locals, some seem natural, but it is very easy to go off trail here. I went down two false trails (one even had a wooden ramp along a cliff edge), and I ran into two groups that had lost members further back on the trail, which I hadn't seen. One very tricky spot is when you cross the suspension bridge when heading couter-clockwise. Once over that there'll be a small footbridge. At that point the trail will be slightly behind your right shoulder; take an immediate right. Someone has tried to block the false trail (immediately in front if the footbridge) with a wall of branches, but it just looks like trail debris. Lots of blazes down, so when in doubt, just stop and break out the app, otherwise you'll be off trail and have no idea.

All in all, a good day trail. I completed 13 miles in about 8 hours, counting breaks, without being in any great rush (cutting to the connector did help). Bear in mind with the varied terrain and scrambles your speed is not going to remain steady. Also remember that you've have a moderately long scramble wanting for you at the end of the trail no matter which way you go, so don't exhaust yourself. Everyone I met on trail was overnighting, but you shouldn't have a problem doing a day hike.

hiking
13 days ago

Beautiful views! There are some rocky trails, so take your time. Also a set of viewing binoculars for people who are color blind!

Greeter Falls is worth the effort. The trail is a bit rough in spots (rocks, roots, etc.) and the staircase down to lower Greeter Falls was a little daunting. Nice trail with a good amount of people enjoying it. Highly recommend.

Did this trail Oct 28. I actually added going into the Big Creek Gulf then to Stone Door then took the Big Creek Rim trail back. 12.5 miles. 2500 feet. If you do this hike don't pass up ranger falls. Very worth the trek and a beautiful falls. Be ready though this complete trail plan isn't moderate it's hard and trying. But very rewarding. Leaves haven't completely changed yet but the Rim trail is going to be one of the best views for foliage. Good luck.

did this trail Oct 13. nice trail. not the best rim trail. there is a huge mistake on this trail map. I took the trail to the gulf first on advice from a hiking pro. saving the bolder field for last. better than a 3 mile up hill out of the gulf. If you do this route please note that when you get to Sawmill Camp take the connector trail to the right just past the foot bridge. The map on here shows you going on the river bed and making a large loop to the stagecoach trail. I tried to blaze this trail but lost track of the trail. Had to backtrack to the bridge. If there was a trail there it would add around a mile and a half. Which it did add 1 mile on my hike going in and back out. Just watch for the connector trail on the right past the bridge. It takes you to the Stagecoach.

Easy hike to the overlook from the Ranger's Station with a set of color blind friendly binoculars just at the end of the paved trail.

Beautiful

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike! Very beautiful and very well maintained trails. I went as soon as finished raining, so the trails were slick and muddy. Just be careful! To get the best bang for your trip, when you get to the part in the trail where it splits for the loop, go right first. You'll get a few overlooks, and by the time your turning to go back to the ranger station, there's the spur to go over to the waterfall - it's a great place to relax. If you have a hammock, there's a perfect area of trees and no brush at the base of the falls to set up. Then it's just over a mile hike back to the parking lot.

hiking
29 days ago

This was a beautiful hike! We only went as far as the cliffs but the trail goes further on.

hiking
1 month ago

The falls are beautiful! Definitely a must see. The woods on the outer part of the loop are nice. Very easy relaxed hike.

Did this trail today and took our 18 pound older Boston Terrier. He did fine but was pretty tired at the end. We did the lower and upper Falls and BlueHole trails. Falls were great and very photogenic. No restroom at the trailhead. Would love to visit again. Easy day hike.

Absolutely gorgeous, both along the rim and through the gorge. I started at Stone Door and hiked the loop clockwise, going down through the gorge first, and finishing the loop by hiking the trail along the rim. The trail through the gorge is difficult, trust the reviews and be prepared for uneven terrain and a strenuous climb out at the end. Also, watch your step. We saw 3 snakes while at the bottom of the gorge, and 2 of them were copperheads. Regardless, this hike is incredible, one of the best I've found among the dozen or so areas I've hiked through in TN. After emerging from the gorge, the hike along the rim is pretty easy and there are multiple overlooks that are ideal for taking in some stunning views of the gorge from above. This one is definitely worth the effort!

This trail is a great mix of easy with some technical sections thrown in if you take the Big Creek Gulf Trail. I had my small Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with me, and although he was tired at the end, he was able to navigate the trails with no problem. Great for day hiking!

We did not do the loop as outlined here because the campsites all along the North Rim Loop were full so we ended up hiking to Stage Road/Stagecoach #2, camping for a night, and hiking back out the next day. Savage Falls was a great way to start the day Saturday and end the day Sunday! Cold therapy on the joints and a great spot to eat. It was a fairly easy cruising-type hike. On the second half of the hike, branches of trail marked blue took us out to views along the way. Don't forget to reserve a campsite! In peak season, may need to do it 1-3 weeks in advance. Hobbs cabin looks like it books out months ahead for weekend nights. https://tnstateparks.itinio.com/south-cumberland

I have only lived in Tennessee for less than two weeks. This was my first real hike since arriving. I loved this trail. It’s a great trail for an agile dog. There are a lot of really narrow and rocky parts to the trail as well as a spiral staircase (which my dog would not go down) to Greeter Falls and another area that had a suspension bridge. There are lots of beautiful trees and a couple of spots that take your breath away with awesome scenery. A few different falls along the way. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. Very light traffic if you go first thing in the morning on a Saturday. I left after completing about 4 miles at 10am and the parking lot was about half full. I will come back in a few weeks when the leaves begin to change color for another beautiful hike. Highly recommend this trail.

Nice and mostly flat. Can def crank out some miles. Lots of blue blaze trails over to the gulf for some views. Some parts of the trail was like walking thru a green tunnel the foliage was so thick and green.

In my opinion some of the best views and waterfalls in the park. We started at Collins West trailhead and made the trek to Sawmill campsite #2 then dumped our packs put our tents up then decided to take the short trip over to the historic cabin built in 1910 .Very cool little cabin sitting in a green field. The next morning we took the Connector Trail over to Stagecoach and then over to the South Rim Trail and out to the Savage Gulf Ranger Station. I'll spare you the true details about how we ended up waaay over there at the ranger station instead of the CG loop back to to Collins West trailhead...

Great hike. The gulf will test your meddle a little. Took the trail clockwise saving the push up out of the gorge until after the creek trail. It will give you a great cardio workout, Was tougher than the climb down from the Stone Door area other than the rocks but they were not bad at all. Watch out for the climbers by the SD. Didn't want to put on water gear to cross to Ranger Falls. I will catch it next time. Creek was high and running fast. The rim is good but there is a lot of forrest time. Great overlooks just would love to have seen more. There was a group of Hawks hunting up and down the gulf flying right above my head. Really a great tough hike. I clocked in 10.2 miles and 1945 feet elevation. And 4 hours of moving time. (Take your lunch down at the creek bed you will love it.)

Went after about a week of steady rain and the river was roaring the whole way through the gulf. Fantastic views, lots of great spot on the rock bars to stop for lunch, and the falls were rolling.
Crossing to Ranger Falls was at least waist deep and pretty swift, so didn't get to see that. This trail earns its hard rating as BCG is pretty rocky. The climb down from Stone Door is bouldery but you can stay upright the whole way so not quite a scamble.
Very cool tough trail.

I didn’t get to do the entire loop due to rain (and didn’t have my rain coat), but I definitely would go back to if I was in the area again. This waterfall is prettier than Foster Falls, in my opinion. The hike that I did go on was pretty. There were only 3 other cars in the parking lot early afternoon last Sunday which was great. A few people were swimming and that looked like a great idea.

I hiked this trail after coming in on Big Creek Rim and setting up camp at Alum Gap. It was harder than I expected, mostly due to the 4 miles already hiked, and I'm pretty new to backpacking.

With that said, it was gorgeous. The falls were great, and I swam in the cold pool at the base of Greeter Falls.

I'm glad I didn't bring my old dog on this one, because she would have struggled with the elevation change.

I can't wait to go back!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views on top!!! Told 2 be on lookout for rattlesnakes didn’t see any thankfully !!!

what an awesome hike! I decided to go counter clockwise so my first 3 miles were along the ridgeline; some great photo opportunities while on the ridge. the return was through the gorge and although it was just as fun, coming out was a bit tiresome with the extreme accent; the valley line would have been more enjoyable if I had come after a rain, because there was no water

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful trail. well marked and awesome views. I'd like to go back in the fall when the leaves change

amazing views

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