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Tennessee Map

Be sure to look into the lakes open dates! December through April the only open the gates for the first and the last Saturday’s of month. And

[TL:DR This trail, by itself, is a solid workout, if subdued. You won't be doing any rock fields or sharp ascents, just moderate, but continuous, elevation changes over 13 mi. The lack of technical or demanding spots make it a solid winter weather trail, as well.]

If you choose to do the trail by itself, you can park directly at trailhead. It won't really make any difference if you go clockwise or counter-clockwise. The clockwise side does have a bit more open space on trail, but nothing much other than that.

The main benefit for this trail is that it's a continuous, moderate grind over a moderate distance. There's no single part of it that will push you to any kind of a limit. I wouldn't recommend it as a recovery trail, and not as an easy day, either, but it occupies a happy middle.

However, if you want to add some challenge, there are plenty of connecting trails close to its trailhead, so you can easily tack on some extra miles and difficulty. I look forward to linking this and the Lower Loop for a one-day this summer.

As for appearance, I recommend going after a good amount of rain. You'll have a number of minor fords, but it's easily worth it for all the rivers and streams that pop up or flood after a good rainfall. This area really shows off that jade color spectrum the waters at this park can have. Both the campsites take full advantage of this to create some truly beautiful pockets along this trail.

Great trail... it has some woods and some beautiful views! Quite a bit of damage from a recent tornado!!

Really enjoyed this trail. It’s paved for the first .2 miles to a lookout that offers a scope for color blinded people then it turns to dirt. The trail was really easy. When you get the the bluff, there is a little trail that takes you to more of a drop off so don’t be afraid to explore around the trees and foliage. It was super windy the day I went and I was nearly knocked over from how strong it was so be cautious on the rock. I went in the evening when the sun was setting and it was really beautiful.

7 days ago

First off, according to my phone, it's about 6.6-6.7 miles to the halfway point of the out and back. Those of you who've done Collins/Stage Road will be familiar with the place you end up half way in. About 2 miles from the middle of your trip, you start to feel like you're on the other trail already, or at least close. Trust me, you're not quite there yet, even though it looks like it.

I'll say the bad to get it out of the way first. A couple of miles into the trail it feels like you're watching the Tennessee Treesaw Massacre. There are a lot of downed trees, and they have clearly been pruned to make room for you. When I was there on 1/6/19 it was a mostly clear path other than a few large, OMG GO AROUND IT, trees. There aren't that many though, and if you're a hiker, you know the deal, so w/e.

On to the good parts! I was really surprised, after doing the North Rim, to find water features and things that really made me break out the camera. Nice falls spot (which you'll hear long before you see). Lots of open area and diverse foliage. There are also a few blue blaze side trails that are worth seeing. I didn't get all touristy and see 'em all because I like to leave reasons to come back to a trail again (I'm looking at you Virgin Falls!).

It's really a nice little trail. Not too strenuous or rocky. It's easy unless you're trying to do the thing fast. Then it becomes strenuous. I managed to do it in 4:46 total time. I made it a strenuous trail by trying to do it quickly. I'm about to go back, with company, this Sunday. It's worth seeing twice in a week, albeit much slower this time. I can't say this is my favorite trail in the park, but I'd say that if you have the time, especially if its rained recently, you should check it out at least once.

Nice and relatively easy hike. Great views almost the whole way, especially in winter. Also, I saw a woman with a cat in a backpack. It even had it’s own little plastic bubble to look out of.

9 days ago

Beautiful scenery. Trails weren’t hard. My family and I had a great day there and it’s our new favorite.

10 days ago

Spectacular scenery today! All the recent rains have made the waterfalls amazing. Trails are muddy and slippery but that is to be expected. I agree with the moderate rating. Lots of rocks and roots but the trail is well marked. Lower Greeter Falls with the spiral staircase and Blue Hole are not to be missed!

(TL;DR As a workout, by itself, this trail is good for an easy day/recovery day. If you want some spice at the end, do it counterclockwise and charge the ascent.)

Doing it counterclockwise, the trail is a very smooth day-path until you get close to the ascent. Be aware, the first chunk of the trail is paved. There are a couple of fall-to-your-death spots on the way out, but otherwise very easy. The descent is very gentle and afterwards stays level until the ascent. If there has been a lot of rain, your feet will get wet, but nothing past the ankles.

The ascent starts where the trail connects to the Sawmill trail. There will be a number of scrambles, but all of them are brief. The ascent can be quite steep. Charging the ascent was very satisfying, and a person could have a lot of fun running the ascent a few times in a row, I think.

If you're looking to do this as part of the Stone Door Perimeter Loop, this will be the easiest part.

We camped at Foster Falls about 1.5 years ago in early October, and took advantage of the hiking and it is really beautiful! The falls is great, and looked like a cool place to swim and explore in the summer! The trail was easy to follow, and we watched some rock climbers along the way! Highly recommend the trail and the camping!

Absolutely beautiful trail. Totally loved this hike and would recommend it. Even though a bit slick and muddy a great hike

13 days ago

Stone Door is great and the views from the cliffs at the top are spectacular. Super easy walk from the parking lot to the Door...it's paved.

Amazing, beautiful, strenuous... this area is one of God's most beautiful creations!!! The place is awesome. Not for beginners. Like others, we started at the the stone door and took the trail clockwise starting down the Big Creek Gulf trail, to the Big Creek Rim trail, where we had to take a detour onto the shorter Laurel Falls trail to get back to Stone Door do to lack of day time left. The hike out of the gorge to alum gap/Big Creek Rim trail was tough, but doable. Temp outside was about 40°f and by the time we got off the BCG trail and to the top of the gorge, I was down to my short sleeves, no beenie cap, and sweating pretty good. There are so many trails to take here that we are going to be back for sure and do some overnight camping at the primitive campsites and do some multi day hikes. The climb out of Big Creek Gulf trail is definitely no joke. Very doable, but will work your legs and calves big time. Lots of rock scrambling, which was fun, and the Creek was roaring which made it even better. An amazing time in God's country and we will definitely be going back.

14 days ago

Great hike to a beautiful location!

Beautiful and very diverse range of beauty if you do the loop.

Beautiful, easy walk that leads to good sized waterfalls. Our parents, who are older and not in great physical shape, really enjoyed the trail too.

Fun hike and easy.

nothing to see, lots of blowdown

Nice trails and would be beautiful during the fall.

Very short, but nice add on to other stone door hikes. Kids love to play here in the summer along the flat area below the fall.

This was an intense hike but was awesome. I took the SD to the gulf and up to the rim. The climb down was rocky and you just have to be careful you don't sprain anything because it would be a long way out. I did not see any snakes on my hike this summer but with all the rocks I was constantly looking. I took the ranger trial to the falls and it was absolutely beautiful.The creek bed was dry so it was an easy passing. I passed a hand full of people on the trail so it wasn't too busy. I don't know if I would take my dog on this trail as I would be worried of them coming upon a snake or spraining something on the rocks. The gulf trail if you did an out and back would be fine with pets.On the trek up to the rim the river and the bottom of the gulf looks fun and inviting if I had not been doing just a day hike and camped out I would have loved to have spent time there. The trek up was pretty rough some spots with loose gravel and then there was a section that warned of bees. The bees were fine but I did get chased up hill by a hornet that wasn't happy with me. The rim was awesome. At the first overlook I sat down and ate my long awaited lunch. It was peaceful and beautiful. I watched a few of the birds just soaring over head. Once you're on the rim trail its pretty much flat. I did notice there was some soil erosion around one of the bends and overlooks on the trail that looked like it needed some tending to. All in all I loved this trail it had a beautiful waterfall, amazing overlooks, and a good demanding hike.

We hiked this trail on Christmas Eve 2018 and had the trail all to ourselves. Sunny with the bluest of skies, couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day! Gorgoues view of the TN River along the way.

The Ocoee River holds a special place in my heart. We didn’t do the whole trail but it was a spectacular hike :)

If you like rim views, this trail is for you. I recommend the short extension off of this trail to Greeter Falls too. Adds a little mileage but it is definitely worth it.

28 days ago

I hiked the first third of this trail as a quick hike on our way back home from Fall Creek Falls State park on December 9th when it was super wet, snowy and cold! The entirety of the trail that we walked was covered in water, was more like hiking on the banks of a 2-4 ft wide creek but was overall a very easy hike. There were a ton of great waterfalls and the water was VERY high that day, providing for a great experience once you get down to the falls. Highly recommend, just make sure your shoes are waterproof!

29 days ago

Absolutely beautiful! One of the best views i have ever seen

1 month ago

Did an overnight out to the stagecoach campground on Halloween night. Was the only person out that night and the wind that night was rough, especially in a hammock. Trail was pretty nice with some good views, and day two headed out the leaves where shin deep making for an interesting walk. Will do more of this park, but I'll wait for the springtime.

This is a well marked trial, but the dozens of fallen trees make it harder to navigate. The views from the lower trail are better, but this trail still had a lot to offer. It is marked as an overnight trail, but it can certainly be covered in a day.

This trail is great. It has beautiful overlooks and cool natural features. It isn’t very hard either.
Also near the beginning of this trail, there is a short trail that leads to a waterfall. This trail is kind of hard but worth it.

I love this area! This trail is perfect for those who haven't hiked in a while. Waterfalls, views, swinging bridges. Apparently there was a tornado in early November and the trail suffered a lot of damage. It's clear now but one should use caution. There are broken branches and whole trees leaning and hanging overhead. We heard a loud crack and watched a large limb come crashing down right in front of us. They've also had rain which has left some parts of the trail submerged. Not too deep but plan on getting wet feet. The rain has also increased the flow at the falls, it's pretty spectacular. Right below the falls is a good place to take a break, we stopped for lunch and enjoyed the view. Rattlesnake Point is breathtaking. Talk about a vista! I expect in the spring and summer it comes by it's name honestly. I'm looking forward to exploring other parts of Savage Gulf State Natural Area.

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