Explore the most popular birding trails in South Cumberland State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

So beautiful! It rained the whole time! Totally worth it! High 40s in temp great trails! Watch the little ones there are steep parts walking toward the falls! Wear shoes with good traction! Bring your camera (if not raining) and a lunch!

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.

hiking
16 days ago

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

great hike and beautiful features. Was more difficult than expected but worth it.

hiking
16 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.

Really nice hike with the running water through the caves!

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!

walking
20 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.

21 days ago

What a great trail for children! My daughter loved it!

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

Beautiful area! Waterfalls were spectacular after the recent rains!

Nice trails and would be beautiful during 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.

Very nice relaxing spot. Not much of a hike more of a cool hangout spot.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

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.

Great trail with wonderful views! I was impressed with how well the trail is marked throughout the route. I would also strongly echo what others have posted - go clockwise (big creek gulf first) or else you are in for a very steep scramble at the end of 9 miles!

Nice hike to do in the fall. We loved the water features along the way!

hiking
2 months ago

Breathtaking and easy.

It is absolutely beautiful

Amazing place to spend the day. Cold water and beautiful waterfall. Not very much during the summer though. We took a dog too and had no issues. Lovely place. Kinda hard hike down into the canyon though.

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.

hiking
2 months 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.

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