hiking

views

nature trips

dogs on leash

forest

walking

waterfall

birding

kid friendly

wildlife

river

wild flowers

trail running

camping

South Cumberland is one of the newer Tennessee State Parks. Almost all of our park lies atop the Cumberland Plateau and, unlike most state parks, ours is made up of ten different areas located in four different counties. The Visitor Center is located between Monteagle and Tracy City on Highway 41. From here the various components of our park are managed. Visitors can also obtain information and directions from the visitor center.

To echo other reviews, Fiery Gizzard is a rock festival almost the whole way through the gulf. You'll want to be sure footed and a trekking pole or two is a near necessity. This is mainly what makes it "hard" as the elevation changes are pretty minimal. After the climb up the boulders are fewer, and Dog Hole is pretty clear until it drops back down.
The trail is well marked by a combination of tree tags and paint. It gets a lot of traffic so pretty well worn as well.
There are some interesting rock formations, the river has several falls from medium to small, and a couple of good swimming holes. Not much in the way of views even with the leaves off until Ravens Point. Dog Hole has a couple of overlooks as well.

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.

We did this trail Fiery Gizzard up to Ravens Point and then Dog Hole Trail back down. There were areas of the trail that were not well marked due to down trees. Very rocky terrain. We definitely felt a sense of accomplishment when we finished in 7.5 hours. Beautiful scenery along the trail.

Fiery Gizzard is pretty challenging. Consistant boulder fields/roots throughout the hike so wear good boots. I brought my dog and he did really well but could be really hard for some doggies. Beautiful scenery (mid November) and don't worry about water b/c the rivers always close by. FG is a must for avid hikers and then take Dog Hole trail back down...real easy!

One of my new favorite trails! Challenging but the views DO NOT disappoint! Absolutely gorgeous.

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!

Tough terrain but definitely worth the hike. It took 8 hours and we didn't stop for a long period of time to eat or break. We were trying to ensure we got out before dark. We parked at Foster Falls and had Dorothy take us to Grundy to begin our journey.

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

It is absolutely beautiful

I've done the Fiery Gizzard to Raven's Point twice. It does not disappoint. I suggest you take the Fiery Gizzard trail out and return on the Dog Hole Trail. Your quads and knees will appreciate it.

I've also done the Savage Gulf trail referenced in the review below. I will agree that the climb out of the Savage Gulf is harder.

My last trip to the Fiery Gizzard was November 3, 2018. On my first trip, which was in early May, 2018, I only recall missing one turn and I quickly realized I was off trail, back tracked to last marker and picked up the trail again pretty easily. On this last trip the there were several large trees down on the trail and I missed several turns, At least twice I caught up with other people who had stopped to look around for trail markers. Maybe it was the downed trees, maybe it was because of all the leaves on the ground, I don't know. But something was making the trail disappear at times. This is not to say the trail isn't well marked - it is. You have to look for white tree markers. A lot of the trail is rocky. Full of rocks. boulder size rocks. If you don't feel like you are on the trail, go back to the last white tree marker and look again. It would be hard to get completely turned around on this trail. But the trail does seem to disappear at times.

This one's definitely worth the effort. The scenery is beautiful, but rugged. The terrain is very rocky through the gulf. I hiked down through the gulf and returned along the rim via the Dog Hole Trail after Raven's point, as the map here suggests. After climbing out of the gulf (this is the hardest part - pretty much straight uphill), the return trip is pretty easy. Be careful of loose rocks in the gulf, and pay attention to the trail markers. I hiked this trail alone and got turned around a few times. The trail markers are hard to spot in some places. The view from Raven's Point is magnificent. The point sticks out into the gulf, so you're surrounded by expansive views on 3 sides, and there's plenty of space, so it doesn't feel crowded even when other people are there.

If you've hiked through the Big Creek loop at Savage Gulf, this route is very similar. I think Savage Gulf is harder than Fiery Gizzard, but based on the reviews for both, it seems like there are mixed opinions on that.

Many options along this trail to circumnavigate, take steep short cuts and explore. Very rocky with railroad tie re-enforcements, swing bridges and scrambling. Beautiful falls, sunsets and foliage.
If you take the steeper route down, your knees will do the work. If you take the steeper route up, your lungs will take the brunt. The Falls are worth the challenge

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.

We tried this last year starting at Grundy and heading towards Foster Falls. We didn't allow enough time and eventually turned back due to loss of light.

This year we tried again. We decided to start at Foster Falls and head toward Grundy. We actually think this was better as we were going down a lot more than going up (going from Grundy to Foster would be a lot more "up.") There are a few places the white trail markers on trees aren't easy to spot. And several more where the tree with the marker had fallen down. Just pay attention to where you are going. Piles of boulders do not scream "trail," but that was usually it.

This trail is gorgeous. Going in early Nov provided us with the lovely leaf color that got better with every bend. There are many waterfalls that aren't on the map and you even pass under one. That was a pleasant surprise (don’t worry, we hardly got wet.)

I would recommend having a hiking stick (or 2 if that's what you prefer.) It's helpful to have a little more stability in most of the areas.

The trail took us longer than we thought. We started at 7am and needed our headlamps by the time we finished at 6pm. (Needing these would depend on the time of year you go.)

All in all- prepare well and you can enjoy this beautiful trail!

(We took Foster Falls to Grundy Trail. We did stop and go down to Ravens Point (very pretty, but if you are short on time you could bypass since other overlooks have a similar view.) We took the Dog Hole trail back to the Grundy parking lot. (Its nearly the same distance as the other but the Fiery Gizzard trail goes along the bottom and climbing over boulders takes more time.) We bypassed the Grundy Loop trail (due to the sun setting) and made it back to the parking lot. We parked one car at each lot ahead of time.

It would be wonderful if the trail had mileage makers throughout as you truly have no idea where you are. Most of us had cell service throughout. Downloading the Alltrails map ahead of time is very helpful. The trail was incredibly clean.

*The Blue Hole falls are best seen in daylight as the hole really is blue.  

*Foster falls is also best viewed in the daylight. (Obviously)

Depending on where you start/end, which time of year you go, and how quickly you walk, one or the other may be in the dark. Both are worth seeing you may just have to choose which. The entire trail is filled with spectacular views and lovely reminders of how beautiful the world is.

Enjoy it!

This was the most difficult hike I've ever done. I hike a lot of trails this length, but with this trail it's less about the length and more about all the climbs. lots of rocks, stairs, and mountain sides to climb up and down. This trail is a beast.

That said, there are beautiful views, valleys, and water falls all along the trail that make it all worth it. We also met a lot of really nice and helpful people.

hiking
1 month ago

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

Hard with some scrambles but the views are worth it.

Not for the faint of heart, but oh-so rewarding!!!

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.

Truly a real gem. This was one of the best hikes. Tough but rewarding.

This is an awesome trail hands down! The trail along the ridge top is pretty uneventful and easy going, but it definitely gets tougher along the creek bed. There are plenty of water features along the creek and plenty of great spots for photos. The trail can be very rocky and uneven sometimes along significant drop offs. Definitely a good idea to have a walking stick or trekking poles for this one because there isn’t much to hold onto for balance. Definitely a great hike despite the difficulty!

Nice hike!

Wanted a good workout and I got one. The trail is lovely and the blazes are solid (only had to check the map twice.)

Fiery Gizzard is smooth and easy til about a mile or so past the first bridge. After that you'll be doing a rock scramble until you get to the turn off for Raven's Point. One word: if you're out there in the cold and rain, take your break further back from the overlook, as the wind will break your heat bubble and hit you hard after being in the cleft.

Heading back on Dog Hole is easy, and a welcome cool down after ~3 mi. of scramble.

Only one bad spot right now: had no choice but to go into ankle deep mud due to what looks to be a mudslide and a fallen tree that took out a chunk of path as it slid into the water. Also had to cross several streams, but that was probably just the rain.

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.

Enjoyed the hike with my wife and our dog. I plan on going back to trail run it soon.

Load More