Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails

HARD 79 reviews

Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails is a 12.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,732 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

over grown

rocky

hiking
21 days ago

This was my third hike and my first one in August. The area looks completely different in the summer and not nearly as pretty as winter or fall. The spring was just a trickle. According to my tracker which is Wickiloc it was right at 14 miles, which when you are dead tired at 12.6 that extra mile or so is a killer. Do this COUNTER CLOCKWISE. Get the really bad boulder field out of the way at the beginning. This is really more suited as an overnight hike that a day hike. Just take plenty of water and give yourself way more time than you think you will need. The difficulty is up there with the Fiery Gizzard (maybe even more difficult). You are gonna feel it for a few days afterwards.

1 month ago

I completed this trail as a day hike. It is extremely beautiful. The mileage and strenuous rating are accurate. The path is extremely rocky along the old stagecoach section, and there are boulder scrambles in both directions from the beginning of the loop. This is a really nice hike, but I would recommend less experienced hikers build up to this trail and allot plenty of time for completion. Big Creek Gulf and Rim trails are easier and may be a good test run before venturing this way.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike, great workout. If your going to do it as a two-day hike I recommend going counterclockwise and staying at sawmill campsite and rest up for the shorter yet more difficult last leg of the hike which is almost all uphill. The water was down quite a bit when we were there even though we got rained on for about 50% of the two day hike. There were a TON of crazy looking spiders that kept weaving webs across the trails too which was frustrating. I felt that I was constantly waiving a stick in front of me to try to avoid them. I definitely recommend trekking poles (two of them) for each hiker unless you're an extremely experienced hiker. I slipped and fell pretty hard once on a slick rock even with poles. The sawmill campsite truly feels like you're out in the middle of nowhere and you can forget about the port-a-potty at that campsite. FULL of spiders and nastiness. Otherwise very beautiful hike.

hiking
1 month ago

We just took a short hike to the water fall. The trail is rocky so have good hiking shoes and trek poles . Some place can be very slippery even when it has not rained in some time. Going in and coming back out has some changeling part of the trail but over all worth the hike down to see the falls.

backpacking
2 months ago

My son and I did the Collins Gulf trail on a beautiful July weekend and spent overnight at Sawmill Camp backcountry camp. Instead of the loop we did down and back on this trail with full packs. This is a great variation of rock hopping, switchbacks and slight elevation forest trail. The elevation change was almost 1100’ over approximately 5.2 miles, most of which is in the front end from the trailhead parking lot. So down was not bad but back a different story.

This is a strenuous hike as plotted. I would recommend doing the loop rather than down and back if you do as a two day. Gulf trail down and rim trail back.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a nice, tough day hike. The trail is a great alternative to the busy stone door side of the park. I completed this on a beautiful Sunday in June, and I only saw two other hikers. Long sections include hopping over wet rocks, so it is slower hike.

hiking
3 months ago

This time it was after rain. Slick rock field to start. Water flowing across places it normally doesn't. Good times. Saved a couple of hopefuls from making a mistake. They'd never done the trail, and had started at 2 for a clockwise hike. Boulders last. In the dark. Wet.

If this is your first time on the trail, don't start after noon, and please, take the boulder field first. That part's bad enough when you can see. Also, some of the stable looking stuff moves, so, yeah.

4 months ago

Great hike once again! This is my second time hiking this one and I love it even more now. Very challenging hike. We saw a large rat snake (harmless but huge!) hanging out pretty close to the trail, and a hiker we ran into said he saw a rattlesnake sitting in the middle of the trail close to the end... be careful!

backpacking
4 months ago

Top of the gulf, in the gulf, swinging bridges, waterfalls. campsites, springs, history, and challenging terrain all add up to a great trek. Can’t ask for much more fun!

backpacking
5 months ago

Great challenging trail. With all the rain it made the water crossings a bit more challenging. Made for a slower pace.

6 months ago

Great hike!! Strenuous at times, but worth it!

backpacking
7 months ago

I only did half of this trail starting from Collins West Campground and ending at Sawmill Campground. I would deviate from this trail and follow the Stagecoach Road trail to Savage Falls Campground. This trail is a bit harder than others, but it offers some truly great sites. Collins West Campsite had a cliff where you could brush your teeth with a view before heading out for the day! Horsepound Falls offers a good break spot. Then there is Schwoon Springs right before you get to Sawmill Campground. This spot provides a fantastic hangout inside the cliff, hearing the water crash on its way down the rocks. Such a great sound to witness! This trail really does offer many features.

7 months ago

Great hike...always enjoy it

7 months ago

also great as an out and back to horsepound and suter falls in winter

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is not for the faint of heart. While it has some easy sections and some moderate sections. There are also some very strenuous sections as well. We hiked it clockwise and started with the waterfalls. I’m pretty sure no matter which way you go that last leg of each side of the trail will definitely test you. I hiked this with a 15 y/o and a 16 y/o and my kids and I hike pretty regularly but we woke up this morning all walking funny. It tests the legs out most definitely. But it is an awesome trail with lots of beautiful scenery. We didn’t get to see the views at the look out points because it rained off and on all day and we hiked in the fog a lot. But would definitely do this trail again but maybe next Time backpack it. Have fun everyone.

hiking
10 months ago

Don't pass up the Boulder Field.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a hard trail . Do not underestimate it. There are tough areas on either end but Very beautiful and plenty of spots to rest. Beautiful falls and ice formations in winter. Take your time and enjoy this beautiful park. grab your pack and go!

hiking
11 months ago

Went back again. Started to rain with a mile left. Not a fun ascent out, but I'll be back. Ran with company this time. She was gassed leaving. Took too much water by far this go around. Guess it helped me keep a slower pace so I didn't outpace her too badly. What I do for fun is other peoples idea of torture. What is happening to me??? This thing is bad if you start too late. Possum Creek is still worse, but this is currently second place. Bearwaller soon. I have to know what it's like for comparison. Be careful once you hit the SR. The way down is sketchy, and the tiny rocks want to roll under your feet in good hiking shoes.

hiking
Monday, September 04, 2017

I liked this trail, overall, more than the Gizzard. Starts similarly, though even more treacherously, but is just as much of a workout. So far, South Cumberland has my heart as far as my home state parks go. Prepare as you would for completing the Gizzard and you should be fine.

backpacking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

This was a great backpack trip. The whole trail is beautiful and pretty difficult terrain.

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good, challenging trail. We hiked it counter clockwise and saved Suter for the end. The east portion of CG was rough, so we tented at Stagecoach Road Campground instead of Sawmill as originally planned. The river and the sinks are great, and Horsepound is a great place to stop for a break. Suter is beautiful and a great way to end the trek.

hiking
Thursday, March 30, 2017

This place has gorgeous views throughout the hike. Multiple options are available for different distance hikes. I really enjoyed the hike.

backpacking
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The last bit up coming from Sawmill campground to the cars is a very difficult hike. The rest of the trail is moderate to easy. Wonderful views and campsites. The climb at the end is well worth it for the waterfalls.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

This is a fun and challenging hike. The difficulty rating is accurate, I'd leave young children at home for this one.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I solo hiked this in less than 6 1/2 hrs. I wouldn't consider it difficult but watching your footing is important. Trex poles were helpful. Lots of waterfalls. Worth the hike.

trail running
Monday, January 16, 2017

Great trail run but if you have the time, some river crossings can be difficult if there has been heavy rain. Clockwise is my recommendation. note Stage couch section will test your ankles

hiking
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Collins West portion of the loop is becoming overgrown with thorns and bushes. The Stagecoach portion of the loop is a solid rock trail that is rough on the knees and ankles. The different waterfall areas were very nice even though there was no water.

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Stagecoach road trail SUCKS. Something like 1.6 miles down a pretty decent slope and the trail is littered with baseball-size and larger LOOSE rocks. We were lucky not to break an ankle on this trail. They should rename this trail the "Pecan Deathmarch." It was much more difficult hiking it downhill than uphill. Despite its difficulty (which, to AllTrails' credit, it's marked as "difficult") there's not really much to see.

backpacking
Monday, August 15, 2016

Wow, what a trail and I didn't even do the hardest part I've been told. Arrived at noon on Friday and took the Collins gulf trail. This trail was mostly down hill to the Collins River crossing and then on to Sawmill camp ground. Now I've not been on the trail since May and I'm not in the best of shape but my 25# pack with the warm weather was hard on me. Add to this a tough night camping as it was so hot and not even a slight breeze but what I expected in summer. So I decide to not make the entire loop and come back up the Collins Gulf trail. Since I didn't sleep I got up at 5 am to beat the heat. It was a tough hike out. Being exhausted from the day before I was hurting when I arrived back at my car. It's now Sunday and I'm so sore I can hardly walk. I think this trail would be much easier in cooler weather and if I were in a bit better shape. So I give the trail 5 stars as there's plenty to see as in Suter falls (slight trickle) and HorsePound falls (decent flow) but I will warn anyone this is a tough trail with a lot of rocks and rough terrain.

Monday, July 18, 2016

This was a great trail to hike. I was glad to have my trekking poles though, as there are many areas with rocks and boulders. I did the whole loop solo in about 6.5 Hours with 25lbs in my pack. I had to break out some rain gear halfway. I would recommend hiking it counter clock ways. If it has rained or is raining while on this trail, be prepared for lots of slick rocks to manuver over. If your not an experienced hiker in good shape I would not try to finish it in a single day hike. I would also hike it with another person as the potential for injury from falling is high, especially with all the Rocky terrain.

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