Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails

HARD 64 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.

12.6 miles
1732 feet

dog friendly




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers

over grown


8 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

2 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.

2 months ago

Great hike...always enjoy it

2 months ago

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

2 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.

5 months ago

Don't pass up the Boulder Field.

5 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!

6 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.

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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

8 months ago

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Within minutes of pulling into the Collins Gulf parking lot, the park ranger was at the scene (thank goodness) and offered me some great advice about the trail-to start backwards, with the rough boulder fields first, and to take plenty of water (he asked if I had a water filter, because it would be helpful, but I am somewhat new to hiking and figured my Camelbak and a couple extra Nestle water bottles would suffice, and it did) as well as bring a trail map on my journey.
The first couple miles were difficult, and I spent time half of the time trying to locate the white blazes- when I was unsure if I was headed in the right direction, I looked behind me for the blazes going in the opposite direction and whichever direction the blazes were facing, was the direction I headed. The boulder fields, although hard, are fun and challenging, but it would be a great idea to either have trekking poles or find some sturdy branches to help aid in the rocky terrains.
This trail has it all- from rainforest-like lush greens to waterfalls (especially the waterfall at the end) to springs, bridges, and caves, it will not disappoint.
I hiked solo, but would recommend company while on this trail, as it easily takes 5-7 hours (I was averaging about 20-25 min miles because altitude + rocks= longer time).
I was expecting (but hoping not) to see a snake or two, but thankfully, no snakes today- lots of other critters though, and I even saw an eagle's giant shadow.
This trail was fun, and I hope to do it again, but with another person next time :) Enjoy.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Trails are well-kept, nice waterfalls and swinging bridge with primitive camping.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I hiked this alone in late March (middle aged woman) -- a little scary at first, but a great experience. Lots of wildflowers, but will have to go back when the laurel and rhododendrons are in bloom. Began the 13 mile trek from the West lot, checked Suter Falls out, then back to to the loop in a counter clockwise direction to get the heaviest boulder fields out of the way. I've done lots of hikes in TN, NC, WA State, etc., and this was easily the most difficult. Tons of hiking over huge boulders, numerous stream crossings (none too deep when I went), and some climbing, especially at the end. I took lots of pictures, which slowed me down, and completed the loop in 6 hours. My normal hiking pace is between 13 and 15 minutes per mile (18 when climbing), but the rocky terrain slowed me way down. So allow plenty of time to get out of the woods before dark! I needed at least 2L of water for the loop in 62 degree temps -- wish I'd had more. Several guys had told me they hike Collins/Stagecoach in running shoes -- glad I didn't listen, as just over the ankle lightweight hikers gave me much needed protection and stability. Great great hike, beautiful views, multiple waterfalls and streams... But when you read that it's a trek for experienced hikers, believe that!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Very difficult but beautiful hike. Take plenty of water and give yourself time. I would suggest doing the trail counter clockwise so you get the hard boulder field out of the way. The valley is beautiful. Don't forget your camera.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Absolutely stunning and very challenging

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This is my favorite loop hike. I hiked it solo in early Spring 2015. Wildflowers are abundant in the gulf and on Stagecoach Road. If you take the spurs to Horsepound Falls and Schwoon Spring the hike is 13.5 miles. Waterfalls, overlooks, boulder fields, this hike has it all. Skinny Falls was an awesome surprise after the climb out of the gulf on Stagecoach Road.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My boyfriend and I just completed this loop. We started towards suter falls towards sawmill campground, making a connector loop around stage coach and back towards collins east campground. It was a great trail but extremely difficult and seemed to be 14 miles not 12. It was very dry out so water was a bit scarce. Schwoon spring had the best water throughout the loop. It was also the last main water source for almost 4 miles passed sawmill. If we hike this loop again we would probably start towards collins east rather than towards suter falls due to the uphill terrain and boulder fields for the last 8 or so miles.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I took the west access trail to Suter Falls and then headed on down the rim trail to the larger bridge. I didn't go past that point. The trail is very difficult. I knew there would be rocks but I just wasn't expecting what was there. It was practically all rocks. Good Day hike though. Will go back in the fall.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Great hike but very difficult for me, 73 years old, on the boulders. Trekking poles (2) are of great assistance. Would have given 5 stars if the information obtained from the rangers had been a little more specific regarding that portion of the trail. There were 3 adults and 6 children and all of us successfully completed the hike. There was adequate water available, whether using a gravitational filter system or a filter pump. Campsites were well marked and in great condition.

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