Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails

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South Cumberland State Park

Collins Gulf and Stagecoach Road Historic Trails is a 12 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: 12.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,755 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

This park re-opened for day-use visitation between 7am and sunset on April 24, 2020. The public will have access to most trails, boat ramps, marinas, golf courses and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Park facilities and overnight accommodations will remain closed, as will playgrounds and other social gathering places. See here for more info: https://tnstateparks.com/about/covid-19-closures

hiking
13 days ago

Completing the entire loop is not for the faint of heart, or weekend warrior hiker Hike was just over 14 miles. Took me 6 hours and 50 minutes from sign in to sign out. Very scenic and challenging. A lot of storm damage and wind fall across trail on miles 10-12, if going clockwise, that could possibly make some believe that trail is impassable. At one point it took me 20 minutes to go 50 yards. Overall, it was the most challenging, physical, scenic and varied hike that I have been on so far in Tennessee. Definitely would recommend, but only for the serious, committed and experienced hikers. And oh yeah... make sure to have good, rugged boots that can take a pounding. Enjoy!

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

Fantastic trail with two beautiful waterfalls, suspension bridges, and long range gorge views! Mileage is actually about 14 and parts of the trail (especially on the starting side) are VERY rocky! A nice challenge with the payoffs in great scenery!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Awesome trail! Stayed 1 night at Stagecoach campground. Wide variety of beautiful scenery, lots of stream/river crossings, and not very crowded. If you go counter-clockwise like I did, be prepared for a climb on the way out! I was wiped by the end of it but it was worth every step. I’d bring poles or find a good hiking stick as there were some wet, rocky parts that made it very useful. Most difficult part was hiking thru rocky creek beds but overall the trail was well marked and cleared. 10/10 would recommend :)

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Did and overnight trip with my pug, Pancake! We stayed at the Stagecoach Road Campground area and got there in time to see some of the overlooks on that trail as well! This was a BEAUTIFUL hike and also a real challenge. We hiked it counterclockwise as suggested on this app and it was the most ideal. The gorge is wonderful and there are lots of streams to cross and refuel if you are backpacking. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in Tennessee!

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great hike - lots of varied scenery. Be careful near Suter falls if it has been below freezing. We saw a large icicle fall 3 feet from someone walking underneath the cliff edge. The trail down to the bridge over the creek was also coated in ice which made it somewhat precarious.

Great Hike. AllTrails said it was 14.3.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Absolutely fantastic trail but it’s every bit of 14 miles not 12. Fantastic views on several water falls. Every couple miles the scenery changed so much it was like an entirely new hike! Highly recommend it.

Great trail, but the bridge across Suter Falls needs some work.

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful hike but it is pretty hard in spots where there are a lot of rocks. My Garmin clocked this at over 14 miles but we did the Horsepound Falls spur as well (which is really, really short). We went after a day or two of pretty hard rains and we ended up crossing a lot of water. The rains made the waterfalls beautiful though! And there are plenty of falls along the trail. Suter Falls may be the prettiest waterfall I have ever seen. It’s not the largest or tallest but the surrounding area make it magical.

Amazing trail very challenging beautiful waterfalls. It was slick in spots but it’s a rainy day so that’s expected.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent collection of trails and very challenging. Probably 13+ miles as shown here. Looped clockwise and overnighted at Sawmill. Ample water available and falls are terrific. Several stretches of rock hopping a challenge with packs. Geology of this park is awesome - especially Collins River disappearing into karst feature. Experiencing that is worth the trip!

hiking
6 months ago

This trail definitely classified as hard. We started at 7am and finished at 330pm. The waterfalls were beautiful. Lots of rock scrambling on the rim and gulf sides. In one area we had to scoot on our bottoms across a log over fast water, not sure if this is always the case but there had been heavy rains prior to the hike. The swinging bridges were awesome also. Overall a great hike.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

This is an awesome trail. When you add in the spur trails, it’s more like 13 miles. We hiked it counter-clockwise and the hike out was hard! The trail is very rocky. The Stagecoach Trail with all it’s leaves was hard to get down. The water features and rock formations are amazing

I recommend this trial! I would say if you hike towards housepound falls then take a LOT of extra water. We ended up staying at sawmill camp sight, awoken at 2 in the morning by a stubborn bear. we hiked back the way we came because there was no water that we could find after that camp sight. Also very well marked!

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Great loop - little bit of everything - boulder fields, creekside hiking, waterfalls, long rang rim views.

backpacking
10 months ago

I made the full loop starting to the left into the gull up to the Stagecoach Road, camped and hiked out along the Ridge. That i not for the faint of heart. All beautiful places. IT was magnificent, but it is more than 12 miles and there are some very difficult parts that I would not recommend unless you are prepared to push yourself. So many great places to sit and view. I was out there 25hrs and didn't see another human. It was beautiful and wonderful.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
11 months ago

All Trails lists this trail as 12 miles however over 8 hours we accumulated 17.5 miles. This is an absolutely beautiful trail however it has several sections that have fallen trees obstructing the trail. Other areas of the trail have quite a bit of overgrown thorns and brush. However, none of this stopped us from enjoying this beautiful trail. The first waterfall was dry while Horsepound falls was flowing, but very mildly. Make sure to bring bug spray as we were covered in seed ticks numerous times and we had to remove two ticks from my g/f when we got home. Regarding wildlife - we saw two rattlesnakes, plenty of avian species, and one deer. Overall, I'd say this was a fun trail, but it is very rocky. Yesterday the weather stayed around 85-90 degrees and we both easily went through 4L of fluid each.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
11 months ago

If you are not in excellent shape, I would not recommend this trail, at least not in it's entirety. We went counterclockwise to Stagecoach camp thinking the rim trail would be easier on the way in. It was, but we clocked 9 miles on what was suppose to be a 6 mile trail. There's a boulder scrambling in the beginning, but the rest of the rim trail is fairly easy. The spring at stagecoach was dry, we got water from a little creek a short walk down the trail to Savage Ranger station. Bring lots of water for the Rim. If it hadn't rained, we might have been SOL. Spent 2 nights at Stagecoach, one full day just recovering because we are only moderately in shape. Stagecoach road was lovely and easy, we didn't stop at Schwoon Spring because we were exhausted. We stopped at horsepound and cooled off in the water. There's no official path to the bottom, but it's not as hard to get to as it looks. The last leg of this hike is a biiiiishhh. Steep climbs and switchbacks, intermittent rock and boulder scrambles as well. Watch for rattlesnakes. I met one and got lucky. Suter falls is pretty impressive. If we had it to do over again, I think we would go the opposite way, spend the night at sawmill, spend the next night at Stagecoach, and take the easier rim out. I suggest downloading the Avenza map, it was pretty handy where the trail wasn't clearly marked, and to tell where we were, even without service. Also, well fitted packs (ours weren't), trekking poles (we grabbed walking sticks the last day, I couldn't have finished without), fast water filtration, and ibuprofen if you are as crazy as us and decide to tackle this trail without being in excellent shape. (we forgot ours).

blowdown
bugs
rocky
11 months ago

My fiancé and I took our doggo out this last weekend. Never realized how many trails are accessible from Collins West! Nice shaded parking and plenty of space. We were originally only planning on going to Horsepound Falls and back but it was such a beautiful day that we decided to loop it around via the Rim Trail. The first part of the hike was exciting and scenic, especially with the rock overhang. Horsepound Falls was beautiful with a perfect little swimming hole and lots of flat rock up top to have a snack and relax. Ran into a few backpackers. There were no creek crossings as the big rock riverbed was completely dry in most places. We didn't bring enough water for that long of a hike so the last few miles seemed to last forever, dreaming of a Gatorade in the car. Only one or two blowdowns that weren't too bad to get around but the thorny weeds were overgrown crowding the trail. Lots of sunshine for a couple miles and the ticks were INSANE. Every 5 minutes we would pick ticks off, baby ones and big ones. The overlooks on the rim were alright but nothing like Stone Door's rim trail overlooks. Tons of rock scrambling and climbing towards the end - mostly big flat rocks though. We were tired, thirsty, and sore at the end! Overall a beautiful hike though.

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