Fiery Gizzard - Grundy To Foster Falls

HARD 39 reviews

Fiery Gizzard - Grundy To Foster Falls is a 11.4 mile point-to-point trail located near Tracy City, Tennessee that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and camping. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1522 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

rocky

scramble

backpacking
23 days ago

This trail is awesome. Lots of payoffs: good views on rock outcroppings, waterfalls, beautiful forests. There is a ton of good stuff to see packed into 12 or so miles. There are some good backcountry sites to camp, although it is a shame that the midway campsites at Raven's Point are closed. On that note, hiking the trail end to end in a day, with a pack, is NOT easy. My wife and I are fairly active but not the athletes we used to be. At almost 40 years old the ups and downs of this trail will wear you out. There are also a few spots that are a bit scary, not bad, but take the packs off and pass them up as you climb. Awesome trail that you should definitely try. And SUPER nice and active park rangers, checking to make sure everyone made it to camp safely and not lost on the trail. If you don't have a shuttle car or don't want to hike all the way back (we didn't - too tired - haha) then call Troy @ Troy Transportation. He'll give you a lift from one end to the other for a small amount of dough - totally worth it! His number is listed at the trailhead. Enjoy!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, especially with walking next to the stream for the majority of it and having several waterfalls. Also, there is a local there that will give you a ride to the opposite end of the trail since it is a through hike and that makes it really convenient to get back to your vehicle.

hiking
1 month ago

One of a kind.

Link to a popular map of the trail:
http://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/so-cumberland-fiery-gizzard-map.pdf

Give yourself at least seven hours. And if you decide to hike down to Foster Falls at the end, give yourself another 1/2 hour.

Thanks to R. Keenan for sharing the info about Dorothy Thomas's shuttle service.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail, tough climb, beautiful views.

There is a local that offers transportation from one end of the trail to another for anyone doing the straight through and only one vehicle. Dorothy T: 423-208-5949 Cost is $10.

backpacking
4 months ago

Wow! I’m not sure any description could have quite prepared us for this! Amazing!

hiking
5 months ago

I hiked the old trail a few years ago when it crossed private property. Beautiful rugged and challenging trail..looking forward to seeing the new trail. Love south cumberland..

5 months ago

This trail is One of my favorites! I will say that it is pretty difficult at times. Be prepared for a challenge.

hiking
5 months ago

Second time hiking Fiery Gizzard. This was so much better maintained and marked than when I went 11 months ago. Still my favorite hike hands down. Camped overnight which was perfect after a long day of hiking. Beautiful views! Love!!!

hiking
6 months ago

This was my second time hiking the Gizzard. I started out doing a night hike to Raven's Point. Outside of my headlamp, it was pitch black. It was rather unsettling and I wouldn't recommend doing it regardless of one's skill level.

I made it to Raven's Point at sunrise. It was very pretty. I had a quick bite to eat then went back on the trail. I did not stop until I reached the trailhead at Foster's.

Difficulty? It is hard, but mainly due to traversing the rock/boulder fields and ascending/descending into a few gorges. Outside of those areas, the terrain is flat or rolling and can be traveled very quickly.

The main thing is to just take your time in the tough sections (they don't last forever) and enjoy a fabulous trail. If there are not any people on the trail, which was the case today, I some times listen to some music to help make the miles a little easier and keep my mind off of my sore feet and stiff legs.

Kudos to the individual(s) who marked the trail and maintains the blazes. The trail blazes were fantastic. It is much better than it was when I went in October 2016. There were only 2 small sections were I had to stop and walk a little bit to see a blaze. So, awesome job. Thank you.

8 months ago

I literally don't know what to tell you about this trail. I'm a month shy of 39, smoked for 25 years, and have been quit 2 months.

One of my aims after quitting was to test my abilities now that I can breathe. This led me to trails like the Window Cliffs, GSD to Laurel, even doing 14 miles in Long Hunter doing 5 trails in about 5 hours. I have also done gizzard-raven-doghole loop. So I'm good to 3mph plus and then some including breaks. Hell I even did 3 miles barefoot in my neighborhood to toughen my old, barely walk in grass, feet.

That being said, I thought I was kind of prepared for this.

I WAS WRONG. LOL.

Having done the Gizzard before, I knew what to expect. The thing is though, I talked to one of the Rangers and he said the 8 mile from Foster to the Gizzard was kinda not that scenic. Which is completely correct, barring Foster Falls and a spot here and there. Let me mention as an aside, I'm unnaturally good on rock and besides going off course every once in a while, I skitter through there like my a$$ is on fire. With the exception of the ascent at the end of it.

I thought not scenic=easy. WRONG AGAIN! What I encountered after Raven was nothing less than human torture in the form of two immediate and consecutive down and back ups sponsored by Stone Staircase. (I'm working on the trademark for that)

After that it leveled out a bit. I feel like I'm missing something. Oh yeah! Hamstring cramps started around mile 6. Squats helped, but the damage was done. Eventually went away and shortly thereafter replaced by Quad cramping. During both of these episodes I had real fear that I might be that guy you hear about getting "saved" on the trail.

Thankfully I was able to power through. I missed the Falls because I was afraid that my leg issues might prevent getting back up.

All in all, I feel like this trail is a test. Both physically and mentally. There are times you may regret not taking the dog hole back. Probably even regret starting the whole hike at least once.

I would not recommed this for beginners, or for anyone who hasn't considered the risks involved. I went solo, and I do not recommend that either. Bring plenty of water, and don't forget your big girl panties. You're going to need them for this one.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this trail from foster falls all the way to Tracy city on 07/09/17. Had someone pick us up to take us back to our vehicle at the end of the trail. Took my children and my grand baby. Yes we hiked with an 8 month old on our backs by taking turns. He was a gem the whole way. I'm 36, my oldest is 18 (the mom of baby) then had my 14 y/o and 12 y/o. It was definitely a very hard trail but worth every step. Took us a little longer because we had to be extra careful carrying a little one in a backpack carrier but I would definitely do this trail again. The views are breathtaking. So many waterfalls to see! Coming out of the gorges were the hardest but uphill with steps and rocks would be. Didn't matter, take that camera! You won't be disappointed. Don't forget extra water and food. Many good places to stop and take a break and eat lunch or a snack.

9 months ago

We hiked it on 7/15/17. We arranged for a shuttle to leave our vehicle at the Foster Falls trailhead and to drop us off at the Grundy Forest trailhead ($5 A person was well worth it). The first 1.5 miles was easy going but then the boulder fields started. This part if the trail will work your ankles, calves and quads nonstop. The trail went on like this for about 2 miles and then it turned into switchbacks up and down the gorges for 1.5 miles or so. This was a very challenging few miles and it was good to get it knocked early on with fresh legs and cooler morning temperatures. We had a few miles if relatively easy walking until we hit the last ravine which was one if the harder climbs right at the 10 mile mark. After this it was all easy walking high above the river below and past many waterfall tops. The hike was gorgeous, well worth the toll on the body. The many falls made it very unique and we were lucky to have so much water flow in July. Bring lots of water, carbs and proteins, and wear mid or upper hiking shoes to protect your ankles on the rocks.

The trail was changed about 18 months ago and is 13.4 miles now with an extra gorge or two to mess with. The track shown on this page is off a little but if you just follow the signs and the white trail markers you will be fine.

hiking
9 months ago

WOW! We have hiked over 50 trails around here and this has by far been my favorite . It was easy access for our 8 year old and 2 dogs. The problems we have had hiking other trails is the trails not being cleared out . This is BEAUTIFUL , the ENTIRE walk was gorgeous every step was something else really pretty to look at . DO NOT PASS THIS UP. One thing I wish we would have done differently is get there way earlier . We got there mid afternoon and was only able to walk the 2 mile loop , we wanted to do the full 13 miles , I can't imagine how beautiful the rest is. Def not for beginners either if you have knee problems this will be difficult but if your up for the challenge you won't be disappointed.

backpacking
9 months ago

absoultely gorgeous trail. not recommended for beginners but worth every step. highly recommend hiking down through the gorge if you're up for a challenge

11 months ago

We just completed this trail and I have to say it was incredible. The trails are marked very well and the work put into making some of the steep trails passable are incredible. It has more waterfalls in the 13 mile stretch than any trail I ever hiked. It isn't a trail for a beginner thinking it will be an easy stretch. But the effort is well worth the views you will see. Great trail and I know for certain I will be back.

backpacking
11 months ago

I begin with a late start . Around 1:00 and found that I didn't have enough daylight to reach the Small Wilds campground. I also decided to hike the lower creek trail and not the Dog Hole trail and found the trail along the creek to be very difficult terrain.. My normal hiking speed was cut in half as I traversed the rocky and windy path along the creek when finally reaching the small wilds camp I was so tired I pitched my tent and went to sleep instantly. The short and moderate hike to foster falls was not bad at all ..just a small taste of the trail with no deep gorges to climb in and out of ..
Now With the bad out of the way I'd like to say that it was among some of the most spectacular views Iv seen in Tennessee.. I live only a few hours away and Iv hiked a lot of trails and I have never been on a hike that gave you so much to look at and experience. With the overlook views and water falls it was like a post card photo around every corner .. One of the reasons I took so long to hike the first day was that I wanted to stop and take a photo every 100 yards .. Within the first mile from the Grundy trail head you will see Tennessee at its most beautiful. The trail altho hard to hike because of the steep climbs . The trail itself was very well maintained.. This is a hike you should plan and enjoy .. But you should have a plan it's not a hike to hike on a whim ..this trail is savage but beautiful

hiking
11 months ago

I cannot believe this trail has so few reviews. I am partially to blame as I completed this hike a few years ago (time does indeed fly). I hiked it from Tracy City to the Foster Falls. While this hike can be done in a day I unexpectedly had more free time on my hands than I had planned for so I decided to hike from the start point to the Small Wild Camp Area and spend the night there, then finished at the Falls where my vehicle was parked the next day. The logistics of the car shuttle are fairly easy as there are local shuttle options but definitely need to be addressed or it would make for a long return walk. I purposely did this hike mid-week for the solitude and was not disappointed as I did not see a single person on the trail. I rate this true Tennessee Trail as a Five Fiddle trail and should not be missed by any half way serious hiker living within half a parsec of South Cumberland.

hiking
Saturday, April 01, 2017

This is a beautiful hike, there are several waterfalls and overlooks but be warned there are several steep gorges but that's not the difficult part.....a large portion of the trail between ravens point and the fiery gizzard trail head is nothing but rock fields, this makes for very slow and difficult hiking. We are a pretty adventurous couple and neither of us were having fun navigating these rocky "trails".
There is a guy named Troy that offers rides between the trail heads for $10. His number is posted at both trials heads but if you are like me and forget it you can call the park and they have it also.

We stared at foster falls and camped at small wilds.
This portion of the trail was a breeze, there are some waterfalls and scenic overlooks as soon as you leave the foster falls parking lot. It's only about 2.3 miles to small wilds. The small wilds camp area is nice, the spots are spread out and there is a small river nearby and a primitive out house if you need it. The next morning we headed out on our way to ravens point then out to the fiery gizzard trail head. The trail starts nice and easy before it takes an sharp turn off the side of the mountain and steeply descents in to a beautiful hemlock Forrest in the gorge. Probably should have turned around after the gorge and went back but we didn't.
After the ascent out of the gorge there are several miles of flat trail through the middle of the Forrest. This is actually a pretty morning section. Not a lot to see here. Then you go through a series of gorges with beautiful waterfalls. The trail even goes behind a waterfall at one point. This is a nice section of trail on the way to ravens point. Once you get to ravens point it's a .4 mile hike out to the overlook. We were already feeling the 7 miles we had just hiked so we dropped our packs and walked out to see the overlook. It's a nice overlooks. Would be beautiful in the fall. This would be a good place for a camping area but I was told the closed it down.
Back the to get out packs and continue the 4.5 miles to the grundy trail head. This is where is really started to suck. The trail starts down and quickly the trail disappears and you are navigating rock fields looking for white blazes. This is extremely slow and difficult hiking. I would guess we moved around .5 - maybe 1 mile and hour. And we are fairly fit and athletic people. At some point the trail meets the river and you go through a nice little wooded area. But honestly I don't remember the beauty because we were so sick of the dam rocks and ready for it to be over. Several hours later we finally reached the trailhead. Both miserable and hungry.

backpacking
Friday, March 31, 2017

Very exciting very very rugged lots of boulders lots of waterfalls long day of hiking

hiking
Monday, February 27, 2017

Eeeeek, love this trail! I didn't do the whole thing because I wasn't set on hiking all the back to my car, and this was a day trip for me. There is a lot to see on this trail, and tons of swimming holes, rock formations, and well good ol hiking scenery. I think it can get a bit challenging from what I did but it was peaceful. Not many people once I got a couple of miles in, and eventually I was on my own. Just take some bug spray, and some grub!

backpacking
15 days ago

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