Foster Falls Small Wild Area Loop

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South Cumberland State Park

Foster Falls Small Wild Area Loop is a 1.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Tracy City, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.6 miles Elevation Gain: 331 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

snow

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 Start at the foster falls trailhead and follow the fiery gizzard until you come to the climbers access 2 sign. From here, it get very rocky and steep. This takes you to the base of foster falls.

hiking
off trail
rocky
8 days ago

Beautiful waterfall! The trail down to Foster Falls feels more like rock climbing more than a trail. We went a little late and there’s tons of people at the bottom but it’s totally worth the hike down and back up to see the wonderful waterfall. We had three kids and two dogs and were able to make it just fine just be sure to watch your footing. The kids love playing in the water and taking a break before hiking back out. It is only half a mile down to the waterfall but it’s not easy terrain.

hiking
10 days ago

This trail was amazing. There is some discrepancy with the all trails map though, as others as also noted. Is the trail longer than 1.6? I forgot to turn on my gps but I have to think so. I really wish I’d read the reviews beforehand that suggest going counter clockwise, would have been fun to encounter the waterfall near the end instead of hiking so far after. Several times we thought we were off route due to the map, but it all worked out - just follow the map and, if hiking with kids, be prepared for it to take twice as long as you think it should. That said, my kids - 10, 9, and 4- all loved it and can’t wait to return.

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

Beautiful waterfall and plenty of places to cool off in the water. We took our 7, 5, and 3 year old grandchildren! They loved it! Our 5 year old granddaughter said it was EPIC as we were leaving. Come prepared to enjoy the view and the water. Very rocky so shoes are helpful.

hiking
muddy
rocky
17 days ago

What a cool little hike. Be prepared for plenty of photos and maybe some pit stops. The trail starts/ends at the base of the Falls for an extra reward. Follows the creek up. Today it was pretty popular (2-4pm) because Camping has opened again. Saw 40 people (all ages) and 8 dogs. It can be pretty rocky but it’s such a cool spot, it’s worth the grind. Will definitely be bringing the friends & fam to this one.

hiking
18 days ago

Such a cool waterfall and overall a great short hike. Prepare for cold water and a lot of photos.

hiking
19 days ago

Nice easy trail. Great views of Foster falls from the bottom and the top. Shaded, well marked. Swimming the falls is a must!

hiking
21 days ago

One of the best waterfalls in the Cumberland area. Recommend walking the loop to get the best view of the falls. The hike to the bottom is pretty rocky and steep but not to challenging. Great little day hike

hiking
30 days ago

Absolutely Beautiful waterfall and forest. Awesome to watch the climbers too. Get there as early as possible if you would like to have the waterfall to yourself. If not this place gets packed and you won’t get any good photos.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome place to pack a picnic! Easy access to the water!

hiking
2 months ago

I knew it connected to fiery gizzard trail but wasn’t sure where and did not realize there was a day loop. Do note that the south Cumberland park website specifies the fiery gizzard trail from foster falls to fiery gizzard day loop is closed due to bridge wash out right where it connects to the day loop. It is pretty much gone :). It is pretty sharp boulders rocks going to the base of the falls. Wear good shoes and just be careful and keep hands free.

Loved this hike. Can’t wait to come back and swim in the falls.

Nice walk. Not too many climbers this day due to recent weather. Falls were flowing

hiking
3 months ago

Fairly easy hike down to the waterfall. If hiking on to climbers loop it is a little on the rocky side but manageable. Take a break along the path to watch the climbers if any are out. We took the loop and made it round trip in about two hours with stops for pictures... can’t wait to come back during warmer weather and take a plunge by the falls.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

We did this trail on a cold February day after many consecutive days of rain. The falls were swollen and majestic. The trip down and back up was worth every bit of the effort. It's best done counter clockwise from the parking lot. Once you descend below the ridge, follow the white blazes. The app will look as though the trail is nearer the creek than you are. Disregard this fault with the app and stick to the white blazes along the rock wall. The best part is when you finally reach the base of the falls.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy for my boys 8 & 11, trail was clean, and easy to get straight to the waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

waterfall & camping

hiking
4 months ago

Didn’t take the full trail this time. We just took the trail down, explored the waterfall from every possible angle and went right back up. It has been raining like crazy so this waterfall definitely did not disappoint. If you get close to the waterfall plan on getting soaked. Last time I was here was November 4th and the waterfall was nothing compared to today. Such a beautiful area. South Cumberland will always be a favorite. Careful on the slippery rocks and happy hiking!

I caught the gizzard on a gorgeous sunny January afternoon. Started at the fosters fall trail head. Great early views of the gorge and the falls. At the 2 mile point the trail sharply drops 500 feet into a side gorge, and back up again. I then continued running the rim Trail out to the 6 mile point. There was a gorgeous small waterfall rest spot at that point. Turned around there and back to the truck. Though it had rained heavily the two days previously, only a few spots were soggy ...managed to keep my shoes dry. If you can find a dry day, winter is a good time. No cobwebs or bugs. Great views with the leaves off, and no crowds

hiking
6 months ago

Enjoyed this trail today! We found some off-trail waterfalls (would love to know the name, if any) and went a little further out on the Gizzard Trail and saw an amazing overlook and another waterfall.

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

This trail is NOT a loop. If you don’t want to hike 3.5 steep, moderately difficult, rocky miles, turn around at the Falls. GO back the way you came in from the overlook.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Wall of Useless Conflict > Foster Falls waterfall

Approach to Rocket Slab for climbing.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

We just went the .4 miles to the base of the falls from the parking lot. It’s very steep and rocky. Lots of shade. Go before 10am to beat the crowd on weekends/holidays. My husband had to carry our three year old, but our 8 year old did really well. The falls were beautiful! Definitely worth the steep descent carrying a 40 lb toddler! There were lots of leashed dogs on the trail. We stayed at the primitive campsite here and really liked it. Clean and well maintained.

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