Rangers at the South Cumberland State Park have scheduled a number of hikes in the upcoming weeks.
Hikers are asked to wear sturdy shoes on all hikes – flip flops are not allowed.
Hikers should also bring plenty of water and a high energy snack. For a complete list of park trailheads & maps to each, visit the trailhead info page at http://www.friendsofsouthcumberland.org/upcoming-hikes.html.
Call the Park office at 931-924-2980 or check the Friends’ MeetUp page for the latest on all hikes and trail activities.
Dogs, on leashes, are welcome at any on-trail hike. Dogs are not allowed on off-trail hikes.
New Trail Work
Denny Falls Trail, 9 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday until further notice)
Denny Cove parking area is located at 5917 U.S. Highway 41, Sequatchie, TN 37374
Denny Cove, the newest area of the park, is now officially open on weekends only until the trail build is complete. Help complete the 1.5-mile main access trail out to Denny Falls, so this area of the park can be open on a daily basis.
New Trail Work
Sherwood Forest Trail, 9 a.m. every Friday until further notice, Old CCC Road, just past Coyote Cove Lane, Sherwood, TN 37376
Help Ranger Jason Reynolds build a new trail in the recently acquired Sherwood Forest area of the park. Meet Ranger Jason at what will become the trailhead for this new 3-mile loop trail, with incredible bluff views.
NOTE: You can only access Old CCC Road from Jumpoff Road; not from Sherwood Road. There are jobs for everyone, and many do not involve moving rocks. Please be prepared with sturdy footwear and plenty of water/snacks. If you have favorite trail-building tools or pairs of gloves, feel free to bring them.
Intro to Birding
8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center, 11745 U.S. Highway 41, Monteagle, TN 37356
Meet Ranger John Ball on the Meadow Trail behind the visitor center. The walk will be approximately 1.5 easy miles and will last 30-45 minutes.
Book Worms: Story Time & Crafts for Kids
10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, Savage Gulf picnic area or (if raining) Savage Ranger Station, 3177 State Road 399, Palmer, TN 37365
Ranger Murray Gheesling hosts a program designed for the youngest nature lovers. It’s story time and crafts for children 1-5 (all ages welcome).
CCC History Hike
10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, Grundy Forest parking area, 131 Fiery Gizzard Rd., Tracy City, TN 37387
Join Ranger Park Greer to not only learn the fascinating history behind the men that built parts of the Fiery Gizzard Trail, but to hike their creation in its entirety. Who were they? How much were they paid? What tools did they use? All these questions and more will be answered on this strenuous 5-mile hike the goes to the “Fruit Bowl” and back. Please wear sturdy shoes, and bring plenty of water/snacks.
Stone Door Hike
2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, Stone Door Ranger Station. 1183 Stone Door Rd. Beersheba Springs, TN 37305
Meet Ranger Aaron Reid at the Stone Door parking lot for an easy 2-mile hike to see the beautiful Stone Door and overlooks. The Great Stone Door was used by early settlers as a passage way from the top of the plateau into the gorges below. Like a giant door left ajar, the crack is 10 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The surrounding cliffs offer spectacular views across the Savage Gulf State Natural Area. Wear sturdy shoes, bring a bottle of water, and don’t forget your camera.
Grundy Lakes Night Hike
8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, Grundy Lakes parking area, 587 Lakes Road, Tracy City, TN 37387
Join Ranger Jessie McNeel for a 2-mile hike/walk around the Grundy Lakes at night. Expect to hear lots of frogs, nocturnal insects and, hopefully, some owls as well. Wear good walking shoes, bring some water, and don’t forget a flashlight. Children under the age of 14 must have an adult with them at all times.
Savage Falls Hike
2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, Savage Gulf Ranger Station, 3177 State Road 399, Palmer, TN 37365
The destination is Savage Falls for this 4-mile round-trip hike. The 30-foot waterfall marks the head of Savage Creek Gulf. This is a relatively flat, easy hike.
Rattlesnake Point Hike
9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, Savage Gulf Ranger Station, 3177 State Road 399, Palmer, TN 37365
Hike from the Savage Gulf Ranger Station with Ranger Murray Gheesling along the west side of the Savage Day Loop Trail to Rattlesnake Point, a beautiful vista overlooking the gulf. After Rattlesnake Point hike the east side of the loop back to the ranger station. The round trip distance is relatively flat 4.2 miles. Remember to wear sturdy shoes, and pack water and a snack.
Firecraft: a Wilderness Survival Course
10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, Savage Gulf Ranger Station, 3177 State Road 399, Palmer, TN 37365
Join Ranger James Holland to learn various methods of lighting a fire without matches. Instruction will include using a ferro rod, fire from batteries, flint and steel, burning lens, and friction fire with the bow drill.
Wild Edibles: a Wilderness Survival Course
10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, Grundy Forest parking area, 131 Fiery Gizzard Rd., Tracy City, TN 37387
Meet up with Ranger Park Greer for a hands-on lesson in the wonderful and wild edibles found this time of year. A few dishes will be pre-prepared with recipes for participants to take home.
Hawk Talk in Grundy Forest
4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, Grundy Forest Parking Area, 131 Fiery Gizzard Rd., Tracy City, TN 37387
Meet Ranger Jessie McNeel at the Grundy Forest to hear the story of the non-releasable Red-Tailed Hawk, as well as the role her species plays in the ecosystem. Don’t forget to bring your questions and your camera for an up-close-and personal experience. No dogs please, they tend to offend the bird.
Edible and Medicinal Plants
10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, Savage Gulf Ranger Station, 3177 State Road 399, Palmer, TN 37365
Meet Ranger James Holland to learn about some of the common edible and medicinal plants found in our area and their traditional uses. Then venture into the forest for field identification of some of the plants about which we have learned.
Head for the Hole
1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, Grundy Forest Parking Area. 131 Fiery Gizzard Rd., Tracy City, TN 37387
Meet Ranger Park Greer for a hike to a few of the more popular swimming holes along the Fiery Gizzard Trail ending with Sycamore Falls. Please bring your own food, water, swimming gear and sturdy hiking shoes.
Hike Into History: The Lone Rock Coke Ovens
6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, Grundy Lakes parking area, 587 Lakes Road, Tracy City, TN 37387
Meet up with Ranger Park Greer at the Grundy Lakes parking lot for a moderate 2.4-mile hike around all four lakes and through some of the most important history in the region. The trail is a bit rocky in areas with minor elevation gain. Come prepared with sturdy footwear, water, and dress for the weather. Rain or Shine.
Introduction to Rock Climbing
$5 per person, register online. 9 a.m. Saturday Aug. 26, Foster Falls Parking Area, 498 Foster Falls Rd. Sequatchie, TN 37374
Join Ranger Park for an unforgettable adventure as you learn the basics of outdoor rock climbing. Geared toward those who have zero experience, or those who just want to have fun, this program will cover a few essential knots, rescue techniques and, of course, climbing tips. All gear and instruction provided limited availability. For more information call or text 931-312-0616.
Bark in the Park on the Meadow Trail
2:30 p.m. Aug. 26, South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center, 11745 US 41, Monteagle, TN 37356
Meet Ranger Jessie McNeel in the visitor’s center parking lot with your furry companion for and enjoy a pleasant 1.3-mile stroll around the meadow trail. You will learn more about the history of South Cumberland, as well as what used to occupy the trail. Please wear sturdy hiking boots (no flip flops are allowed) and bring plenty of water (for both you and your companion). All dogs must remain on a leash and owners are required to pick up after them if nature calls. This trail is rated as easy.
Trail Run: Big Creek Rim & Laurel Trails
8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, Stone Door Ranger Station, 1183 Stone Door Rd. Beersheba Springs, TN 37305
Come out and stretch your legs this summer, and join Ranger Aaron Reid at the Stone Door parking lot for a moderate 7-mile trail run. Run past the Great Stone Door and many other overlooks on the Big Creek Rim trail. Runners must be able to keep at least a 12 min/mile pace. Wear trail shoes and bring a water bottle. For more information call the Stone Door Ranger Station at (931) 692-3887.