South Cumberland lies atop the Cumberland Plateau in four different counties protecting 25,000 acres of land, 90 miles of hiking trails and both natural and historic treasures.
Grundy Lakes is historically significant for its coal mining past, with abandoned coke ovens left to tell the tale of the coal mines that brought prosperity, violence and, finally, the donation of land to form a park. Grundy Forest is one of the parks crown jewels, with magnificent hemlocks, cool streams and superior trails. The Fiery Gizzard Trail, 13 miles long, climbs up the bluff line to Raven’s Point. Savage Gulf contains 17,500 acres of land, 55 miles of hiking trails, an old-growth forest and spectacular vistas. An iron oxide spring in the area became a popular health resort in 1800s, and a stagecoach road built by slaves was an important connecting road to Chattanooga. The South Cumberland State Park Visitors Center is one of the most visited sites on the plateau, providing information to visitors and a social hub for area residents.
South Cumberland State Park is composed of more than 24,550 acres in nine separate areas, five of which are natural areas. Hikers may observe nature, swim in Fiery Gizzard Creek and enjoy one of the nation’s most outstanding trails. The 12.5 mile trail is considered one of the top 25 hiking trails in the United States.
South Cumberland State Park has two picnic pavilions for larger parties that can be reserved in advance. There are also eight other small picnic areas with grill located throughout the park. There are 110 backcountry campsites throughout the park. Fire rings and outhouses are located at each of the 14 fourteen designated camping areas. A permit is required for backcountry camping.
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