Savage Gulf- South Cumberland State Park {Tennessee}

We decided to enjoy the last few colors of fall at another state park, this time going further afield to South Cumberland State Park. This state park is a little different because there are actually three separate areas, a ways apart from each other, that make up the park. One of our first Tennessee discoveries was one of these areas called the Fiery Gizzard where we enjoyed visiting Foster Falls. But for this trip, we chose the area called the Savage Gulf.

This trail is a couple miles that connects to a longer trail if so desired and is a moderate trail. Whenever you go hiking in the fall you want to be careful of your footing because the fallen leaves can hide the rocks and roots that might be laying in wait to trip you. But we saw a great variety of hiking skill level on the trail from a group of experiences backpackers to some mature women who had never hiked before. So this trail is one that just about anyone could enjoy.

Something we love about so many of these trails are the suspension bridges that cross over the streams. This trail offered multiple suspension bridges to walk across, which were definitely more swaying then others have been but still offered some beautiful views.

This park is a favorite for backpackers and campers and offers a lot of campsites to hike into. But along the trail there are some places that you absolutely can not camp and the most notable of these is the moonshine still sites. Tennessee is whiskey country and people have been using the fresh water streams as the base of their whiskey for hundreds of years. Before the prohibition, everyone made whiskey no matter of profession or social class. But with the restrictions of prohibition, people went underground with their distilling and began to only make whiskey by the light of the moon so they would not get caught. Hence came the term ‘Moonshining’ for this illicit whiskey making endeavor.

old moonshine still site

We followed the trail along the river until we came to a long staircase leading down to the rocky water’s edge.

From there we got to enjoy the waterfall cascading into the pool that had been carved out of the rocks around. While Tessa and Brad went to put their feet in the frigid cold water, Scout and I walked around the rocks that were facing the pool.

the waterfall at the end of the trail

Tennessee sure has some beautiful areas to explore with their rocky waterways and suspension bridges through the greens. It made for a perfect sendoff of the fall colors before their winter sleep. Thanks for coming along on our hike today!

If you enjoy seeing the wonderful falls of Tennessee’s state parks, you may want to read more on our favorite waterfall trails that we have found:

Foster Falls-South Cumberland State Park

Burgess Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park

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