• Activities:

    Camping, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    13.5 Miles


Hike one of Tennessee's most scenic trails for seemingly endless waterfalls, lush forest, breathtaking rock formations and inspiring overlooks.

Start this journey from the Grundy Forest Trailhead, where you will quickly begin a decent along the Little Fiery Gizzard Creek. At the 0.7-mile split, be sure to turn left and cross the bridge to stay on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. For the next 0.8-mile journey, you'll encounter the gorgeous Black Canyon Falls, Chimney Rock and a small trail leading to Sycamore Falls. 

Around 1.5 miles, you'll reach another split at Dog Hole Trail, a route some people choose for an easier journey up the mountain. But for this rocky adventure, proceed to hike alongside the riverbed for another 2.2 miles to slowly make your way uphill to catch the well-deserved, panoramic views at Raven's Point — a quick, 0.5-mile out-and-back lunch spot with a spectacular look of the Cumberland Plateau. Here, it is important to note that there is no longer a campsite associated with the area due to land ownership changes.

After making the small trek to Raven's Point and back, follow the sign in the direction of Foster Falls. At this point, your hike will soon begin to drop back down into the Laurel Branch Gorge as part of the trail's recent reroute. A newly constructed wooden staircase and bridge will lead you through an area of lush foliage, rock bluffs and the lower half of Anderson Falls. As you make your way uphill again, you can catch the upper half of the falls on a short trail to your left. Traversing upwards, the trail hits the top of the plateau again. Follow it back down once more to an eventual waterfall, where you'll need to use a cable to carefully pass underneath.  

When you hit the top of the plateau once more, it's smooth sailing. Cruise along for the remainder of the trail, passing the Small Wilds Camp, Father Adamz Camp and multiple overlooks — including a top and side view of Foster Falls. From there, the trail will lead you right to the parking lot. 

NOTE: Because this is a point-to-point trail, take into consideration the transportation arrangements needed to return to your vehicle. Sometimes a carpool phone number is posted near the bathrooms in the parking lot at Foster Falls. 

Pack List

  • Water bottle 
  • Water filter
  • Day pack 
  • Energy snacks
  • Lunch
  • Light-weight camera
  • Hiking poles
  • Hiking boots
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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South Cumberland is one of my favorites places for hiking. So many waterfalls on this trail and cool spots to hangout at. It's been my top place in Tennessee to take people to day hike or an overnight hike.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Bailey Robbins

Content Strategist in Tennessee, but living for everywhere

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