A day hike to Savage Falls is a South Cumberland State Park best-kept secret. If you're looking for an easy, scenic trek to a less-crowded swimming hole in Savage Gulf State Natural Area, grab a towel and hammock for a quiet afternoon by the water. 

Savage Gulf Natural Area has more than 50 miles of trails, so be sure to start this adventure from the Savage Gulf Ranger Station entrance. To the right of the building, you'll find the trailhead for the Savage Day Loop. There, you can begin the 1.8-mile journey to the park's more-secluded waterfall.

Stay on the trail for one mile as it winds through lush forest and over wooden bridges. Once you see the sign to veer left towards Savage Falls, follow it for .8 miles. When you reach the waterfall, take the stairs to the bottom. At which point, you can either climb down the small hill of limestone for a refreshing swim in crystal-like waters or strap a hammock to the trees above. This is a beautiful place to visit year round.

Remember: This is an out-and-back route, so prepare to hike the same 1.8 miles back before dark. However, for those hoping to turn this into a two-day adventure, you can reserve a backcountry campsite nearby at the Savage Falls Campground. 

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Swimsuit
  • Water and/or water filter
  • Lunch 
  • Sandals 
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RT Distance 3.6 Miles
Activities Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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