Hike to Savage Falls

Rate this Adventure Tennessee Savage Gulf Ranger Station

Added by Bailey Robbins

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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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



Hiking, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3.6 Miles


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

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Added by Bailey Robbins

Wandering newspaper editor, ESL teacher and radio producer.

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