Located in the South Cumberland State Park of Tennessee, near Palmer, Savage Creek flows over cascades and down the picturesque 30-foot Savage Falls.
Welcome To The Savage Gulf State Natural Area
With nearly 16,000-acres on the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau, park visitors can discover over 50 miles of wilderness trails. The hike to Savage Falls, however, is only 3.6 miles out and back along well kept trails of mostly hard packed soil. There are some rocks, and a substantial amount of roots – hikers should expect sore feet the next day! Also, there are two suspension bridges over waterways, each with a two-person limit. Follow the white blaze markers.
There is a Ranger Station with clean restrooms, running water, recycling and trash bins. Several benches are also located near an information bulletin board, and a secured voluntary donations box is available for contributions. Lastly, there is a sign-in clipboard for hikers to log in/out times.
The trail follows the flow of Savage Creek, so hikers will first encounter a broad set of cascades above the falls. Next, a view from the top of the falls can be enjoyed while standing on a large, flat rock. Lastly, a wooden stairway leads to a plunge pool at the base of Savage Falls, where many rocks can serve as seating for hikers to enjoy the view and a rest. There is also a second waterfall tucked away behind several large boulders, only slightly downstream. In order to get a good view, you’ll need to climb down a short hillside and traverse across several slippery rocks – if you can manage to do so carefully, the view is worth it!
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This black and white photograph was taken at a scenic overlook at the Savage Gulf Natural Area, located in the South Cumberland State Park of Tennessee. Prints available.
Laurel Falls stands 25-feet tall and is a short hike along a trail which begins behind the Stone Door Ranger Station…
This is a scenic hike suitable for all ages, with a small observation platform and easy access to the top of the falls. I couldn’t find an obvious path to the base of the falls, however, and there aren’t any safety rails – so, children and pets should be monitored closely.
Parking is close with handicap spaces available. There is a restroom and information billboard, also. If interested in a somewhat longer hike, you might consider an adjoining trailhead to The Stone Door.
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Following a hike at Denny Cove Falls, I drove less than 2 miles to the South Cumberland State Park near Sequatchie, Tennessee, to enjoy the picturesque 60-foot Foster Falls. The park features a paved road, restrooms, drinking fountain and a wooden boardwalk leading to an observation deck overlooking the gorge and falls.
After a short walk along a sandy path, hikers enter the forest and encounter a more difficult, steep downhill trail consisting of many rocks. There’s a suspension bridge at the base, with the falls at right. A walking stick and deliberate pace are recommended.
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Located in the South Cumberland State Park (30 minutes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, near Sequatchie) Denny Cove Falls is a picturesque 70-foot waterfall on the Denny Cove Branch. Driving two hours from Knoxville, my road trip into the wilderness also included a second stop at Foster Falls – less than two miles away!
Following directions provided through alltrails.com, I soon learned that there wasn’t access to the park via Dawson Springs Road, only several “No Trespassing” signs posted along private, rural properties. Instead, I found a marked entrance further north along US-41, an old gravel road with many deep potholes. Mine was the second car on site, and I was greeted by a family with two small children, as I walked ahead with camera in hand.
The nearly 3 mile out and back hike included diverse trail conditions, ranging from easy walking on hard pack soil through a pine tree forest, to cautious movements along an entirely rock strewn pathway. The trail is rated as moderately difficult, though, had the rocks been damp, it would have been more challenging. Fortunately, trail conditions were dry.
There are a few different trails in the park for hikers to enjoy. Nevertheless, and despite reading reviews suggesting that the falls are often busy, I had the place to myself for 1.5 hours during my morning visit – very peaceful.
Along the return, I met several other hikers on the trail – and, heard many other voices? Looking uphill through the trees at imposing gorge walls, I could see dozens of rock climbers – a popular recreational activity, accounting for the now full parking lot.
Prints for your home or office
I’ve added a variety of photographs to my gallery from my hike at Denny Cove Falls. Check it out and discover several different print types available – framed, canvas, metal, art, acrylic and/or wood. Thanks for visiting!