South Cumberland State Park Hosts Natural Swimming Holes Tour

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Join State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Assistant State Naturalist Holly Taylor for a multi-day tour of beautiful pools on park streams along the trails of South Cumberland State Park on August 23, 24, and 25.

The base camp will be a group campsite and the picnic shelter at the Stone Door Entrance to the Savage Gulf State Natural Area. The group will meet at Noon on Monday the 23rd at the Stone Door Picnic Shelter. During the first hour, Randy and Holly invite participants to introduce themselves and get to know everyone else. At 1 PM, the group will depart for Greeter Falls and the Blue Hole near Altamont. This excursion requires walking over rugged rocky slopes to the spectacular swimming holes. The total distance is about 2.5 miles but is very beautiful.

At 5 PM, the group will return to Stone Door to set up camp. Fees for camping are included in the package price if you set up at the group campsite. Individual campsites are available for a separate fee. You must make your own reservation for individual sites. The camping is walk-in primitive, a short distance from the parking area.

At 7 PM park staff will do the cooking at the shelter for camp supper. You are welcome to observe and learn some camp cooking skills. At dark, Randy will show some photos of the South Cumberland at different times of the year.

At 8 AM on Tuesday the 24th, park staff will start breakfast at the shelter. A variety of breakfast food will be available. Departure for the Fiery Gizzard will be at 9 AM and will take 30 minutes.

Tuesday will be the day, the group will walk the Fiery Gizzard Trail to the Blue Hole Falls and Sycamore Falls. These falls have great swimming holes. The rugged trail is a 3-mile roundtrip and is spectacular. Attendees will have lunch from a local eatery and travel 7 miles to the most spectacular swimming hole of the day at Foster Falls. The trail here is steep but only a quarter-mile.

Upon your return to Stone Door, you will again have a camp cooking demonstration at the shelter for Tuesday supper. A night walk and socializing around the campfire follows supper.

Wednesday morning breakfast will be at the shelter again at 8 AM. After Breakfast, attendees will pack up and leave for the Savage Gulf Ranger Station near Palmer. There, you will walk the 3-mile easy trail to Savage Falls and the last swimming hole. You should be done around noon.

This unique experience is open to the first 20 people who register and costs $250 per person. The package includes camping and reservation fees, food for 4 meals, transportation to the sites, and expert guides.

August 23, 24, and 25, 2021 at South Cumberland State Park, 7608, 11745 US-41, Monteagle, TN 37356.
Meet up at the Stone Door Picnic Shelter at noon.

Visit https://tnstateparks.com/parks/event_details/south-cumberland/#/?event=natural-swimming-holes-tour-and-back-country-camping for more information and to register.

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