I deleted the app I used to track these trails before saving them, so I’m recreating the review based on my memories, photos and video… Once I figure out how to compress a video that is a mash-up of the trail, things I noticed, and trail terrain, I’ll upload it. (Long before I thought of creating the HikingDiva blog)
re printed maps at both trailheads, but never rely on those being there. I’ve included a link below to print out.
The point to point trail was challenging and had an incredibly diverse segments as you descend from top to bottom of the gorge.
Since I was hiking it solo, I hiked half-way and back on 1 day.The next day, I drove to the other end and hiked the other half & back. (So technically, I hiked it twice!)
Starting near Foster Falls, you hike along the woods, the trail was easy to follow, fairly well-blazed. Since there hadn’t been a decent rainfall in quite some time, Foster Falls was more like Fosters Tinkle. Shortly, you approach some peeks of the views (I like hiking eye-candy) There were several spots that were easy enough to navigate off trail and enjoy the views overlooking Foster Falls & the gorge.
You’ll approach a metal bridge that crosses a large stream. On the way back, I climbed down to the water and explored. I saw some crayfish or whatever you call them. There were plenty of nice places to take a swim (in warmer weather).
Then the trail begins a noticeable change (I recall getting a little confused at this point with the trail). You descend into a gorge. It was so lush, quiet, and the huge rocks were fascinating.
A nice portion of the trail follows a stream with ‘mini-waterfalls’. Even without rain in several weeks, there was still steady water source.
You’ll encounter Sycamore Falls (not tall but wide):
Some amazing rock formations. One segment involves A LOT of rock hopping. Huge rocks that were mossy & slippery. There is no option to go around them or walk between them. It seemed like an eternity. I did bust on one of them. It is not a segment kind to your joints. If it has rained recently, it would be most unpleasant (slippery)
The trail was mostly well-marked and well-maintained, There were a few spots along the trail that were a bit confusing, but chalk it up to my inexperience. I was able to figure it out within a few moments each time. There are numerous walk-in campsites throughout the trail.
These are shots near the other trailhead. There are some picnic tables and trash cans at the trailhead with a restroom and ample parking. The descent from the parking lot was rather tricky (uneven, rocky, rooty) but the trail condition improves. (It was impossible to capture the size of the rock overhang behind the tree)
Bring bug spray when hiking in warm weather months – even in October, they were swarming around me. I hiked during the week, so I did not encounter many people. No evidence of wildlife (scat, prints) but I’m quite sure there are critters around. Perhaps my singing is an effective deterrent.
I camped at the South Cumberland campground. It was $16/night. Each spot had picnic table, lantern hook, fire ring. It was quiet. I didn’t build a fire, so can’t comment on availability of finding wood. There is also a “Comfort Station” with electrical outlet, 2 toilets & a shower. The shower was a bit scary. Bring shower shoes.The sink/toilets were okay but the shower was… rustic. However, there is a nice wood overlook with benches to enjoy the sunset over Foster Falls.
Link to South Cumberland State Park: http://goo.gl/ZauxR
Link to Trail Map: http://goo.gl/6qPX9
A link to my more detailed trail review on Alltrails: http://goo.gl/2nyfi