Fiery Gizzard to Foster Falls

This fall, my wife and I did a 13+ mile hike from Fiery Gizzard to Foster Falls. This area is part of the larger South Cumberland State Park system up on the lower portion of the Cumberland Plateau. Fiery Gizzard is a place I have been visiting my entire life. It is a most beautiful and diverse place that abounds with natural beauty. The reason for our hike was somewhat bittersweet. You see, as of Dec. 1, 2015 a portion of the trail was re-routed as trail access through an easement based on a handshake across private property was revoked. I wanted to hike, document and experience the trail in it’s original splendor. This year I will probably hike it again experiencing the new trail section that bypasses the old.

This hike is a tough one and is not a loop requiring my wife and I to both leave a car at each end. 13-14 miles is tough for anyone and I new that sections of the trail were challenging. We did this hike in its entirety a few years back in late May. It was brutal then coupled with running out of water (my mistake, only brought 2 liters) and ended up getting attacked by a swarm of bees. Stings were had all over including head, face, chest, back and butt. I did not want a repeat needless to say. Late fall and carrying extra water assured pleasantness. It proved to be a good hike.

I took one camera with me, a canon A1 with 3 rolls of film and 3 lenses. 1 roll of Kodak ektar (wish I had brought more) and 2 rolls of Kodak gold. I shot all 3 rolls as the late fall foliage was absolutely stunning. Lenses brought were the canon 50/1.8 and 24/2.8 and a vivitar 28/2.8. Noah, are faithful hiking dog companion came with us. This was a long journey with many images so I am sharing quite a few of them. I will try and go in order from beginning to end so you can get an idea of the journey we had. If anyone wants to know more about this park, visit the parks WEBSITE and for the conservation minded folks who would like to participate in assuring park protection, visit the FRIENDS OF SOUTH CUMBERLAND STATE PARK website.  And last but not least, visit beautiful Fiery Gizzard!


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Ranger Falls

Ranger Falls is part of the South Cumberland State Park and is found in Savage Gulf.  It can be accessed by hiking from the Stone Door Ranger Station and requires about a half day’s time allotted due to the 7+ mile round trip hike.  This is a falls I have not frequented all that often due the remoteness and the fact it is on a 1 mile spur trail from the main trail.  In the summer and early fall, it is just a trickle but in spring when the frequent rain keeps the creeks full, the falls are quite impressive.  This falls is interesting in that it goes underground at the base.  Several falls within the park due to this only to reappear later.  Sinks and caves are common due to the limestone.  Horsepound Falls (also in Savage Gulf) is similar in this respect.  The pool at the base is small and quickly flows into a cave to the side and behind the falls.  This particular trip was almost a disaster twice.  The spray from the falls had made the rim rocks ultra slick and I about lost my camera, lens and myself to a nasty fall.  Somehow I managed to keep myself upright.  The second near disaster involved the hike out and a very large, fat cotton mouth that I almost stepped on and my dog did.  Ooops!  Anyways, thought I would share a few images.  These were taken last spring.
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