Fiery Gizzard reopened after Oct. 29th Wildfire
The Fiery Gizzard Trail is has been re-opened from Raven Point south two miles. The trail had been closed due to the forest fire in that area that started on October 29th and flared up again on November 2nd.
Park Manager George Shinn reports that a staircase and small bridge were badly burned and needed to be rebuilt. The route is flagged for thru-hikers, as the trail is hard to discern in the burned-over landscape. The trail was closed until a replacement staircase could be completed and fire debris that fell from the bluff above the trail had been removed.
Illegal camping and campfires are NOT harmless...an illegal campsite along the bluff, with a campfire carelessly left to burn, is what caused this wildfire, which destroyed 300 acres.
Please note that even with recent rain, conditions are still extremely dry this fall. A ban on burning is in place, and that there is no surface water available within the park. All hikers and campers must carry all the water they need, as they cannot count on creeks or springs to supply additional water.
Watch this two-minute video to see some of the fire damage »»
Please wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water and a snack. Call the Park office at 931-924-2980 for more information.
Bark in the Park (2 miles, moderate)
Saturday, December 10, 10:00 AM
Fiery Gizzard Trailhead (Grundy Forest)
131 Fiery Gizzard Road, Tracy City, TN
Meet Ranger Jessie at the Grundy Forest parking lot for a fun walk around the Grundy Day Loop with your favorite furry friend.
Be aware that there are sections of the trail that are rocky. Please bring a leash for your pet.
Savage Day Loop (4.2 miles, moderate)
Saturday, December 17, 10:00 AM
Savage Gulf Ranger Station
3157 State Route 399, Palmer, TN 37365
Join Ranger Jessie at the Savage Gulf parking area for a moderate 4.2 mile hike through the winter woodlands of the Cumberland Plateau. With a view overlooks along the way the trip is sure to be beautiful.
Fiery Gizzard reroute work continues every Saturday and Sunday 'til Christmas; volunteers are urgently needed!
Check the Friends' MeetUp page for the latest on all hikes and trail activities.
Gov. Haslam Issues Regional Burning Ban
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee. The list includes all four counties in which South Cumberland State Park is located.
Effective immediately, residents in counties covered by the regional ban are not permitted to conduct any open-air burning. The ban includes campfires, and burning of brush, vegetation, household waste or construction debris. The ban will remain in effect until December 15. A violation of a burn ban is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine of $2,500 and/or up to 11 months, 29 days in jail.
Daily updates on the wildfire situation, active burn bans and tips to protect your home and property are at www.burnsafetn.org.
Friends Membership Campaign Starts Soon!
If you love the South Cumberland State Park, won’t you join the Friends of the Park and help us care for and improve this wonderful wilderness resource? A growing park needs a growing level of investment in time and money.
Our membership drive for 2017 begins in November 2016. We know many of you already belong. We’re hoping that those of you who aren’t yet members will want to join the Friends, contributing financially and with your time, to make it an ever better place to be. And, for those of you who are members already, please consider whether you might increase your involvement and investment in the Friends and the Park this coming year.
Information asking for your support will be in the mail soon. Thank you for giving it your careful consideration!
"Pioneers of the Park" celebration brings Park history to life
Former TN Gov. Winfield Dunn, left, with Howell Adams, celebrating the 45th anniversary of Dunn's historic tour of Savage Gulf, after which Dunn advocated for its addition to SCSP. Photos, videos here >>>
Fiery Gizzard Reroute
Fiery Gizzard Trail Work Crews Needed!
Every Saturday & Sunday this Fall --
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
With Phase One of the trail completed and Phase Two nearly there, we still need YOU! Join us every Saturday and Sunday this Fall to flex that volunteer muscle and help create a positive, lasting impact on this beautiful park! There are jobs for everyone, and many do NOT involve moving rocks! This exciting reroute will cut through some rugged and beautiful terrain so be prepared with sturdy footwear and plenty of water/snacks. If you have a favorite tool or pair of gloves, feel free to bring them. We will meet at the Grundy Forest parking lot, 131 Fiery Gizzard Rd. Tracy City, TN 37387, and will work till early afternoon. For more info or if you want to bring a large group, email Ranger Jason Reynolds.
This winter, volunteers are especially urgently needed at the Visitor Center. The primary activity is answering questions that visitors may have about the park and the surrounding area. The Park and its many trails and locations can be quite confusing for first time visitors and/or for those who are ready for something new. Visitors are often interested in the exhibits as well as learning about the geography of our plateau.
A number of people have already gone through an introductory session covering the type of work at the desk. The Park staff will be covering Saturday, but additional assistance would be most helpful mornings or afternoons, Sunday through Friday. There is a staff person on duty most of the week, and the rangers are likely to be accessible as needed for back-up. But, your enthusiasm and interaction with the visitors will be enjoyable and rewarding for you and highly appreciated by the staff and visitors.
We will be planning another training session for early December, and we'll be arranging for experienced volunteers to help out as needed in on-site training. If you can help, please email Flo Wilson or Jodie Nunley to schedule times when you can volunteer!
Trail Builders needed to help complete Denny Cove Access Trail! Help build the main trail into the newest area of the Park. Learn more here.
Volunteers Needed for Trails Assessment
Volunteers are needed to assess each trail in the Park, beginning in 2017. Trails Assessment training sessions are upcoming. If you'd like to help, please take a moment to learn more.
About the Friends
To aid and assist the South Cumberland State Park management and staff in meeting its objectives, and to inform, educate, engage, and inspire its members and the public to protect, conserve, and enjoy all the resources of the park.
Why Should You Be a Friends Member?
As one of our outstanding Park Rangers said, "One of the best things that has ever happened to South Cumberland is the formation of our Friends group. They have purchased land to add to your park, have provided construction materials, built bridges, a ranger house, picnic shelters, purchased a truck and bikes for the rangers, helped assess, re-route and build trails, created education programs for our local schools, totally renovated your Visitor Center, and have made many other improvements to your park. If you love the park, join the Friends and help them care for and improve this wonderful wilderness resource!"
Your Friends membership directly supports the park.
The Friends of South Cumberland is a group of volunteer citizens dedicated to supporting the South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee's largest state park. A 1993 law passed by the Tennessee General Assembly allows state parks to contract with and receive financial assistance from a friends group organized according to the law. Now, private citizens can be involved with and support the park through both volunteer work and financial support.
Funding for the Friends of South Cumberland is derived from individual and corporate memberships and from private donations. Our group was founded in 1993 and our tax deductible status was approved as of July, 1994. As a 501(c)3 non profit public benefit corporation, your membership and gifts are Federally tax deductible.
Please join us in supporting and protecting the South Cumberland State Park!
Here are just a few of the many volunteers who've helped out this fall!
Clifftops wildlife program
Fanny Moffit Stomp in Altamont
12 Grundy Co. High School Students
4th Grade Field Trips - Visitor Center
Esther Lee Davenport
Tennessee Naturalist Class
on the Fiery Gizzard
Members of this year’s class of Tennessee Naturalist candidates helped make the grade for part of the Fiery Gizzard re-route!
Mountain T.O.P. Fall Festival
Pioneers of the Park Celebration
Jessica Reid (and her students!)
Laura Beth Gheesling
...and many others!