Hike Into History | “Natural History of the South Cumberlands”
Highlights for a self-guided hike
Trailhead: Collins West (off 51st Avenue) Gruetli-Laager, TN [map]
"Natural History of the South Cumberlands" takes you to some of the most spectacular places in South Cumberland and Savage Gulf State Parks. You'll traverse the breathtaking rock amphitheater at Suter Falls; cross Fall Creek and make your way down, out of the sandstone "cap" that protects the Cumberland Plateau, through the shale layer and finally into the limestone layers below. There, you'll come to Horsepond Falls and can see one of the many caves the water has carved out of the softer limestone.
Leaving the Savage Gulf South trailhead, here are some of the trail highlights:
» 0.3 miles | Short side trail to spectacular overlook of Collins Gulf
» 0.5 miles | Bear left onto trail down to Suter Falls
» 0.6 miles | Impressive rock amphitheater at Suter Falls
» 1.0 miles | Begin descent from sandstone thru shale into limestone
» 1.8 miles | Short side-trail to Horsepound Falls
» 2.2 miles | Fall Creek disappears into a cave in the limestone formation (please do not enter the cave - not safe!)
At this point you can turn around and retrace your steps to the trailhead, or continue to explore further down the Collins Gulf
Total trail distance: about 4.4 miles | moderately to very strenuous
The cascade of Fall Creek, just below Suter Falls, visible as you traverse the enormous rock amphitheater that embraces both the falls and cascade below.