South Cumberland State Park is a huge 30,845 acre park located within four different Tennessee counties including Grundy, Franklin, Marion, and Sequatchie. The park overlooks the Cumberland Plateau and is said to have some of the best hiking trails in the state. Stroll through wildflower-filled meadows or enjoy breathtaking views of the Cumberland Plateau, waterfalls, landscapes, historic areas, and large trees.
The first trail we chose to do was the Stone Door Trail. This trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Beersheba Springs, Tennessee that features beautiful rock formations and a breathtaking overlook. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept on a leash. The first quarter mile of the trail is paved and wheelchair friendly, but after that point the trail turns to dirt. At the beginning of the trail there are nice bathrooms and water fountains. There is also a sheet to sign in and sign out of. Don’t forget to sign out!
The “Stone Door” is an amazing rock formation that features a a 10ft wide 100ft deep crack in the rock along the gorge rim. Hike up and down the stairs and make sure to stop and look back. You’ll see why the rock formation got its name, as it looks like someone left a door open. It is an amazing site to see and you definitely don’t want to miss it!
The next trail we chose to do in the park was the Greeter Falls Loop. This is a 1.1 mile heavily trafficked trail located near Altamont, Tennessee. This trail features a beautiful waterfall and is a little harder than the first trail. This trail has a lot of rocky terrain which can often be slippery. The number of steps gives the trail a ton of elevation climb in such a short distance which can be a challenge for some people. Be sure to watch your step for tree roots, rocks, slippery spots, etc. During the hike I did fall and slip a few times. Take your time and enjoy the hike at your own pace.
Towards the end of the trail, there is a cool spiral staircase that leads down to the falls. It is so weird yet beautiful to see a metal spiral staircase in the middle of the woods. From the spiral staircase, there are more wooden steps down to the waterfall. After that, you have to climb over wet, slippery rocks to get down to the middle. I was the opposite of graceful during this part. Once I was down in the middle, my jaw dropped in awe as I had never seen something so beautiful. It was so calming and we spent quite a while there soaking it in. Our dog, Kona, swam around and had the time of her life.
These two trails were quite memorable and I definitely recommend making a day trip out of them. South Cumberland State Park has a lot of trails to offer and we absolutely will be making a trip out to try more of them.