South Cumberland State Park – Denny Cove

South Cumberland State Park – Denny Cove

This adventure started off a little different than most hiking trips we go on. We had originally “planned” to go to Cumberland Mountain State Park, but hadn’t decided on a trail yet. Somehow, by mistake, when searching for trails, I chose one in South Cumberland State Park and didn’t realize it until it was too late. With that being said, Denny Cove is the best mistake I have ever made.

Denny Cove Waterfall

Denny Cove is located just 30 minutes northwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is advertised as a moderate 2.8 mile out and back trail on AllTrails, but we logged in at about 4 miles. This trail is extremely rocky and probably rates higher than moderate. This trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is dog friendly. It has optimal parking, and a gravel road that leads to the park. This road is currently filled with potholes and you should use caution.

Overlook Sign at Denny Cove

The beginning of the trail is all dirt and very flat. When you get to the Overlook sign you’ll have to cross over a creek and walk up a little ways to get to it. It is a very short walk for such a beautiful and rewarding overlook. After you are done taking in the breathtaking views of the Cumberland Plateau, you must go back the way you came to start the waterfall trail. It was a little confusing at first, but we figured it out after looking at the map in AllTrails.

First Overlook
Waterfall Trail Sign

Once you get back to the creek, cross over it again, and head right to another creek you also cross over to get to the waterfall trail. While the trail is only 1 mile, it is a hard, rocky mile. The trail is made up of almost all rocks and inclines. You must take your time and watch your step. My toes and ankles were sore after hitting some of the rocks. Along the trail there were two more overlooks. One included a rock that jutted out and made a perfect picture spot.

The Overlook on the Waterfall Trail

As you get closer and closer to the waterfall it begins to get more and more rocky and strenuous. The trail is completely made up of rocks at some points during the hike. This is where we had to constantly watch our step and stop to catch our breath. Be sure to wear shoes with ankle support, as I am glad I did.

Rocks on the Trail
Rocks on the Trail

Hiking over all of those rocks is definitely worth it when you begin to see the falls. When we started to hear rushing water, we got excited knowing that we were close. When we got the the end of the trail, we saw what we didn’t know at the time to be the ending of the waterfall. We hiked past the 1 mile marker sign to see the most beautiful waterfall we had ever seen. We were in awe, and smiles quickly overtook our faces.

What We Thought the Waterfall Was
VS. What it Actually Was
Hurley and Kona

This waterfall is so beautiful and it is truly amazing how close you can get to it. I definitely recommend going to the falls in the early afternoon. That is when the sun hits the falls just right and it creates a beautiful rainbow that adds to its natural beauty. This trail easily became one of our favorite and most memorable trails to date. You need to hike this one!

Waterfall
Through the Trees
Hurley and Kona

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