Fiery Gizzard Trail [Unveiling a Hidden Paradise]

Fiery Gizzard Trail is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of nature’s embrace. 

As you embark on your journey, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of this tranquil oasis that will take you to spots like the Dog Hole Trail, and Grundy Day Loop at South Cumberland State Park.

With its majestic waterfalls, lush forests, and winding trails, Fiery Gizzard is sure to offer a perfect retreat for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. 

In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of this awe-inspiring destination, sharing must-see attractions, hidden treasures, and practical tips to ensure an unforgettable experience. 

Get ready to immerse in the wonders of Fiery Gizzard Creek and discover the magic that awaits you!

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General Information about Fiery Gizzard Trail

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm daily
  • Driving (to north trailhead):
  • Parking: Very limited parking near the trailhead, so being early will help
  • Entrance fee: Free to enter
  • Dog friendly: Not quite as the trail can get quite challenging at many points

Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven’s Point: Unleashing Nature’s Splendor in Tennessee

hiking from fiery gizzard trail to ravens point

This beautiful trail is located within the Grundy Forest State Natural Area at South Cumberland State Park in Tennessee. 

The 11-mile loop (from trailhead out to Raven’s Point and back to trailhead) offers a captivating journey through a breathtaking landscape of rock formations, cascading streams, waterfalls, rocky gorges, panoramic overlooks, and lush woodland areas. 

While the route is challenging, it is one that promises an unforgettable experience.

Most hikers will do this counter-clockwise, as you will encounter the rock and boulder field early in your trek, but some have also gone in the other direction. Whichever direction you go, it’s best to start as early as you can to avoid the crowds!

Embarking on the Fiery Gizzard Trail Adventure

To begin your adventure, head out on the Fiery Gizzard Trail, located near Tracy City, Tennessee. 

This trail is renowned for its challenging nature and is considered one of the best in the region for backpacking, camping, and hiking enthusiasts. 

Lace up your hiking boots and prepare for an average completion time of 4 hours and 5 minutes, as you navigate the diverse terrain and revel in the wonders that await you.

The Grundy Day Loop: Where Serenity Begins

blue hole falls near fiery gizzard trail

You will kick off your adventure at the northern trailhead on the Fiery Gizzard Trail, following the Grundy Day Loop in a westward direction. 

This section of the trail offers a picturesque start, with Big Fiery Gizzard Creek flowing gracefully alongside.

On the loop’s eastern half, you’ll be mesmerized by the gentle beauty of Little Fiery Gizzard Creek. 

Throughout the loop, the landscape is adorned with serene cascades such as Hanes Hole Falls and Blue Hole Falls, painting a tranquil backdrop for your journey.

Exploring the Fiery Gizzard Trail

At 1.2 miles, you will bid farewell to the Grundy Day Loop and embark on the Fiery Gizzard Trail, veering to the southwest after crossing the creek via a charming wooden bridge. 

As you continue southbound, you will be treated to the captivating sights and sounds of the trail’s namesake creek. 

At around 1.5 miles, a blue-blazed side trail will bring you to the mesmerizing 15-foot cascades of Sycamore Falls. 

Departing from this natural wonder, the trail takes you through challenging boulder fields, where each step presents a thrilling test of balance and determination.

Ascending to the Gorge’s Splendor

After several miles of ascending above the creek, you will descend to the lowest elevations of your hike, where the trail embraces the creek’s banks once more. 

Just under four miles into your journey, you will start to veer away from the creek, embarking on a strenuous climb toward the gorge’s towering walls. 

This rugged ascent, featuring steep pitches and slippery terrain, will reward you with magnificent views as you conquer the relentless switchbacks of Savage Gulch. 

And at last, you will reach the pinnacle of your journey: Raven Point.

Reveling in the Splendor of Raven Point

ravens point

The Raven Point Trail, a side spur spanning half a mile in each direction, beckons you to discover its hidden treasures. 

Following the well-marked path, you can stroll along the almost-level walls of Savage Gulch, indulging in panoramic views of the two converging branches of the gorge. 

This vantage point offers a mesmerizing glimpse of the renowned rock formations of the Cumberland Plateau, a true testament to the beauty of our natural world. 

Take a moment to savor this breathtaking vista before you continue with your expedition.

Returning via the Dog Hole Trail

Leaving the overlook, you will now retrace your steps along the spur trail and begin your return journey on the Dog Hole Trail, this time heading northbound above the valley.

The Dog Hole Trail offers a gentler terrain compared to the outbound route, with its flat grade and even surface making the three-mile return route a more comfortable experience. 

At 6.5 miles, a short side spur invites you to admire the delicate cascades of Yellow Pine Falls.

Completing the Adventure with the Grundy Day Loop

sycamore falls grundy day loop

As you reach 8.5 miles, the Dog Hole Trail descends steeply and reunites with the Fiery Gizzard Trail downstream from Sycamore Falls. 

From here, you will turn northbound, retracing your steps back to the bridge and veering right to explore the western half of the Grundy Day Loop. 

This shaded and scenic stretch of trail will guide you back to Blue Hole Falls, enticing you to pause and revel in its beauty. 

With each step, you journey eastward, gradually making your way back to the trailhead, where your unforgettable adventure concludes, spanning around eleven miles.

An Exquisite Tapestry of Natural Beauty

As you embark on this remarkable trail, be prepared to encounter a plethora of natural wonders that will leave you in awe. 

The Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven’s Point treats visitors to a symphony of breathtaking sights and sounds, ensuring an enriching experience for nature enthusiasts of all kinds.

Here are some of the things you can expect to run into.

Scenic Rock Formations

lots of rocks and boulders along fiery gizzard trail

One of the highlights of this trail is the opportunity to witness a mesmerizing display of rock formations. 

Here, you can marvel at the intricate patterns and textures carved by the forces of nature over millennia. 

These ancient rocks tell a story of the Earth’s history, captivating your imagination and reminding you of the remarkable forces that have shaped our planet.

Cascading Streams and Waterfalls

As you navigate the Fiery Gizzard Trail, you’ll encounter cascading streams and enchanting waterfalls that add an element of tranquility to your journey. 

It’s an awesome feeling to feel the mist on your face as you stand in awe of these natural wonders, their rhythmic sounds providing a soothing backdrop to your hike. 

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and power of water as it cascades down the rocks, leaving you refreshed and inspired.

Rocky Gorges and Panoramic Overlooks

Prepare to be mesmerized by the rugged beauty of the rocky gorges that grace this trail. 

Traverse through these dramatic landscapes and be rewarded with panoramic overlooks that offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside. 

Take a moment to pause, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and absorb the awe-inspiring views that stretch out before you.

Don’t forget to capture a photo or two as well, so you can relive this beautiful spot for years to come.

Lush Woodland Areas

Immerse yourself in the serenity of the lush woodland areas that line the Fiery Gizzard Trail. 

Walk amidst towering trees and vibrant foliage, allowing the symphony of nature to envelop you. 

Be on the lookout for a diverse array of plant and animal life that call this ecosystem home. 

From wildflowers blooming in a kaleidoscope of colors to the melodies of birdsong filling the air, every step along this trail is an opportunity to connect with the natural world.

Beyond Fiery Gizzard Trail

While your journey has taken you to remarkable heights, there are more captivating waterfalls to discover near Chattanooga. 

  • Foster Falls, located at the opposite end of the Fiery Gizzard Trail, awaits with its incredible cascades, epitomizing the picturesque beauty of the southern states. 
  • For a shorter adventure, Greeter Falls in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area offers tumbling falls that are sure to leave you in awe. 
  • Venture across the Georgia border to the remote stretches of the Cohutta Wilderness and find yourself enchanted by the multi-tiered magnificence of Jacks River Falls along the Beech Bottom Trail. 
  • Lula Lake Land Trust beckons with two enchanting waterfalls and an abundance of scenic beauty.
  • Further south near the border of Georgia and Tennessee, you will find a ton of fun things to do at Lookout Mountain too.

Fiery Gizzard Trail Tips and Safety Precautions

While the Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven’s Point trail offers an extraordinary adventure, it’s essential to be well-prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

Here are some tips and safety precautions to keep in mind:

Plan Your Visit and Check Park Website for Updates

Before embarking on your journey, visit the South Cumberland State Park website to gather relevant information about current trail conditions, closures, and any safety advisories. 

It’s always a good idea to stay informed and plan accordingly to make the most of your hiking experience, 

Here’s a map for your reference.

Nature’s Call: Preserve and Protect

As we embark on this awe-inspiring journey, let us always remember to leave no trace behind. 

Pack out everything you bring in, and if you come across any litter, be the steward of the environment and pick it up. 

Stay on the designated trail, inform someone of your whereabouts, and equip yourself with essential safety and navigation tools. 

Remember, relying solely on a mobile phone for wayfinding may prove unreliable. 

We remind you to practice good trail etiquette, and before setting off, consult the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and park or ranger office for any updates on routes, closures, safety guidelines, or restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) of Fiery Gizzard Trail

How hard is the Fiery Gizzard Trail?

The Fiery Gizzard Trail is renowned for its challenging terrain, making it a moderate to difficult hiking experience. The trail stretches approximately 11 miles (17 kilometers) through rugged and diverse landscapes, including rocky slopes, steep ascents and descents, and uneven surfaces. Hikers should be prepared for a strenuous trek that demands endurance and proper physical fitness. 

How long is the Fiery Gizzard Trail?

The Fiery Gizzard Trail is approximately 13 miles long, offering hikers a challenging and rewarding journey through diverse landscapes, including rocky slopes, waterfalls, and serene forests. It is a point-to-point hike that ends at Foster Falls on the other end.

Can you swim at Fiery Gizzard Trail?

Yes, you can swim along Fiery Gizzard Trail. You’ll love taking a dip in Fiery Gizzard Creek while exploring breathtaking rock formations, gushing streams, majestic waterfalls, rugged gorges, stunning overlooks, and enchanting woodlands.

Where do you park for Fiery Gizzard Trail?

There are places for you to park your car at the Grundy Forest State Natural Area at South Cumberland State Park if you are coming from the north. If visiting rom the south, you can park at Foster Falls.

Can you camp on the Fiery Gizzard Trail?

Yes, camping is allowed along the Fiery Gizzard Trail. There are designated campsites available where hikers can set up their tents and spend the night, allowing for a multi-day hiking adventure. However, it’s important to check the specific regulations and obtain any necessary permits before camping.

In Conclusion: Fiery Gizzard Trail To Raven Point

As we conclude our journey through the Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven Point, we hope this adventure has ignited a newfound appreciation for nature’s wonders within you. 

The sprawling landscapes, majestic waterfalls, and awe-inspiring vistas are not merely sights to behold but reflections of the harmony that exists within our natural world. 

We encourage you to continue exploring and safeguarding these precious treasures so that future generations may experience the same sense of wonder and awe that has accompanied us on this remarkable expedition!

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