Monday, April 4, 2016

Hiking Greeter Falls Savage Gulf State Natural Area, TN #Hiking

This past week, I spent a lot of time hiking in the Cumberland Plateau. A nice, fairly easy hike we took was to Greeter Falls. Greeter Falls is located in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area. The Greeter Falls Loop Trail is a short 1.6 mile loop. It gets a fair amount of traffic. The trail ranges from smooth, to heavy with roots or rocks. The trail can be very wet (or icy) after rain/snow. There are also steps and a spiral staircase and steep climbs.

It is a nice trail to do with children who have some hiking experience as it is short and offers a few waterfalls along the way. However, the trail is narrow in places with steep drop offs, so keep a close eye on your children (as you should always when hiking) and make sure they stay on the trail. Dogs can use this trail but must be leashed. There is a nice picnic area off the parking lot with tables and grills. Note--there are no restrooms.

I recommend hiking boots due to the rocks and roots on this trail. Also, after a rain, the trail is very wet in spots and waterproof shoes are required if you want to keep your feet dry.

I hiked this trail after a heavy rain, so the waterfalls were really flowing. From what I have seen online, they aren't always so strong in seasons outside of spring.
 

If you go left at the loop, you first will come up Boardtree Falls. Like I said, there had been a lot of rain the night before, so the falls were beautiful. There were actually two drops in this falls, plus a small falls coming off the rocks at the right. You could view this from above, or hike down boulders and rocks to get a better view from below.


The below photo gives you some perspective of how far down you hike to get below the falls.


The photo below gives you a better idea what the trail looks like.


To get to Lower Greeter Falls, you must take the spiral staircase. My dogs refused so my husband and I had to take turns going down. The kids loved it, though!


The falls at Lower Greeter Falls were heavy due to the recent rain and the waters below were fierce. I understand at other times, it is much calmer and people swim below the falls. The water color was also dark due to the churning of the water.


Upper Greeter Falls was easier to view, however, to get the closest, you did have to scale down a rooty, rocky path.


I would actually like to visit this area again when there hasn't been quite this much rain.

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