THE FALLS SEGMENT
The Cumberland Trail is divided into 15 SEGMENTS. Each Segment may have one or more SECTIONS.
The Piney River Trailhead, which is the northern terminus of the Piney River Segment, will one day also be the southern terminus of The Falls Segment. This segment of the CT as yet has no designated route but will likely travel up Soak Creek Gorge past Hinch Mountain to Jewett Road to connect with the Grassy Cove Segment via a trail into Head of the Sequatchie, a distance of 13.4 miles estimated by on-the-ground scouting.
[2017 Update: The Falls Segment will be divided into two Sections: Head of the Sequatchie and Stinging Fork Falls. In 2015 work began to bring the trail down off Jewett Road into Head of the Sequatchie. The CTSST has built an access road into the area and provide parking for hikers and other activities. A Ranger station is on site but regular operation days have not been established as of June 2017. Contact the CTSST office at 423-566-2229 for hours of operation.
Head of Sequatchie Hours : 8am – 4:30pm Eastern on scheduled days
Meanwhile a roughly 2 mile trail comes off Jewett Road, descends into the valley near the ranger station and then ascends up limestone cliffs toward Hinch Mountain Road, Also known as FAA Road. After a short walk back on Jewett Road, the trail turns right – or south – back into the woods and begins to follow the mid-section slope of Hinch Mountain around to the south-west. This trail was under construction as of 2017.
Eventually the trail will continue south-east and link up with the Sting Fork Falls Section. Route to be determined. ed.]
As the trail passes south through Soak Creek Gorge, there will be an access trail of 1.4 miles, again estimated by scouting, that will lead to Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area. The 1.1 miles of trail in the SNA make up the only constructed trail in The Falls Segment at this time.
Current Trail Description:
Stinging Fork Falls Trail: The trail starts at the gravel parking area on Shut-in Gap Road. This 2 mile round trip trail is rated moderate and leads the hiker through a managed pine plantation into the 140-acre Bowater Stinging Fork Pocket Wilderness.
At one half (1/2) mile, a spur trail leads to Indian Head Point, which affords a scenic overlook of the rugged Stinging Fork Gorge. The length of the spur to Indian Head Point is one tenth (760 feet) mile. After this intersection, the trail then continues and descends into the gorge and on up the creek. The trail ends at the plungepool of the scenic 35-foot falls. The hiker must retrace his steps to return to the parking area.
Although this segment is in Eastern time, hikers at higher elevations may find their cell phones picking up signals from towers in Central time.
Future Section Links within this Segment:
Head of the Sequatchie Section
Stinging Fork Falls Section