THE FALLS SEGMENT
The Cumberland Trail is divided into 12 SEGMENTS. Each Segment may have one or more SECTIONS.
NOTE: As of January 2019 the 1.1 miles of trail in the Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area has be integrated into the new6 mile Sting Fork Falls Section. Link to the full section description will be made available soon. Meanwhile the new section is marked with orange flagging tape. New map below.
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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. The Falls Segment is under active construction as of 2016. The route up Soak Creek to Head of the Sequatchie is in the design phase with a distance of about 13.4 miles estimated by on-the-ground scouting.
As of January 2019 the trail now connects with the 1.4 mile access trail at Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area.
[2019 Update: The Falls Segment is 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 built an access road into the area and provides parking for hikers and other activities. A Ranger station is on site. Contact the CTSST office at 423-566-2229 for hours of operation.
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 will turn right – or south – back into the woods and begins to follow the mid-section slope of Hinch Mountain around to the south-east. This trail was under construction as of 2017.
The Sting Fork Falls Section was completed in December 2018. A new Section map is below and description will be published when it is available. ed.]
Current Trail Description:
Stinging Fork Falls Trail: The trail starts at the gravel parking area on Shut-in Gap Road. (EL. 1,734′ N 35* 42′ 45.89 W 84* 55′ 42.27) 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.
As of January 2019, the Cumberland Trail continues south near the base of the falls for roughly five miles to the southern terminus of the Sting Fork Falls Section. A detailed trail description is in the works.
Although this segment is in Eastern time, hikers at higher elevations may find their cell phones picking up signals from towers in Central time.
Edit and update January 2019.
Future Section Links within this Segment:
Head of the Sequatchie Section
Stinging Fork Falls Section