THE FALLS SEGMENT
The Cumberland Trail is divided into 12 SEGMENTS. Each Segment may have one or more SECTIONS.
NOTE: The 1.4 mile trail in the Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area has been integrated into the new 6 mile Sting Fork Falls Section of the Cumberland Trail. New map below.
Sections within this Segment:
Head of the Sequatchie Section
Stinging Fork Falls Section
The Falls Segment is divided into two Sections: Head of the Sequatchie Section and Stinging Fork Falls Section.
The southern terminus of The Falls Segment is the northern terminus of the Piney River Segment. In the Sting Fork Falls Section description it is referred to as Shut In Gap Road Parking South.
The Sting Fork Falls Section opened in January 2019 and is roughly 6 miles. From south to north, the trail proceeds from Shut In Gap Road South Parking up Soak Creek for about 4.6 miles to Stinging Fork Falls. There it connects with the 1.4 mile access trail at Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area and emerges on Shut In Gap Road Parking North about 3.8 miles up the road from the south trailhead. The trail diverges from the Soak Creek gulf to arrive at the falls on Stinging Fork. A new Section map is below and the point by point description will be published on the Section page when it is available.
The next section north is the Head of the Sequatchie Section and is actively under construction in 2020. When complete it will run about 13.5 miles to the CTSST Ranger Station at HOS.
In and Out Short Trail to Stinging Fork Falls:
A 2.8 mile, in and out, hike is available from the Shut In Gap Road North parking area on the 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 2.8 mile round trip trail is rated moderate and passes 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 continues and descends into the gorge and on up the creek. The trail ends at the plunge pool of the scenic 35-foot falls on Stinging Fork Branch. Simply retrace your steps to return to the parking area.
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. Carry a conventional watch.
Edit and update December 2019.