Reforging the Fiery Gizzard

Forced to move a section of one of our most iconic trails in order to keep it open, park rangers and volunteers are working hard in extremely rugged terrain.


The nationally recognized Fiery Gizzard Trail is thought by many to be one of the most iconic and important trail systems in Tennessee. Making its way through the heart of the South Cumberland Plateau, the trail features pristine streams, waterfalls, panoramic vistas, and rocky outcrops. For years, hikers have come from near and far to enjoy the rugged beauty of this special place. But what many hikers didn’t know is that several sections of the trail run across private property. One of those landowners recently decided to cut off access to his land, a 34 acre tract near the popular Raven Point overlook, starting in December of 2015. It’s a decision that effectively cuts the famous trail in half. Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker takes us to Grundy Forest side of the trail, where South Cumberland State Park staff and volunteers are working feverishly to save this Tennessee treasure.

Construction on the trail, including building two bridges over Fiery Gizzard Creek, will be going on throughout the fall, winter, and into the spring of 2016. If you are interested in volunteering you can join the Friends of South Cumberland meetup group (it’s free) to get updates on work outings. Ranger-led work groups head out most weekend days at 9 am from the parking lot at the Grundy Forest trail head (131 Fiery Gizzard Rd. Tracy City, TN 37387) and work until mid-afternoon. For more information or if you want to bring a large group, email Ranger Jason at If you can’t come out to work on the trail, you can join or make a financial contribution to the Friends of South Cumberland, a non-profit group that will be helping to fund the trail project.


To learn more about the rich history of the Fiery Gizzard, including how it got its name, try watching an earlier story we did, “Forging the Fiery Gizzard.”

From show 3003


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