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Fiery Gizzard

“This trail has been rated by Backpacker magazine as one of the Top 25 in the country and should not be missed.” –

Fiery Gizzard – Southeast TN

The Fiery Gizzard is one of the most iconic trails in the state, spanning portions of Grundy and Marion Counties atop the Cumberland Plateau. The Land Trust for Tennessee has partnered with private landowners, other conservation groups and Tennessee State Parks to protect more than 8,300 acres in the Fiery Gizzard Conservation area.

About The Fiery Gizzard Conservation Area

The Fiery Gizzard Trail and surrounding area is considered one of the most intact, biologically diverse, natural landscapes remaining in the eastern United States. Thousands of visitors flock every month to hike the 13-mile trail and experience the unique sandstone features, flowing waterfalls and breathtaking panoramic vistas, bolstering the local economy. In fact, Backpacker Magazine once rated it as one of the best hiking trails in the U.S. and one of the top ten places to see fall foliage.

From the Ground Level: Protecting The Fiery Gizzard Conservation Area

The trail and natural features of the Fiery Gizzard area have not always been protected from threat. That’s because even though the primary trailhead is within South Cumberland State Park, the trail passes through multiple private properties on its path to Foster Falls.

Through multiple conservation wins, natural habitat and views from the trail have been protected and key portions of the trail have been re-routed onto state park land. The Land Trust for Tennessee’s work includes multiple conservation easements and large-scale conservation wins to protect the Fiery Gizzard area.  

  • In 2010, The Land Trust for Tennessee and The Conservation Fund protected 6,100 acres of land around Fiery Gizzard. At the time, 2,900 of these acres were transferred to the State as an addition to South Cumberland State Park and the Fiery Gizzard Trail system. The remaining acreage was protected through a conservation easement with a group of private landowners who managed the land for wildlife habitat and recreation.
  • In April 2017, The Land Trust for Tennessee and The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Open Space Institute, announced the addition of 1,058 acres to South Cumberland State Park in Marion County adjacent to the Fiery Gizzard Trail.

Also see Denny Cove which is located just south of the Fiery Gizzard area.