Scenic USA - Tennessee

Foster Falls

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Foster Falls - Sequatchie, Tennessee

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

   Often described as rugged, diverse and spectacular, Tennessee's section of the Cumberland Plateau is part of the largest forested plateau in the continental United States. Made up of ten distinct districts, the South Cumberland State Recreation Area (SRA) is scattered over 100 square miles and four counties. Here on the Cumberland Plateau miles of backcountry trails, historic ruins, rock climbing routes, primitive campgrounds, caves and waterfalls appeal to just about any type of outdoors lover.
   Managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Foster Falls Small Wild Area (SWA) is one of the unique parcels of South Cumberland SRA. One of the smallest sections, Foster Falls SWA covers 178 acres surrounding the Little Gizzard Creek. Enclosed in a gorge and lined with sandstone cliffs, Foster Falls plunges 60 feet over the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau. Seen here among the thick Tennessee forest, Foster Falls marks the end of the Fiery Gizzard Trail.
   Joining waterfall fans and hikers, rock climbers take advantage of numerous sport routes set up in the Foster Falls area. Noted as strenuous, routes are typically vertical and overhanging, providing excellent thin face climbs. Noted as some of the best sport climbing routes in the southeast, ratings range from 5.8 to 5.10+.
   The Foster Falls (SWA) is located about 40 minutes from Chattanooga and the park is open from 6am to 10 pm. Itís a spartan center with only a restroom, picnic area, trail heads, falls viewing platform and boardwalk.

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