Hike to Sycamore Falls

                                          SYCAMORE  FALLS

DATE:  Saturday June 28th

TIME:   10am EASTERN

DISTANCE:  3.2 miles

DIFFICULTY:  moderate

MEETING PLACE:   Grundy Forest parking lot

TRIP LEADER:   Park Greer

PETS:  Dogs must remain on leash at all times


* *  Please note that although the hike takes place in the central time zone, all event times posted via CHM are posted according to the EASTERN time zone since Chattanooga is where the club is based.  Please keep this in mind on the day of the hike when planning your arrival   * *



The Sycamore Falls hike is a 3.2 mile hike of moderate difficulty due to some rocky and steep areas. Immediately dropping off the top of the plateau (at the Grundy Forest Parking Lot) the trail winds by a 350 year old Hemlock tree at the base of an impressive rock shelter (with some chipped flint still able to be found!) 

From there the trail joins the Big Fiery Gizzard Creek and follows it for about half a mile before crossing a bridge and overlooking Black Canyon, a small "slot canyon" about 15 feet deep, 5-10 yards wide and 100 yards long. The hiking becomes a little more difficult in this section because of the skinny trail and steeper climbs but is soon forgotten by the Chimneys, natural rock towers between 30 and 50 feet high. 

Sycamore Falls is a short jaunt from the Chimneys and the trail overlooks this 15' waterfall and the surrounding cliffs. From here we would back track to the bridge where we would then continue along the Grundy Day Loop passing a few other waterfalls before ending back at the parking lot. 

What the Sycamore Falls Hike lacks in grandeur like Foster Falls and the Stone Door, it makes up in intricate beauty. The Fiery Gizzard is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. It is not hard feel isolated in the dense thickets of Mountain Laurel and Hemlock, but with the sounds of the Big Fiery Gizzard Creek carrying a soothing ambiance the hike becomes peaceful, almost relaxing. 


Being a nature hike, be sure to bring a healthy curiosity to learn! 

                         PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY OR ON TIME

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  • Kim B

    It was very nice to meet everyone today. Thanks, Park, for the informative hike. Sorry that my pics didn't turn out very well, but feel free to tag yourselves if you'd like.

    June 28

    • Misty R

      Nice photos, Kim. Thanks for sharing them.

      June 30

  • steve s.

    Thank you to Park for an awesome hike to Sycamore Falls. Enjoyed meeting some great folks with the Chattanooga meetup too.

    1 · June 29

    • Kim B

      Thanks for sharing the great pics, Steve!

      1 · June 29

  • Fox H.

    I've hiked in the area at least 5 times, and I have gotten lost in Tracy City every time I've come, including yesterday. And I live in the area (20 miles away).

    June 29

    • Kim B

      Sorry you had trouble, Fox, but glad to know I'm not the only one who can't figure out Tracy City. :D

      June 29

  • Melanie Welch W.

    I am so sorry I missed the Chattanooga Hiking Meetup. I left early Saturday morning to get there. I had a hard time finding Fiery Gizzard Trailhead. I finally pulled and I believe it was you guys over at the tables getting ready to leave, by the time I got my hiking boots on, you were gone. I tried to catch up, but couldn't. I still hiked around the loop and got back. I enjoyed it, but the next time I will leave earlier to make sure I get there in time.

    June 28

    • Carl W

      On the positive side, maybe you missed the rain!

      June 29

    • Kim B

      I'm sorry you missed it, too, Melanie. You should have called out to us. We would have waited. I agree that this is a very tough trailhead to find. I also would like to see more detailed directions given in the hike descriptions, as many of us are transplants and often visiting areas new to us. With the trails often being very remote, GPS and online mapping often fall short. Maybe we should help each other more by posting detailed directions in the comments if we're familiar. I know I'd definitely appreciate it. I hate to hear that anyone missed a hike because they got lost. Also, this is where phone numbers really come in handy, too.

      June 29

  • Kasi H.

    I had a great time!!

    1 · June 28

  • rita

    Hi Park! Thanks for all your help with the trails. I am going to hike Stone Door trail which has a little more mileage. Have a great hike.

    June 28

  • Carrie

    I need to cancel as I have company in town

    June 27

  • Kim B

    Park, do you have a cell you could share in case we have any trouble finding the group?

    June 27

    • John

      kim, it's a really small parking lot. Ranger Park will be the one wearing the Park Ranger uniform. can't miss him :-)

      1 · June 27

    • Kim B

      I meant if someone had traffic trouble or alien abduction issues, Smarty Pants. :D

      2 · June 27

  • Melanie Welch W.

    How long is this hike and about how long does it take. Also where are we meeting

    June 25

    • Park G.

      3.2 miles, And meet at the Grundy Forest Parking Lot. Takes appox: 2 hours or less.

      June 26

  • Bruce A.

    Whoops, I got the date wrong. The exact same hike was today (6/21) with a different meetup.

    June 21

  • Bruce A.

    I was on this hike, and didn't see any of the people listed as "going". Good little hike anyway, with 6 people from closer to the park.

    June 21

  • rita

    Hi Park. Is there anyway to get to stone door from this hike?

    June 20

    • Park G.

      Not with out driving. The Stone Door parking area is a good 25- 30 minute drive from this parking lot. But it is definitely worth it!

      June 20

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