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September 22, 2016

Savage Falls | Tennessee

The crew arrived at Savage Falls, Tennessee camping area at 11am on a Friday.

We unpacked the car and hiked our gear to the natural campsites that are available by reservation. We were at the top of a mountain in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area. Everyone was stoked on the camping site being our first “hike-in” spot of the trip. We were all even more pumped to explore Savage Falls. We secured the food and campsite and headed to the Savage Falls trail.

The trail is very well maintained with a beautiful swinging bridge

along the way. After around a mile and a half descent we found ourselves on top of Savage Falls. The distinct sound of splashing and rushing white water came first as we stepped into the stream. We reached the edge and all stared in amazement at the beautiful waterfall pouring over the ledge and falling over 20 feet to the plunge pool.

We immediately made our way to the bottom and set up home base. To much disappointment we found the waterfall to be un jumpable upon swimming the waters out. There is a hidden rock ledge beneath the falls extending out a good 15 feet into the pool area making the jump from the falls too far to risk. We found some deep water under a cliff off to the right of the falls and had at it. Jumping through a hole in the trees with barely enough room to fit, we sent ourselves into the cold water.

With not many safe jumping locations we spent most of our time relaxing, enjoying the waterfall and nature. Savage Gulf State Natural Area is a great spot to hike out with friends, a beautiful location with miles of trails and beautiful little secret swimming holes.

As night fell and the dark set in we settled into conversation by the fire.

In a moment of silence we were all unpleasantly surprised by the howling of a large pack of coyotes. The groups eyes widened at the screams of the wild animals. Being from south eastern Pennsylvania this close relative to the wolf was foreign to all of us. The pack of coyotes sounded far off, after a moment we assured each other we had nothing to worry about and went back to enjoying the fire.

An hour later, right as we were finishing eating we heard the pack again. This time they were much closer and had broken into two groups. The night predators surrounded the camp and began to howl as a group, urging each other closer. Their shrieks pierced our nerves. Some of us grabbed flashlights and attempted to scare them away with no avail. It was decided that the food and coolers be brought back into the cars for our safety. While we were at the cars we grabbed some great extended exposure night shots of the Tennessee sky. The stars were absolutely clear and right on top of us, it felt like we could reach out and grab them.

After packing the food away and taking some pictures we headed to bed. Passing out in our tents with visions of wolves and bears was certainly an interesting way to hit the hay. Though when we woke up it was agreed that the experience of camping in the wilds of Tennessee was the best overnight adventure we have done.

Trail – Easy-Moderate

Depths- 10-12’

Camping- With reservation/ hike in

Bathrooms- Yes, very clean

Parking- Yes

Thanks to Serac Hammocks, GraniteRocx Outdoor Apparel, Kingii Safety Devices, and Shutta App