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Franklin State Forest Trails Professional Review and Guide
"Franklin State Forest was established in 1936 from 6,941 acres purchased from the Cross Creek Coal Company, which operated in the South Cumberland region. Soon after, the CCC entered the area to construct buildings and trails. Located near the SCRA and the University of the South, the state forest offers more hiking opportunities on the South Cumberland. A loop trail passes by Tom Pack Falls, and trails along the rim of Sweden Cove at the edge of the plateau lead to waterfalls and overlooks. Camping is permitted anywhere. Be aware of the hunting seasons."
--Russ Manning, 40 Hikes In Tennessee's South Cumberland (The Mountaineers Books).
It's a great place to hike with my dogs or just with another friend. Hardly a soul to encounter along the way.
Spring is awesome with the water falls and mountain laurel in full bloom. There is a cottage nearby to stay at for the week-end; Red Oak Hollow.
Lots of photo's on the blog.
This is a great place to get a quick hike in if you live within an hour or so of the park. I use to mountain bike here back in the late 90s. The ranger there is nice and they are trying to bring the trail conditions up to par while adding more trails. The map found in the Trails.com full report is not worth downloading and really does not show much about the trails with the exception of how to get there from I-24. I spoke to the ranger on this last trip and he is working on putting together a map that you can pick up there at the trailhead. That said, until that time be careful....the lack of real trail maps and the numerous unmarked trails that crisscross all over the trail is mind blowing. KEEP YOUR SCENCE OF DIRECTION! Know at all times which way you are headed and where the road is in relation to your direction of travel. The only way we found our way back was by folllowing one of the many unmarked trails at a trail intersection, that headed west, and then listened for traffic every 15 minutes to find our way back to the road and to the trailhead. Also, lots of gnats swarming this time of year (July) so take some deet with you. I may try this hike again in the winter when the leave are off and you have more of a view.
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