Savage Day Loop

South Cumberland Recreation Area, Tennessee

Elevation Gain615ft
Trailhead Elevation1,836ft
Elevation Min/Max1767/1928ft
Elevation Start/End1836/1836ft

Savage Day Loop

Savage Day Loop is a hiking trail in Grundy County, Tennessee. It is within South Cumberland Recreation Area. It is three miles long and begins at 1,836 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 615 feet. The Savage Gulf camp site can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Savage Gulf Ranger Station ranger station. This trail connects with the following: South Rim Trail and North Rim Trail.

Savage Day Loop Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Waterfalls in Tennessee (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"This hike visits the same falls from two different vantages, and you can see other cool stuff along the way. Leave Savage Gulf Ranger Station to negotiate two swinging bridges. Drop to Savage Creek, where you can find an old moonshine still site. From there, head to the base of 30-foot Savage Falls, as it dives over a rock cleft into a boulder-bordered plunge pool. Next, backtrack a little, then head to the other side of Savage Creek to experience an elevated view of the falls from a rock outcrop."
"Savage Gulf State Natural Area is one of the great hiking and backpacking destinations in Tennessee, and the Savage Day Loop is a great introductory hike to this area. The hike has several great overlooks, visits the popular Savage Falls, and ties in with several long-distance trails should you want to expand the hike. Savage Gulf State Natural Area is one of the great wilderness areas on the Cumberland Plateau. With over 17,500 acres, it has ample area for one to explore, hike in, backpack, and become immersed in this wilderness setting. And it has numerous miles of trails, and there are several remote campgrounds that help you to fully enjoy its beauty."

Savage Day Loop Trip Reports

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Flat, and not very strenuous. Good for a nice day out with some friends.
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If you are looking for a challenge... go elsewhere. As far as hiking goes, this trail is flat. This would be a great trail to take a young kid on to teach them about the basics of hiking or to introduce hiking to a person who may not be up to gaining a couple thousand feet or more of elevation. The trails are blazed quite well. There are signs at every intersection, so getting lost isn't really even an option. It kind of became a running joke among our group about the number of warning/caution and informational signs we passed.

About a mile past the trail head, you can choose either to go left or right on the loop. I recommend going right (towards the North Rim Trail) first. You will get to Rattlesnake Point first and then come to Savage Falls Overlook. Lastly, you'll come to the trail that takes you to into the gorge and to the falls. If you are day hiking, you absolutely must see the falls from the overlook and up close. Otherwise, this hike wouldn't be very interesting. If you take these side trips, the total mileage becomes closer to 5 miles. It is still a very easy 5 miles.
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Me, my son (age 10) and one of my son's buddy's and father decided to take a backpacking trip to the Savage Falls campsite. This was the second backpacking trip for my son and the first for his buddy, so we wanted a relatively easy trip. Also, we were expecting rain that night and the next morning on the hike out. This turned out to be an excellent selection. Although the campsite is only 1.3 miles from the ranger station, we were able to make it more interesting by taking the Savage Day Loop counterclockwise to the campsite and thus extending the hike to 3 miles. The hike was mostly flat and the trails were all in pretty good condition and well marked. Rattlesnake point made a great place to stop for lunch and really soak in the view. When we got to the campsite, we were pleased to find that there's a nice big flowing stream close which made for easy water refills and dish washing. We were the only ones in the campsite that night. Probably because of the expected bad weather. We stayed at the #2 campsite due to it's vicinity to the stream. There is a large group campsite for anyone going with a large group. Firewood was plentiful and there really was nothing to complain about except the fact that our fire ring was located in a low area and was almost totally under water the next morning when we got up. We had planned to cook breakfast on the fire the morning, but that plan was nixed and the stove was pulled out. If you're expecting rain and want a fire, choose a different site. It was nice to be able to take the 1.3 mile hike out and not have to make the boys suffer the whole 3 miles in the rain that we had hike in. We brought our lab and he had a great time to. I'd highly recommend this trail as a day hike or a backpacking trip for beginners. For someone looking for a challenge, go elsewhere.
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This hike is an excellent introduction to the Savage Gulf area. I would rate the trail as "easy" and it is very scenic. There are creeks to cross and most of the trail is shaded. The Savage Falls overlook is probably the favorite among hikers. The view from Rattlesnake Point is spectacular and you can almost view the entire canyon from there. Pick up a trail map at the Savage Gulf Ranger Station, where you can also get some water and use the restroom.

Savage Day Loop Photos

Trail Information

South Cumberland Recreation Area
Nearby City
South Cumberland Recreation Area
South Cumberland State Park, 11745 US 41, Monteagle, TN 37356, (931) 924-2980,
Local Contacts
Savage Gulf; USGS Collins
Local Maps

Trail Log