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Fiery Gizzard Trail

Tracy City, Tennessee
Distance11.3mi
Elevation Gain5,736ft
Trailhead Elevation1,807ft
Top1,845ft
Elevation Min/Max1293/1845ft
Elevation Start/End1807/1807ft

Fiery Gizzard Trail

Fiery Gizzard Trail is a hiking trail in Tracy City, Tennessee. It is 11.3 miles long and begins at 1,807 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 23.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,736 feet. Near the trailhead there are parkings, restroom, and shelters. Along the trail there is a bare rock. This trail connects with the following: Dog Hole Trail, Raven Point Trail and Climbers Loop.
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Nashville,
Trailblazer | 752 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
7/10/2018
Although the sections of the trail are currently closed past Sycamore Falls (to Raven's Point), the trail to Sycamore Falls is lush and beautiful. The Lower Fiery Gizzard Trail and Dog Head Loop are also closed but the Grundy Day Loop provides a genuinely lovely hike to the falls. This is an epic hike in gorgeous country. If you are hoping to go to Ravens Point, I would check the trail conditions with the park before you head out.
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Brentwood,
Adventurer | 333 pts
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
5/9/2009
Great trail. It's challenging but do able as a day hike. The first five miles coming from Grundy are very rocky but beautiful. Be careful if you hike in wet conditions!
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Shelbyville,
Pathfinder | 161 pts
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
6/23/2007
The trail guide describes the ascent out of the gorge as an "arduous" ascent. Well, "arduous" became our buzzword for the weekend... We started out at the Fiery Gizzard parking lot at around 5PM (CST) Friday afternoon hoping to make it to the Raven Point campsite before dark. The trail starts out with a beautiful 600' descent to the bottom of the gorge. There was a nice swimming hole there (that I spend most of the rest of the weekend thinking about). This beauty is quickly forgotten as you start rock hopping and making your way up and down the side of the gorge. This was as much a mental workout as it was a physical one since everytime you start up the hill you start thinking that this must be the final ascent then only to reach the top and have to head back down to the creek level. Well, when you finally do reach the final "arduous" ascent you will know it...very tough. It seems that it'll never end. This was probably compounded by the fact that we climbed it in the dark. We finally made it to the campsite at about 9:30PM.

The rest of the trip isn't too bad. The trail between Raven Point and Small Wilds is mostly flat, however there is another smaller "arduous" climb at the end up to the campsite. We stayed there Sat night and then hiked to the Foster Falls parking lot at the break of dawn Sunday morning.

We took this trip during the worst drought in TN in 70 years and H2O became an issue. Once we left the Fiery Gizzard river, we had to resort to filtering puddle water. Do not attempt this hike during a drought unless you have a good pump filter. I wouldn't have wanted to drink that water with tablets alone...

Definitely, the hardest trail I've hiked in the Cumberland. I would highly recommend it to an experienced hiker who wants a good challenge. This is not a good one to use for an introduction to backpacking...
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Crossville,
Adventurer | 220 pts
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
2/22/2007
We only hiked from the Grundy Day Loop to Sycamore Falls. The hike was beautiful and the trail was well-marked.
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Collegedale,
Explorer | 50 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
4/22/2006
Nice stuff. You need to have stong ankles for most of this trail, but you can't beat the scenery. I've been looking for some good terrain, and this trail has what it takes. Overall, this trail is just about my favorite. I've been all over the Cumberland and Smokeys and haven't found any one trail that can offer as much as this one.
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Cullman,
Explorer | 20 pts
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
7/27/2002
This trail is challenging, and offers lots of diversity and beautiful scenery. The first 4 1/2 miles takes you along Fiery Gizzard Creek that flows through a narrow gorge. The gorge stays cool even during the hottest part of the day and maintains an almost rain forest feel(and humidity). However, about half of it was tough going over boulder fields that required attention to every step.
If you go any time soon, make sure you tank up before the climb out because rain has been scarce and creeks on top of the plateu are mostly dry.
The 500' climb out to the top of plateau reward you with several of the most spectacular overlooks in Tennessee scattered along the next 5 miles which is also easy walking. You then take what the brochure calls a "steep decent" into Laurel Creek Gorge, and it is. A very narrow trail takes you 150' down a bluff. Including about 15' where you have to hang onto a cable to make sure your decent doesn't get too steep (i.e., vertical and quick). There is a huge blowdown blocking the trail at the bottom between two house size boulders. Make sure you pay attention as you scramble around it so you don't miss the trail back up. After getting back on top, you go from one great overlook to another until you reach a 150' water fall which marks the 12 1/2 mile mark.
An alternative route is the Dog Hole Trail which takes you out of the gorge sooner so you can miss most of the boulder fields (and some great scenery).
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birmingham,
Explorer | 20 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
3/24/2001
This is a terrific hike...... if you are in shape! I did the 10+ miles hike which took you through the gorge,up to the plateau, and back down through the gorge. I read all of the material I could find that might give me an idea of how strenuous the hike would be. It starts of rather slowly - almost lulls you into thinking it is going to be a piece of cake. Once you start hitting the bolder fields the pace only goes up from there. It is extremely strenuous in some parts and less so in others. Overall, it is a tough, exhilerating hike.
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Trail Information

Tracy City
Nearby City
South Cumberland Recreation Area
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