Grundy Forest is a 234-acre natural area located in Grundy County. In 1935, it was donated to the State by the town of Tracy City to accommodate a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. The CCC built the picnic shelter here in the 1930s. The State originally managed the site as Grundy State Forest. The management responsibility was transferred from the Division of Forestry to the Division of Parks and Recreation in 1978. It eventually became part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area. The natural area serves as the northern trailhead of the Fiery Gizzard Trail that connects with the TVA Foster Falls Small Wild Area at the southern trailhead 12 miles away. The area features cascading streams, waterfalls, rockhouses, rock formations, hemlock cove forest, dry upland pine forest, and steep cliffs. Several waterfalls can be found including Hanes Hole Falls, Blue Hole Falls (10 feet) and Sycamore Falls (12 feet). The cool gorge also contains the Cave Springs Rock House, where nearby there stands a 500-year-old hemlock. Other interesting features include a five-feet-wide by 30-feet-deep gorge named the Black Canyon, and the Chimney Rocks, which are rock formations that range from 25 to 60 feet tall. The area is recognized for its diversity of wildflowers, mosses and liverworts, and its wildlife. - See more at: http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/article/na-na-grundy-forest#sthash.IYjMhM3U.dpuf
Every time I come back to Grundy Forest I discover somewhere new. Quiet smaller campground right next to Foster Falls Trailhead. After you enjoy that hike make sure you check out Denny Cove further down Rt41. Denny Falls is a moderate hike along a rock face popular with climbers. Monteagle, Tn is nearby and has several awesome restaurants and store to check out.
To take a step back in time exit I24 at Monteagle, and follow Tn41 toward Tracy City. Grundy Forest signage is found along the road. Grundy is part of the Fiery Gizzard Trail connecting it and South Cumberland State Park. Some of the areas you hike/backpack through are privately owned so leave no trace so the public can continue to use the area.
The primitive campground is close to the parking area at this end. There are several primitive campsites as well as a cabin that can be reserved if you are hiking the distance. The views are AWE-some!
The nice thing about the campsite so close to the parking lot is if you are a novice or have kids you get the experience without the distance . Gives you an opportunity to see what you forgot :)
There is a "latrine" on site, smell included no extra charge. Reserve, reserve, reserve, this is a popular area for through hikes. Fire rings and mostly level cleared areas.