FOSTER FALLS CAMPGROUND - Open to Vehicles - Reservations Required The Foster Falls campground has 26 rustic campsites ideal for tents or small trailers. The Foster Falls Campground is the only camping area in the park where guests may park a car and/or pop-ups next to the campsite. The campground is open year-round. All sites have a fire ring and a picnic table. Most sites are wooded, offering some shade and have a level, gravel surface. A few are on a slight incline. There are no water or electric hook-ups but a restroom and heated showers are available. No gas generators are allowed at the Foster Falls Campground.
BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING - Reservations Required South Cumberland boasts over 90 miles of backpacking trails with 93 campsites, eight group sites and one rustic lodge, the Hobbs Cabin. These campsites are located within 12 designated back country campgrounds across the Fiery Gizzard and Savage Gulf trail systems. South Cumberland encourages visitors to reserve your campsite early to ensure you have a site upon arrival. Remember, follow all park rules and be prepared to have a rewarding backcountry experience.
All campsites are limited to four adults and two children. Children are defined as ages 13 and younger. Site capacity information can be found under site features on the campsite reservation page. Please look closely at your campsite's capacity when reserving.
Each site has a designated fire ring. Hiking is required to reach the sites, although a few sites are available at only 120 yards from the parking lot. Water must be filtered from natural sources or carried in, be sure to check with the ranger stations about water availability. A pit toilet is also available at each campground.
South Cumberland has primitive group campsites at most Savage Gulf campgrounds. These sites can accommodate from 30-60 campers, depending on the site and location.
We camped at the Father Adamz campground. It was a little hard to find initially, there were no trail markers. Luckily we ran into a hiker that knew where it was. It was a .5 mile hike into the campground. Once there, it was breathtaking. You can hear the river at night when all is quiet and the campground (8) was very spacious.
I went with a group of seven and we hiked the Collins Rim Trail and the Collin Gulf Trail Loop. We had a blast. The weather wasn’t the best, temps in the mid 30’s and rained the whole first day. The Collins Rim Trail was about 8 miles to our campsite and then 4 miles out on the Loop Trail. You do have to reserve a campsite, even though someone else took ours, there were plenty of campsites available due to the weather. Parts of the trail were moderately difficult due to the geography and other parts were made more difficult from the rain. Overall this is an amazing place to day hike or even camp like we did. The views were amazing and the waterfalls, lots of water falls! We will definitely be back!
These campgrounds are located pretty close to the falls and the climbing area. Early in the season the water is extremely cold because the snowmelt.
Facilities were not the most maintained but like state park for its' location.
Lots of louder families while we were there.
Foster Falls Campground has 26 sites, most of which are very large and spacious. As is common in loop campgrounds, the sites in the center of the loop--especially sites 1-13--are very open, with little privacy between sites, although they are still shady due to the extremely tall trees. The outer loop sites have more underbrush between them providing a buffer. Sites 17-26 all have relative privacy from each other, but are smaller sites in general, although many of them have specified tent pads. The sites closest to the bathrooms all had more bugs while we were there in August, and site 16, while very large, has power lines that run into the site itself.
This is a very beautiful campground. The towering trees give most sites ample shade, and there is a lot of firewood that is easy to collect from felled trees, particularly on the back half of the loop. The front half of the loop is closest to the trail to the falls, and site 8 has a trail running directly behind it that takes you to the falls overlook, and to the trailhead to walk down to the falls themselves. Our 2 and 5 year old walked from our campsite down to the falls and back up easily, and enjoyed having a trail that led to the falls overlook for nightly post-dinner walks, and it would make a great camping base for anyone looking to hike the Fiery Gizzard Trail. The picnic tables are also very large and made it easy to prepare food and for 5 people to sit comfortably, even with our stove at one end, and the tables are on concrete slabs, which helps keep bugs crawling around your feet down a little, and makes it easier to clean up any food that falls while eating. The bathrooms were also cleaned each morning, with the trash taken out and the floor swept clean of bugs and detritus.
My biggest complaints about this site are the noise, and how much trash we saw. There is a farm nearby with a rooster that spent the better part of the day crowing, which can be distracting when you have a toddler you are trying to get to sleep, and got very repetitive for the adults as well. We could also hear 18 wheelers both nights we were there during the night. We were there on weeknights so there were very few other campers, but there was a lot of trash still evident from the weekend littered across most of the campsites, and a group that stayed our first night there left their fire ring full of paper towels and banana peels. After reporting it to a ranger, he cleaned up the paper but left the banana peels which made me wonder how strictly the campground enforces proper food storage, and the ranger said that the campers had not paid or registered--despite the fact that park vehicles drove past at least twice since that group set up camp. If kept clean, I would easily give this a 4 or 5 star rating despite the noise, but I was very disappointed in the visibility of human impact--a shame, because it is otherwise a great place, and great for families with small children.
The park itself is amazing but be prepared to rough it in the campground areas. The bathhouses were unkept, meaning holes in roof and lack of toilet paper, and housed a ton of creepy crawlers. Also if you come in an rv you will be boon docking. Bring ear plugs too because they have no strict quiet time regulations and people tend to party hardy up there. Also lock up your stuff very well because there is no gate and people love to drive back there and snoop around. However the waterfalls and trails are mind blowing so it is totally worth the visit.
Camping was easy and bathrooms were clean. Really beautiful scenery on somewhat strenuous hikes to waterfalls, some good sport climbing, and a few trails that will take you really high up so you can look down at the beautiful green canopy (or orange if it's fall). Beautiful spot any time of year but we like to go when it's warm enough to swim in the waterfall :)
We went car camping and it was a really nice, big, kinda private site. During the day you can hike down the trail to the water fall and hike on some more to do some rock climbing. I have been camping there about 3 times and love it.
Nice campground with lots of good trees for hammocking. Bathrooms could've been cleaner, but I have definitely seen worse. I camped here to go climbing the next day, it was a decent hike to the crag but not too far. The waterfall is beautiful! I would recommend camping here.
We used two cars and parked one at our campsite here, and brought one to the beginning of the Fiery Gizzard Trail. It was nice to camp the night before in order to get an early start on the trail -- although it did not really help us avoid the incredible heat and humidity of June in Tennessee.
The waterfall and swimming hole were an EXTREMELY WELCOME sight after that long day hike! The water was very cool and felt great in the summer. Tent sites are leveled gravel and we were able to buy some firewood when we arrived. The falls were just trickling -- if you want to see them roaring come in the spring!