BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Fiery Gizzard Backpacking Trip

On the weekend of October 14-16 the troop went go on a 3 day / 2 night backpacking trip on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. The Fiery Gizzard Trail follows along and through Gizzard Cove which is a gorge carved into the edge of the Cumberland Plateau by Big Fiery Gizzard Creek. The trail connects the Foster Falls Small Wild Area with the Grundy Forrest State Natural Area and is managed as part of the South Cumberland State Park). This trail is ranked by Backpacker Magazine as one of the top 25 trails in the country and the views are awesome. The first day we hiked the 14+ miles from the Foster Falls trailhead to the CCC campsite near the Grundy Forrest trailhead. The hike was pleasant and scenic, but all the waterfalls we dry. In fact, most all of the stream beds were bone dry due to the extreme drought. This meant that it was hard to find places to filter water along the trail and we had trouble keeping well hydrated. Saturday morning we evaluated the water situation and decided not the continue the backpacking trip because we had hiked by where we planned to camp the second night and already knew there was no water source within a reasonable distance. Fortunately, there was a shuttle service for hikers between the two trailheads so we hiked to the nearby Grundy Forrest trailhead and shuttled enough adults over to the Foster Falls trailhead where we started to retrieve our vehicles. Once we had everyone loaded up drove about halfway back to Oak Ridge and stopped a Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville so see if they had any available campsites. We were lucky to get two very nice sites next to each other and spent a very pleasant afternoon in the park. Sunday morning we had breakfast and headed home. We got back to Kern UMC in plenty of time to go home and shower before Will's Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sunday afternoon.

Packing List
Beginner Backpacking Tips
Fiery Gizzard Trail Map

At the Foster Falls trailhead getting ready to head out.

On the trail.

Notice that the creek under the bridge is completely dry.

We stopped for luch at a nice overlook.

Back on the trail -- we still have a long ways to go ...

Looking back to the point where we stopped for lunch.

After a tough 14+ mile hike, we finally got to the CCC Campsite just as it was getting dark.

Waiting at the Grundy Forrest trailhead for the shuttle to take the drivers back to the Foster Falls to get the vehicles.