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Fall Color Immersion

October 2, 2015  |  Permalink

When I was the Ranger Naturalist at South Cumberland State Park, I presented a program called the Fall Color Backpack Tour. Other Rangers covered some of my front country duties and I led the group, usually around 15 to 20 folks, on a two day walk. I subtitled this program as the ultimate fall color experience. The route was along the bluff tops on the rim section of the Collins Gulf Trail on Saturday and the bluffs of the South Rim of Savage Gulf on Sunday. The numerous overlooks offered sweeping panoramic views into continuous colorful forests. If you would like to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of fall you cannot do much better than a bluff walk on the Cumberland Plateau.

The parks on the plateau have a wide variety of trail lengths for long walks, all day walks or short afternoon strolls. If the trail follows the rim it will be a very easy hike. There is even a bluff top road at Fall Creek Falls that you could do as a ‘drive and stop’ tour or a bicycle ride. South Cumberland, Fall Creek Falls, and the Cumberland Trail have many miles of trail and numerous overlooks. Pickett and Frozen Head offer a wide variety of trails and some really great views as well.

The fall color season is very short so do not wait. Take your backpack, daypack, car, or bicycle to the plateau and soak in the beauty of the fall from above it all.

About the author

Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath is a native of west Tennessee, where his family’s farm was just 15 miles from the Tennessee River. After graduating from UT Martin and working seasonally for several years for the National Park Service and Tennessee State Parks, he has spent the last 33 years with state parks. Randy worked as a ranger/naturalist at South Cumberland State Park on the Cumberland Plateau and at Radnor Lake Natural Area in Nashville until 2007 when he was given the opportunity to be the statewide naturalist for the state park system.