July Swimming Hole Tour
July Swimming Hole Tour
Based out of Edgar Evins State Park
- Monday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 18
- $350 per person
- Package price includes meals, all interpretive programming, taxes, gratuities, and transportation to the various destinations. Price does not include lodging.
Join State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Ranger Cara Alexander on a three day exploration of some of the most beautiful natural swimming holes and waterfalls in our state parks. The tour is a hiking and swimming adventure featuring multiple spectacular pools. The guides will tell you about the natural features along the way making the trip educational and fun. Participants should be a confident swimmer and adept at hiking over rugged terrain.
To make cabin reservations at Edgar Evins:
To register for the tour:
Day 1: Monday, July 16
12:00-1:00 PM: Meet your guides State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and Ranger Cara Alexander at the meeting room located in the park office. We will get oriented and get to know the other members of the group as we prepare for the day’s excursion.
1:00 PM: We will depart for Rock Island State Park where we will visit Great Falls and Badger Flats. The drips under the bluff and the Great Falls Pool will cool us off but be sure to wear hard soled shoes because the rock is rough. We will also have a chance for some warmer water at Badger Flats swim beach. We will return to Edgar Evins by 5:00 PM.
5:00-6:00 PM: Check into your Edgar Evins State Park cabin if you’ve chosen to stay with us.
6:00 PM: Catered dinner as a group back at the meeting room.
7:00 PM: An evening stroll down to the lake will be led by our guides.
Day 2: Tuesday, July 17
7:00-8:00 AM: Meet for Breakfast in the meeting room. A bag lunch will be provided to enjoy at the South Cumberland picnic area. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.
8:00 AM: We will depart for Altamont where we will enjoy one of the most spectacular set of swimming holes in Tennessee. Our destination is Greeter Falls and the Blue Hole of South Cumberland State Park’s Savage Gulf Natural Area. The hike here is steep and a bit rugged so wear good wading and walking shoes. The plan is to start by hiking down to the falls, rock hopping upstream to the Blue Hole, and walking the easy trail out. The total distance will be 1.5 miles but we will go slow and careful. If time allows, a stop at the Collins River will be an added attraction. We will return to Edgar Evins by 6:00 PM.
7:00 PM: Meet for catered group dinner in the meeting room.
Day 3: Wednesday, July 18
7:00-8:00 AM: Breakfast will be provided in the meeting room. If applicable please be sure to check out of your cabin before we leave, you may leave the key in the cabin.
8:00 AM: Our excursion on this last day will be to the legendary Cummins Falls State Park. This area is usually crowded in the afternoon so we will visit in the morning and return to Edgar Evins by noon. The hike to the pool involves wading in the rocky streambed so wear appropriate footwear. The total hike distance is 2 miles and the streambed section is rugged.
All times are Central time.
About Your Guides
State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath has more than 34 years of experience with Tennessee State Parks. Randy has served as a Ranger Naturalist at South Cumberland and Radnor Lake State Parks. He was appointed State Naturalist for Tennessee State Parks in 2007. A graduate of UT-Martin and former National Park Service Interpretive Specialist, Randy is one of the most sought after interpretive specialists in the southeastern United States.
Park Ranger Cara Alexander graduated from U. T. Knoxville with a B.S. in Forestry and a minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. She began her career with Tennessee State Parks as the Seasonal Interpretive Ranger at Davy Crockett Birthplace and Fall Creek Falls State Parks. As a full time Ranger since 2011, Cara has worked at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville and at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Her interests include hiking, birding, and photography.