Friends Land Preservation Celebration!
Sunday, October 11, 2015, See photo gallery from this event, click here.
The Friends’ land preservation celebration October 11 provided a chance to view a recently acquired tract of land across from Stone Door, followed by a program at the historic Beersheba Springs Hotel.
Attending the festivities were more than 100 guests including Sen. Janice Bowling, State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath, State Naturalist Emeritus Mack Prichard, Savage Gulf Preservation League leaders, FSC board members, park rangers and Friends from far and near. Lovely fall weather, festive food, and the music of Bazzania added to the event.
Sen. Bowling spoke at the hotel, explaining her support for state funding of new initiatives in Grundy County to boost ecotourism.
“The acquisition of the Jones tract brings to fruition a 30-year hope and effort,” she said. “The FSC, one of the oldest Friends groups in Tennessee’s parks, has added to its credentials as the most successful organization in land acquisition. I sincerely appreciate the efforts and resources provided by this dedicated organization toward such a significant purchase.”
Howell Adams, John Greeter and Sam Baggett met with Sen. Bowling prior to the celebration and continue to provide leadership on emergency park projects in Grundy County.After the ribbon cutting, State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath led 75 hikers to an overlook at Stone Door. The FSC recently closed on the 40-acre Jones tract, which includes 2,000 feet of bluff line immediately across and viewable from the Stone Door overlook. Stone Door is one of the most visited Tennessee State Park attractions and is a cornerstone of tourism in Grundy County.
As part of the October event, the relationship between the Savage Gulf Preservation League and the FSC was highlighted. According to Davis, plans call for creating the SGPL chapter of the Friends. Leaders from the SGPL who attended the event included founder Wally Bigbee, President Ben Myers and Rachel Killebrew.
For decades the SGPL focused their efforts on the parks in and around the Savage Gulf Natural Area.
Joining forces as one organization is in the best interests of the park, Davis said, noting that it is a great honor for the Friends to forge this partnership.
Reservation System for South Cumberland State Park
Beginning August 2015, a new online reservation system was implemented for guests visiting the South Cumberland State Park. You may visit the South Cumberland State Park website to make your backcountry campsite reservations.
Visitors and Guests to South Cumberland State Park also need to be sure and review the new policies and procedures that will apply to reserving a campsite at the park. There is a fee associated with backcountry camping and a reservation needed. Please be sure to review these new policies and campground rules on Facebook page, South Cumberland State Park and Friends of South Cumberland website.
If you need to cancel or change your reservation prior to your visit, or have any questions, please give us a call at 931-924-2980.
From everyone here at South Cumberland State Park, we look forward to welcoming you and hope you enjoy your time in the park!
Important Changes to
Backcountry Campgrounds at
South Cumberland State Park
Raven's Point at Fiery Gizzard
Many guests of the South Cumberland State Park are familiar with the popular Raven's Point campsite on the Fiery Gizzard trail. Many don't know that this popular campsite is actually on private land. While guests and visitors will be able to continue utilizing the trail that is currently being rerouted on Fiery Gizzard, the campground has been closed indefinitely due to its location on private property. Park officials want to draw awareness to the fact that since the park system has no jurisdiction on private property or land not owned by the park, it is illegal camping if visitors continue to camp here after September 7th, 2015. Staff and actual trail signage direct visitors away from campground and bypass to the new trail.
Park staff would like to kindly remind visitors to please enjoy and take care of the trail system. Most of the trail system along the rim of the Fiery Gizzard is, and will remain, private property.
Collins East at Savage Gulf
The Collins East Campground, located in the Savage Gulf area, permanently closed on September 7th, 2015 due to its location, accessibility and proximity to other areas of land that are privately owned and operated. Signage will detour visitors away from this campsite to other campgrounds in the park.
Ownership of the Foster Falls campsite area is in the process of being switched from the Tennessee Valley Authority to South Cumberland State Park. The Foster Falls campsites came under control of South Cumberland State Park beginning July 1st, 2015, however during this time the campground will be closed to vehicle camping while the bathhouse is under renovation. The campsites can be accessed by walk-in through campsite registration. South Cumberland is aiming to have this bath house project complete and the campsites open for vehicle camping by January 2016, where it will then stay open year-round. Visitors and guests will be able to park their cars and/or pop-ups next to their campsite for the Foster Falls area.
From all the staff and Friends here at South Cumberland State Park, we appreciate your patience and cooperation as these changes take place. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Park Office at 931-924-2980.
Thank you for Visiting South Cumberland State Park and we hope you enjoy your visit!