I believe I recently had a question asking about the Fiery Gizzard Trail, and I’m here to say I’m not really sure I can tell you everything about the Fiery Gizzard Trail. Let me start by saying the trail is very beautiful and enjoyable, and if you’re in the area, you should definitely check out the trail. I’ve posted about a number of other waterfalls found along the Fiery Gizzard Trail.
But that’s where the problem arises: there are so many small to medium waterfalls along the trail. The brochure, which you should check out here, mentions many different waterfalls, but once I got to the falls, I have to admit I wasn’t really sure which one I was looking at. Was this the true Blue Hole Falls? Or does Blue Hole Falls just refer to some drop along this portion of the creek? Maybe someone out there can clarify this. Searching for Blue Hole Falls leads to pictures of other waterfalls that look like Hanes Hole Falls and another waterfall (all in the same general vicinity). And realize, this is only in a very small portion of the whole Fiery Gizzard Trail, which clocks in at 12.5 miles ONE-WAY. If you’re looking for Foster Falls, that’s on the other end of that 12.5 miles. (And there are a number of waterfalls in between…) I say all of this to urge you to visit the Fiery Gizzard Area in the Grundy Forest Natural Area. If you have the time available, you might be able to find more waterfalls than you originally expected.
- As you enter Tracy City along US-41, you should notice a sign indicating the Fiery Gizzard Trail/Grundy Forest.
- Follow the signs to the trail, where you’ll find a sign-in sheet and other information.
- From here, follow either the Fiery Gizzard Trail or the Day Loop Trail, which can both lead to this falls, though you’ll pass by different waterfalls along the way.
Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 1.8 miles round-trip
Blue Hole Falls (?) in December 2009
Where in the World is Blue Hole Falls?
Foster Falls from the easily-accessible viewpoint (December 2009)
On the list of Tennessee waterfalls, Foster Falls is a must. It’s not the tallest or the widest in the state, but it is one of the easiest to visit. It also offers a great study in how different viewpoints can lead to such different impressions of a waterfall.
There are multiple different ways to view Foster Falls. The closest to the parking area is a viewing platform that provides a more than acceptable viewpoint of the waterfall, though you are surprisingly far from the falls at that point. The second viewpoint, which I did not pursue, would be to hike to the base of the falls, the trail head of which is found near that platform. I’m guessing the hike down is not very simple, as you are dropping a considerable amount of elevation in a rather short distance.
The third viewpoint is found almost 180 degrees opposite the viewing platform, and requires a short hike to get to. This viewpoint is not advertised, though it is also found directly on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. From the parking lot, start out on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. You’ll walk directly over the creek that turns into Horsehair Falls, assuming there is water flowing. After that, you’ll cross the bridge that goes directly above the river that turns into Foster Falls. A short hike after that, and you’ll come across the third viewpoint. This viewpoint does NOT have any fencing or barrier, so be extremely careful. There is a 60+ foot drop involved. You can get surprisingly good views here, though, and you also get a double treat. Horsehair Falls can be viewed with Foster Falls simultaneously.
- Travel along US-41 in between Jasper and Tracy City. Driving north from Jasper, the turn toward Foster Falls Natural Area will be on your left after about 7.5 miles. It is almost equidistant from Tracy City.
- The road will lead directly to the parking area for the natural area and the Fiery Gizzard trail head.
- From the parking lot, follow the sounds of the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (viewing platform), 9/10 (alternate viewpoint)
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip
Another view of the falls after hiking along the Fiery Gizzard Trail
Where in the World is Foster Falls?