Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

South Cumberland State Park (Fiery Gizzard Trail, TN)

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This past weekend M. and I took a trip down to South Cumberland State Park, hiking the short two mile Grundy Forest Day Loop of the Fiery Gizzard Trail. We were hoping to cross over to a longer leg of the trail, but a bridge outage cut those plans short. I still decided to make an attempt at crossing the stream to see if we could make it work, removing my socks and shoes before making my way from one bank to the other. I made the trip safely but slipped a little at one point, which resulted in a mighty bruise on my left foot. M. didn’t seem so keen on the idea of trying to make it across, so I made my way back to her before we continued leisurely making our way around the loop.

There were several moments along the way where we ventured off the trail to stop and admire the scenery. M. and I agreed this was easily the most beautiful of the trails we’ve hiked together—it reminded me of FernGully and I joked that the ambiance was almost as good as the Rainforest Cafe (almost). As we drove home that evening I sent a photo to my mom, who replied with a text saying, “You would certainly miss that if you moved.” She’s right, its parks might be my favorite thing about Tennessee.