Backpacking the Fiery Gizzard Trail, South Cumberland State Park, Tennessee

By Barry Randall, Outings Chairman

In March of this year the Miami Group Sierra Club Outings team took on the Fiery Gizzard Trail, rated by Backpacker Magazine as one of the top 25 hikes in the country. Located in South Cumberland State Park Tennessee, the 13-mile trail offers scenic views, waterfalls, rock formations, and hemlock trees over 200 years old.

Various legends attempt to explain how the Fiery Gizzard creek, and the trail, got its name. My favorite claims that Davy Crockett, while eating a turkey at his camp along the creek, burned his tongue on a “gizzard” and spit it into the gorge. Another suggests that an Indian chief threw a turkey gizzard into the fire to get the attention of Europeans at a peace conference. Alas, a historical marker near the trail gives a more prosaic explanation, declaring that the name comes from an experimental blast furnace built there in the 1870’s. 

Whatever the source of name, our six backpackers certainly enjoyed their three days of the crisp weather, early spring flowers and gorgeous scenery along the Fiery Gizzard. 

Another great experience in support of Sierra Club’s mission “to explore, enjoy and protect the planet”.

Share this post

x Shield Logo
This Site Is Protected By
The Shield →