Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park

South Cumberland State Park Stone Door

We recently took a quick trip to South Cumberland State Park and hiked to the Great Stone Door. This was a an fairly easy 1.6 mile out and back hike. The Great Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park and together with the Savage Gulf Area they make up about 55 miles of hiking with amazing views, overlooks, waterfalls, and historic locations.  Our hike to the Great Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park took around 2 hours including the time we spent at the overlook and going down into the gulf. Please note: this post may contain affiliate links.

Great Stone Door

 

Great Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park

 

The trail was well maintained.  It was mostly smooth and level with a few areas where tree roots or rocks had to be navigated.  Even those obstacles were pretty minimal.  The scenery along the trail was impressive.  Occasionally, you get a small glimpse into the valley below and get that much more excited about reaching the overlook.

Great Stone Door Trail South Cumberland

 

Once you reach the overlook area of the Great Stone Door you have a few options.  There are two bluffs you can step out on to view the valley below.  Both overlooks offer amazing scenery, and it would be difficult to choose one.  I recommend stepping out on both of them. Although walking out on them can be a little panic inducing if you have any problem with heights like me.

 

Stone Door Trail South Cumberland State Park

 

We sat on the edge of the bluff and let the breeze rush past us.  It is an amazing feeling looking out over the valley and just being still.  I could have sat there all day, but there was more trail that I wanted to explore.  Next to the Stone Door Overlook, is a huge crack in the rocks that gives the area its name.  This gap has a stairway leading down to the gulf.  We had to check it out.

Stone Door Stair South Cumberland

 

After we explored below the bluff a little we decided it was time for lunch and headed back to the car for a short break.

We rested for maybe 30 minutes and decided that the sign by the ranger station announcing Laurel Falls was only 287 yards away was too interesting to pass up.

Laurel Falls

 

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Most of the 287 yards to the falls from the ranger station are down a long series of stairs built into the hillside. As long as you pace yourself going in and out the steps are not to bad.  Unfortunately Middle Tennessee has not had much rainfall lately and the falls were dry.

Laurel Falls SOuth Cumberland

The view was still beautiful and I can’t think of a better way to spend a day in the fall.  The weather was perfect, the leaves were at their peak, and everyone we met was friendly.  Since the water was gone we walked over to where the falls normally flow to look back at the observation deck.

Laurel Falls Stone Door South Cumberland

 

South Cumberland State park is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  After our recent trip to Fiery Gizzard and now this trip to the Great Stone Door I am blown away by what this park has to offer.  I plan to spend a lot more time there in the coming months.

Enjoy one more shot from Stone Door!

Great Stone Door

 

What are your favorite hikes in Middle Tennessee?  Have you been to Stone Door? Where else should we go?  Let us know in the comment section.

Stone Door midtntravel.com

16 Comment

  1. Amanda says: Reply

    So much beauty! I would love a chance to hike here.

    1. MidTNtravel says: Reply

      It is a beautiful place! I’m fortunate to be fairly close to it.

  2. Tara says: Reply

    I have been reading so much about Tennessee lately, and when I read the title of this post, I thought of the Lord of the Rings or some other giant door leading to a magical world. I would love to climb up that secret stairway between the crack in the rocks. Just beautiful!

    1. MidTNtravel says: Reply

      That staircase is a workout coming back up!

  3. We are planning on going to the Cumberland Plateau next year when we go to TBEX. Hopefully, some friends will be taking us on some wild caving trips while we are out there. Your post and pictures were beautiful and we can’t wait to see it in person.

    1. MidTNtravel says: Reply

      You will have a blast. There is so much to explore in the area!

  4. Annie says: Reply

    I love looking out over bluffs, makes me feel like an explorer. Tends to make my friends a bit nervous how close I get to the edge though! Love the photos.

    1. MidTNtravel says: Reply

      Thanks! There is something about peering over the edge!

  5. Julian says: Reply

    Looks like a nice hike!Great views, never really considered discovering this area on my trip to the US. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  6. Tami says: Reply

    What beautiful scenery–it reminds me of hikes I’ve taken near Julian in California and in the Cascade mountain range in Washington. I think hiking is one of the best pastimes for fall…temperatures are cooler, and the fall colors add so much!

  7. wow…that trail looks so amazing with such picturesque scenes….

  8. This looks like an amazing hike. I will have to make a stop there on my next journey through Tennesee on my way to North Carolina.

  9. Julia says: Reply

    Wow that’s so beautiful. I love going on hikes whenever I visit a new place

  10. Wow!!! Absolutely gorgeous 🙂 I live in NC and may have to make a trip to TN soon! Beautiful pictures!

    1. It is definitely worth the trip!

  11. I haven’t heard of this place but it looks like a great place to hike. Love all the photos! This would be any hikers dream.

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