Grundy Forest Area - Swim near Tracy City, Tennessee
Tracy City,Tennessee
35.18177, -85.67632
1.1 miles SE of Tracy City, Tennessee
GPS: 35°10'54.4"N 85°40'34.8"W
Maps | Directions
State: Tennessee


This is an easy loop hike through a beautiful forest along a creek with numerous swimming holes, depending on water level.

The Grundy Forest Area is one of several spectacular natural areas in the in the South Cumberland Recreation Area State Park, on the Cumberland Plateau. This plateau, generally in the area between Crossville, TN and Monteagle, TN is the largest remaining forested plateau in the country. The state park is comprised of 10 distinct natural areas, several of which are deep gorges locally called "gulfs", scattered across this plateau. (There are great swimming holes in some of these areas, some listed herein!) The visitors center of the State Park is on RT 41 between Tracy City and Monteagle, via either exit 134 or 135 off I-24. Stop at the visitors center first if you can and get maps and information, several of the swimming holes noted here are on these maps.

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From Tracy City, Tennessee

  1. Head east on Railroad Ave toward Altamont St/Main St (95 ft)
  2. Continue onto 9th St (0.6 mi)
  3. Continue onto US-41 S/7th St
    Continue to follow US-41 S
    (7.0 mi)
  4. Turn right onto Foster Falls Rd (0.4 mi)
  5. Turn right (144 ft)
  6. Turn left (177 ft)

From Chattanooga go northwest on I-24 to Monteagle, then northeast on RT 41 to Tracy City. Stop at South Cumberland Recreation Area Visitors Center on RT 41 before Tracy City and get maps and information for the Grundy Forest Day Loop trail, which is described on the "Fiery Gizzard and Buggytop Trail Maps" (free) map. From Tracy City, continue southeast on RT 41 a short distance to the sign for Grundy Forest Area. Turn south (right) at this sign and follow road to the parking area at the picnic area. Park here and begin the trail to the right and behind the picnic shelter. Go to the right as you begin this 2 mile loop trail. The swimming holes are along this 2 mile trail, as described below.

If you proceed according to the instructions given on the narrative on the map, you will begin the loop trail by going to the right at the trailhead, going generally counterclockwise around the loop. (PS: If you detour to see the "CCC Camp" area as described on the loop map, DO NOT leave by following the sign in the CCC camp area that says "TRAIL>", go TO the loop trail the same way you came!) The holes and corresponding mileage as you hike this trail counterclockwise are:

HOLE 1 [HOL1]: at 1.0 miles - swimming hole, no name, no falls. HOLE 1 PHOTO

HANES HOLE FALLS [HANE]: at 1.1 miles - careful, pool is less than 6 feet deep. HANES HOLE FALLS PHOTO

SYCAMORE FALLS [SYCA]: at 1.3 miles, Sycamore Falls is reached by a detour off the Day Loop trail. If you cross the bridge here and go downstream on the main Fiery Grizzard trail about 1 mile you will come to Sycamore Falls and Plunge Pool; said to be the best swimming hole in this area. PHOTO 1 , PHOTO 2 . (Return to this bridge to continue on the Grundy Forest Day Loop trail.)

HOLE 2 [HOL2]: Between Hanes Hole Falls and Blue Hole Falls on day loop (unknown distance), no name. HOLE 2 PHOTO

BLUE HOLE FALLS [BLUE]: at 1.5 miles is Blue Hole Falls and plunge pool. BLUE HOLE FALLS PHOTO

END - 2.0 miles- End of Grundy Forest Day Loop trail.

There is also a swimming hole at the bottom of Foster Falls, which is in this area, although accessed from another direction:

FOSTER FALLS [FOST]: At Foster Falls, there is a huge swimming hole at the bottom of a 100 ft waterfall. PHOTO . It's a steep hike in (only about .3 miles) and of course back out. This from a visitor:"The hike down is quite beautiful, moderate difficulty. You end up at the end of a classic box canyon with 100ft. sheer rock walls on both sides. The waterfall itself is about 60ft. tall, with a good volume of water under normal conditions. The pool is about 120 feet in diameter and maybe 10 ft at its deepest point. Well worth a special trip. From the parking lot, a short walk leads to a new observation deck on the rim of the canyon, where you can see the waterfall from a few hundred yards away. Signs are posted directing you to the trail which leads down into the canyon." (The signs may not be too clear - you go down to the left of the observation deck.) This is also one of the south's premier rock climbing areas. Hike in camping is .5 mile from the parking lot. There are no fees. Foster Falls is on RT 41 between Tracy City and Jasper (there is a TVA campground here also.)LAT/LON: lat=35.18177, lon=-85.67632(source: map) (accuracy: approximate)

There may well be other swimming places in the Grundy Forest-Fiery Gizzard Area, I don't know.Courtesy of

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