Savage Day Loop at Savage Gulf

March 19, 2011 in Tennessee Hiking Trails by amylaree

Savage Day Loop at Savage Gulf

Lots of Savage Loop Options

For our hike this weekend, Nate picked the Savage Day Loop — our second outing to the Savage Gulf State Natural Area this month.   Nate promised the 4 mile hike would be worth the 90 minute drive from Nashville.  He was right… for a couple of good reasons.

  1. Scenery:  3.0
  2. Difficulty:  1.0
  3. Length:  4.2 miles
  4. Dog Friendliness: 2.5
  5. Convenience:  1.5
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 3.5
Savage Day Loop at Savage Gulf

Savage Gulf Overlook

Trailhead:  35.434629  -85.539519

Scenery (3.0 out of 5.0):  The winding drive out to the trailhead takes you through a bucolic area dotted with of farms and hills that definitely set the mood for being away from the city.  We started the trail by heading to the right when the loop splits instead of directly down to the falls.  The first half of the trail is pretty reminiscent of most Tennessee scenery.  But once you hit the mid-way point, that changes.

About halfway through, we arrived at Rattlesnake Point Overlook, a clearing that provided a remarkable view of Savage Gulf.  There’s a large, flat rock that makes a perfect stopping point for taking in the view and enjoying the sound of the nearby falls and river.

Difficulty (1.0 out of 5.0):  The Savage Day Loop trail is very flat, making the hike a breeze.  We knocked out the first two miles averaging 18 min/mile.  After we stopped to enjoy the view at Rattlesnake Point, we took the rest of the hike pretty easy.  The .3 mile hike down to the falls is very easy as well, with a sturdy staircase system that keeps you from needing to crawl down boulders to get to the base of the falls.

Savage Falls at Savage Gulf

Savage Falls

Length:  4.8 miles (loop = 4.2, hike to base of falls .6)

Dog Friendliness (2.5 out of 5.0):  After Ezra’s recent bridge freak out at Foster Falls, we made sure to check the guidebooks before hitting this trail, and it’s a good thing we did.  There is a suspension bridget about .4 miles into the hike before you enter the Day Loop trail and another suspension bridge.  Armed with this knowledge, we left both of the dogs at home.

While a crippling fear of suspension bridges is an issue for Ezra, there were plenty of dogs on the trail that seemed to be having a great time and weren’t fazed by the suspension bridges.

Bonus Funtimes (3.5 out of 5.0):  There were lots of kids, families and dogs of all ages on the trail.  This area in Savage Gulf offers great spots for camping, swimming, backpacking and picnicking, making it one of the more versatile spots that we’ve hiked.

When we headed out from Nashville the morning of the hike, I wondered if it was really worth a 90 minute drive to take a 4 mile hike.  As it turned out, Nate had something else on his mind besides showing me a nice vista.  Once we rounded the bend at Rattlesnake Point and the view became apparent, we settled down onto a boulder to take in our surroundings.  A moment later, Nate put his arm around me, gave me a kiss, then asked me to marry him.  I said yes.

Savage Day Loop at Savage Gulf

A lovely spot for a proposal.


This hike and others found in Hiking Tennessee, get your own copy now from