Savage Gulf Named Tennessee’s Newest State Park

GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) —Governor. Bill Lee announced Thursday the establishment of Savage Gulf State Park in Grundy and Sequatchie counties, bringing the total number of state parks in Tennessee to 57.

The park, which includes one of the most scenic areas in Tennessee, includes the nearly 19,000-acre Savage Gulf State Natural Area, which is also a National Natural Landmark.

“Today is a special day for Tennessee State Parks,” Lee said. “It is one of the most spectacular sites in our state, and the new park will serve Tennesseans for many years to come. Tennessee State Parks is recognized as one of the best state park systems in the country, and this park adds to that special reputation.

Located at the western end of the Cumberland Plateau, Savage Gulf is one of Tennessee’s most incredible wilderness areas. The site contains ancient forest and remarkable vistas, including waterfalls and the Great Stone Door, an awe-inspiring cliff line overlooking the Savage Gulf that takes its name from a downward crack in the cliff, resembling a door left slightly ajar.

Savage Gulf offers attractions ranging from waterfalls to wildflowers, as well as scenic sandstone cliffs and gorges. Visitors can hike, swim, climb and camp.

The new park includes land formerly managed as part of South Cumberland State Park. South Cumberland had grown too large to be effectively managed as a single park, and the unique features of the terrain justify stand-alone park status, according to a statement.

“Savage Gulf State Park will be a unique attraction in Tennessee,” said Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “We want all Tennessees to enjoy its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, and we are grateful to the Governor and Tennessee General Assembly for their leadership in achieving this goal.”

The Tennessee General Assembly provided $30,380,000 for future improvements, including a visitor center, RV campground, and infrastructure to support the new facilities. For now, the current access points remain in place.

According to a release, while most of Savage Gulf will continue to be maintained as a designated state natural area, the park will include the addition of a 744-acre developable area including the former Shady Valley Nursery and two plots recently acquired. The main partners in the creation of the park are the Friends of South Cumberland, the State Lands Acquisition Fund and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


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