Monday, April 6, 2009

Stone Door in the Savage Gulf , TN


George and I have been hiking many times in the "Savage Gulf" area of the Cumberland Plateau, southwest of where we live. The Savage Gulf State Natural Area is one of Tennessee's most scenic state outdoor recreation areas. At a length of five miles, the Big Creek, Collins River and Savage Creeks each tumble down over 800 feet in elevation through narrow gorges, locally known as "gulfs". Rimmed by sheer sandstone cliffs, the rugged canyons offer visitors a fine glimpse of the true wilderness still remaining in our state's midsection.The rocks which make up the Cumberland Plateau were laid down 250 to 325 million years ago.

SO-almost three years ago, George and I took two of our grandchildren to see Stone Door. As part of the Savage Gulf, the Stone Door was used for centuries by the Indians as a passage way from the top of the escarpment into the gorges below. Like a giant door left ajar, the crack is 10 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The spectacular cliffs offer one of the best scenic overlooks in Tennessee. Big Creek, 750 feet below the overlook, disappears and reappears as it cuts its way through the diverse layers of limestone and shale.

Here are some pictures from our hike to Stone Door in the Summer of 2006. Above is a picture taken from the trail along the top of the ridge. You can see some of the huge rocks which form the overlooks along the trail. Below are more pictures.




Here are the granddaughters standing at a miss-hapen Virginia Pine tree along our trail.... Strange tree, wouldn't you say????




See the grand-girls sitting on that ledge????? Wonder what their parents thought when they saw this picture of their daughters sitting there???? Did Grammy get in trouble for letting them do this???? NO---they really weren't THAT close (even though it looks like they were!)




George is on another overlook, and while he was there, he took a picture of me with my Sweeties. This is an incredible area--and the views are fabulous!!!




Uh Oh--- What is she doing????? WELL---the oldest granddaughter wanted to 'tease' her parents ---acting as if she was hanging off the edge of the cliff!!!! "Help---she cries!!!" Ha Ha




This picture of George on one of the overlooks shows a little of the mountains and gorge below.




We finally made it to the Stone Door... Look at that tree growing up between the cracks in the rocks... Amazing, isn't it?




This is looking into and down through the Stone Door.... The crack in the rock was narrow---and there were LOTS of steps leading down about 100 feet to the area below ---which eventually can lead on down to the bottom of the gorge.





After we walked down all of those steps there were other gorgeous rocks to check out... Aren't they just beautiful?????




Oh No-----I think I forgot that IF we went DOWN those steps, we'd have to go back UP..... Puff Puff Puff... Oh --how I wish I had the energy of those little girls!!!! ha





We did make it back up to the top!! On our hike back, I saw this interesting tree right on the edge of the cliff. My oldest son has always liked trees like this along with driftwood----so I sent him this picture.





This is a proud Grammy ---with two of her grands!!!!! Since this was taken almost three years ago, you won't believe how grown up these two girls are now. We're going to Texas in a couple of weeks to see them play softball. Yeah!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed our hike to the Stone Door.. If you are ever in Tennessee and if you enjoy hiking, we highly recommend the Savage Gulf area.
Hugs,

55 comments:

Kallen305 said...

Very cool looking place. Your grandchildren are adorable and they look as if they are enjoying themselves.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

That was a fascinating hike to see the Stone Door. I had never heard of it before. What a fun outing to do with your grandkids.

Bird Girl said...

That was an interesting post. Looks like you had a ball with your grand girls! It is amazing to see the Stone Door and all the neat tree growths - what a nice hike - you sure do get around, girlfriend ;-)

T said...

Tn has such beautiful scenery! I may have to take my girls there this summer!

As always....giving me a little bit of home every day!

Tracey

Jane said...

Good morning Betsy!

I noticed the time on your post; you must keep hours like I do, although you beat me out of the bed this morning by a few hours, which is unusual for me! Great pictures, interesting looking trees. I can hardly wait to get the canoe out for the season!

cyber hugs,
Jane

Diane C. said...

Loved this tour of Stone Door in Savage Gulf! Fascinating rock formations, beautiful scenery and trees. Those unusual trees that you pointed out are like gorgeous living sculptures. Thanks for sharing!

amelia said...

I love reading about your trips and always wish I could see these places you go to.
Only in my dreams I'm afraid, I know, short of winning a lottery, that these places are all beyond our means.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

What a gorgeous area.Thanks for allowing me to tag along with you and those special girls.
Blessings,Ruth

Shellmo said...

You show us so many beautiful places! And how wonderful you were able to share it with your granddaughters! It did look very steep when they were sitting on the edge of those rocks - LOL!!

Cedar ... said...

That's an interesting hiking area. I like the story about the natives using it to get from the top to the bottom and back. Have fun visiting the girls in TX!

dot said...

That looks like a fun place and some funny pictures too!

Susie said...

What a beautiful place Betsy! Looks like you had a great time there with the grandkids.

Tina said...

Betsy,
I love finding ole stories about our Native Americans that include still "seeable" sights such as this stone door! What an awesome trip to take the family on..fun, physical but eduational also. Love all your pictures, it looks like you had a great "family" time!

Mildred said...

HI BETSY, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AREA AND WHAT FUN TO SHARE IT WITH THE GRANDGIRLS. THANKS FOR SHOWING US SUCH A UNIQUE AREA.

Thistlebrooms said...

What a Feast for the Eyes...Rocks, Trees, Outcropings and Grandchildren, What More could you want???Such a Treat to have your Grandchildren along with you...
Bet you'll be excited to see them soon...

Love the falls and your absolutely beautiful photo's...You seem like me when I forget how long the return trip is sometimes walking back UP!!!
The view from the overlooks are spectacular, sure makes ME feel small...
Enjoy your trip in a couple of weeks...
My Best...Marilyn

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a great area to hike in...love all the rock formations and the crooked trees too.
Those girls are adorable and I imagine in the last 3 years they are now young women!!!
Thanks for sharing Betsy.

Cassie said...

Betsy, You are quite the adventurers. The ledge pics made my heart jump! That does look scary. As usual, great pictures. Thanks for the tour!

Small City Scenes said...

Totally amazing!!!! What a gorgeous area you live in. I think I said that before. LOL!
I love the Savage gulf and the Stone Door. Great history too. MB

Pigeon said...

What a beautiful location. I wonder what makes those trees grow so strangely. Your grand daughters are beautiful. And thanks for my new word.(I had to look up escarpment)

bookbabie said...

Such a lovely state you live in. It's wonderful to see how much you two get out and enjoy it! And yes, they look too close to that edge! My husband would have freaked, he has a fear of high places, especially when there is no railing;)

Cicero Sings said...

You do get on such lovely explores Betsy! Lovely grandgirls.

Tricia said...

You & George travel to some really beautiful places! I love these photos - Girls, ya'll be careful on those cliffs!!!

Darla said...

That looks like tons of fun! And I can see the kids got your prankster gene!!

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing another beautiful place with us, Betsy. We really are planning to take a trip soon into Tennessee--it's not so far away!

Your granddaughters are very cute...and I think they look like their Grandma!

Dianne said...

Isn't it amazing how Mother Nature can create so much more beauty than we ever could?

I get a little quizzy at the pic of the kids up so high. One of my problems in life I suppose.

fishing guy said...

Betsy: What a wonderful tour with the girls. Those are great photos of the area.

Abe Lincoln said...

This is a really nice set of pictures. You would never forget them. I liked all of them but the door and the odd-shaped tree interested me.

You will need to take some pics of the girls playing softball.

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post. I do so love rock formations, especially ones as fascinating as the Stone Door.

The Whites said...

Great pictures. Looks like that trip was lots of fun!

I have my sheets ready to cover all my precious little tender flowers this afternoon!

Mandy

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

These pictures are so amazing. The grands are so beautiful..Hugs...m.

Diane said...

Cute girls, Betsy, and very interesting place. The rocks are amazing, aren't they. They must have been created by being under water???

Grammy said...

That is an amazing place! I would not be able to sit on the edge like that.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Wow..32 comments...You are a popular blogger Betsy and I can see why. Beautiful grandchildren....Michelle

Bliss said...

Savage Gulf? Never heard of it but now I'm dying to go...and you are in trouble for letting those beautiful kids so close to the edge!
Although...
I know you won't say anything about us being near one in my next post ;)

Smilingsal said...

I don't think I've ever seen trees grow so bent and twisted.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I hope to go there this Summer, it has beautiful rock formations.
However, not sure if my "gammy" knee will hold up to the climbing ;)
We have terrible winds and some snow flurries with a freeze warning tonight, so spent two hours wrapping plants...aaahh
Hugs,
Jo

marmee said...

good day betsy,

i have had a hard time leaving comments on your blog for some reason... but i keep trying. this is a really cool looking place. i love that you love to hike and taking the kids with you. sometimes i think having kids around makes you stay young trying to just keep up half their energy.
i was looking at your other post and hope the freeze tonight won't be that bad. i remember how affected we were last time and really don't want all that damage. here's hoping it won't be too bad. enjoy your week and have fun on your trip.

Deborah Godin said...

Some of those little nooks and crannies look like a lot of fun to explore!

Neal said...

Looks like a neat place. We may have to get down there to see it.

Leedra said...

That photo of the granddaughters at the edge (that you say is not that close) made my stomach flip/flop. And I am the brave one compared to Jimmy. Won't be seeing our grandchildren on the edge while with us.

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Tangerine Kitty said...

My heart stopped when I saw the picture of your Gran- girls sitting on the edge...lol

My hubby and I love going to Chimney Rock in NC and your photos remind me of there. Beautiful photos!!

Femin Susan said...

What a wonderful tour you must have had. And great shots of the area.
Cheers!

Janie said...

That's an area I'd definitely check out if I were in Tennessee. You gave your grandchildren a hike to remember. (those girls sure are cute!) The Stone Door is an amazing place. And those trees have great character!

Jen said...

I dunno....they look like they are pretty close to the edge to me!!!!!

Had some freezing rain a little bit ago here. :( hope it didn't do to much damage, as the pear trees are in full bloom. we'll have to see in the morning.

The Incredible Woody said...

I love the Stone Door. That was what I did for my birthday last year. Vol Fan was out of town so I hiked with Dixie and my camera. A great day!

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a fascinating place! Thanks for sharing the story and your photos. I enjoyed the trip, and am glad I don't have to hike back up those steps!

Mary said...

Wonderful scenery! That Stone Door is really neat! We will have to head down that way sometime this year. I've always wanted to explore that part of Tennessee.

EastCoastLife said...

Wow! That's a lovely place to visit when I'm in Tennessee.

The grand girls sitting so close near the edge of the ledge did give me a heart attack! haha....

CountryDreaming said...

Stone Door just looks so cool! Ohio has similar-looking places but on a smaller scale. The Hocking Hills, a nature trail at Happy Days near Cuyahoga Falls, and a ravine owned by the Holden Arboretum are three places that come to mind. I love these places in Ohio. That said, I love the Smoky Mountains too ... for their grand scale. Fabulous photography here, thanks for sharing!

Aleta said...

Another place that I will add to my list of "must visits"!
I had to smile about your granddaughter's "hanging on the ledge" stunts because on our honeymoon my husband & I visited the Grand Canyon and I did that and sent the picture to my Mom. She was NOT amused! Ha!

Thanks for sharing, Betsy.

Rose said...

Another place I would like to go...I always know I am missing out when I don't get time to visit your blog. And I feel like I am not doing it justice now, but have to take a quick scan through.

Betty said...

That is a beautiful place I would love to see it.I really like all of the trees. I like drift wood too. Thank you for the visit to my blog. I just wanted Betty's This and That to know I was thinking of her and sending prayers and good thoughts her way.

Carla said...

I love your photos! Some of them look similiar to photos of the Cumberland Plateau that I've seen on the Nature Conservancy site.

Daisy said...

Stunning photos, Betsy. Some of them would make me a little nervous. I'm not fond of high open places! Very beautiful sights though.

Susan said...

Beautiful area, makes me want to go back - thanks for the link!