Greeter Falls flows over a 15-foot upper ledge and then cascades 50 feet into a cold, clear plunge pool. It is located in Savage Gulf State Natural Area which is a part of South Cumberland State Park. The Natural Area is comprised of 18,000 acres in Grundy County that include 55 miles of trails with spectacular views and rock formations. The land was purchased by the State in 1973 in an effort to protect one of the last known strands of virgin timber in the Eastern United States.
The hike to Greeter Falls starts at the parking area which had plenty of space on the day that we arrived. It starts out mostly flat in shaded forest filled with oak, hemlock, poplar, maple, and pine trees. Soon 40 foot sandstone cliffs rise on the trail’s left side and you scramble down a series of stair into the Firescald Creek valley.
The trail continues to get steeper as you descend before reaching a fork to the upper falls on the right and lower on the left. You arrive at a metal staircase that descends to a series of wooden and metal stairs. At the bottom you are presented with a great view of the 50-foot Lower Greeter Falls.
The plunge pool is fantastic for swimming and there are smooth rocks on the side that kids can use as a slide to get into the water. After spending some time here and getting a snack we made our way back up to the main trail to complete the loop and check out Boardtree Falls. The rest of the loop is a less well laid trail and rock scrambles are necessary but it’s still a fun hike.
Getting to Boardtree Falls is a bit of a dicey descent, though there are trees and root to grab a hold of to maneuver down. The falls itself is pretty though less grand than Greeter Falls.
On the remainder of the loop trail back there is a brief stop by the Greeter Homeplace that is only an additional 50 yards and old foundations can be found.