Geotourism Mapguide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
  Hiking Trail or Trailhead

Foster Falls TVA Campground and Small Wild Area

Foster Falls area
trail and bridge
Foster Falls trails sign

Experience and enjoy one of the most scenic, wildest areas in Tennessee with a visit to the Foster Falls Recreation Area. Operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority and located near Tracy City, Tennessee, this recreation area provides a safe, and beautiful base for exploring the south end of the Cumberland Plateau.

Foster Falls is a spectacular 60-foot waterfall plunging into a deep pool in the center of the 178-acre TVA Small Wild Area. Mountain laurel, azaleas, and hemlocks growing above the falls, along the sandstone overlook, and in the gorge below add to the beauty of this area. An easy hike will take you to the top of the falls. From there a trail will take you over the river on a suspension bridge to the base of the falls for a delightful view and experience.

Situated on a level, wooded tract near Foster Falls, the Campground has an on-site manager (who can be contacted at 423-942-5759), 26 campsites, including a handicapped-accessible site; restrooms with heated showers and flush toilets, picnic tables and grills, and a group pavilion available by reservation, toll-free number (866) 494-7186.  Amenities include six tables that will seat 75 people, one large charcoal grill and two small grills, water furnished, handicapped-accessibility, paved parking lot, restrooms nearby. Fee $17 per night, open early April to mid-November. For more information visit TVAs Camping webpage.

Link to the Fiery Gizzard Trail Map located in the State Natural Area: TVA's Trails webpage

Trail Distance: A new handicapped-accessible trail from the campground to an overlook has been added.

How to Get There

Directions: From Chattanooga, Tennessee, take I-24 West, over Nickajack Reservoir toward Jasper.  Exit onto TN 28, and enter the town of Jasper. Follow signs for TN150/US41 toward Tracy City. Follow TN 150 to the top of the plateau, pass the Mountain Mart on the left, and proceed for three miles to the Foster Falls entrance on the left. From Tracy City, Tennessee, go five miles east on Highway 150/US 41 to the pavilion.

Address: 498 Foster Road, Sequatchie, TN 37374


 Eco-Friendly Notes

TVA is a partner of Leave No Trace and requests that visitors follow Leave No Trace practices.


 Pet Friendly Notes

Pets welcome but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet. TVA is a partner of Leave No Trace and requests that visitors follow Leave No Trace practices, including picking up after your pet.

For More Information, Contact:

TVA Public Land Information Center

SCSP wrote on February 03, 2016: Reservations can be made online at . If you have questions, you can contact South Cumberland State Park at (931) 924-2980.

Ed Grimes wrote on July 14, 2015: This is a second attempt to comment how wonderful this area is. Since my first was blocked I will keep strictly to non political comments. I have enjoyed this area for over 20 years with my brothers and their sons. It is a spectacular combination of view and history. Here's hoping a new owner can soon be located to return this place back to its adoring public, politics be damned.

McLean family wrote on May 25, 2015: We camped for one night during memorial weekend. We found that it was free to tent camp and its first come at the sites. The campground was closed to car traffic so we had to pack everything in and out. The bathrooms and water stations were closed at the campground but the bathroom and water was available at the picnic pavilion only a short walk from the campground. The facilities are not maintained daily and neither is the trash. They no longer have an onsite host so we assume that's why its free. The lookout area to view the falls was nice. The hike down to the falls was tricky as it was steep but worth it at the bottom. The water was freezing still so we are considering coming back for a day trip and swim in a few months. Overall it was a nice overnight experience. Its just sad the place is not maintained better so we could stay longer but with a family of kids its just not practical. I hope TVA reconsiders and keeps it open.

Jay Stephenson wrote on March 03, 2015: I visited Foster Falls with a friend this past weekend and had a great time. We hiked the 2.2 miles up to the campsite and the trails are very well maintained. I'm looking forward to going back in a few weeks to tent camp when it begins to warm up with Spring. I'd highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a day (or night) in the outdoors!

Greg wrote on October 02, 2014: I came here to find out about the Small Wilds campground. Perhaps you could add that info to this section? Thanks.

Theresa Laurence wrote on September 30, 2014: I just called the TVA and they said that the campground is open for "primitive camping." The bathroom facilities are not operational and they have no immediate plans to offer services there. They did say it was free if you want to camp there, 1st come, 1st serve

mavis tansey wrote on July 26, 2013: I’ve been there during the day, but I'm glad to know it is safe to camp alone. Thanks.

Tiffany Foster wrote on June 10, 2013: Thank you for your post about Foster Falls campground. We are glad that you had an enjoyable experience. The campground is still owned and operated by TVA. We currently have no plans to make major upgrades to the area that would change the camping experience.

Janet wrote on June 01, 2013: Unless TVA has turned it over to a concessionaire, Foster Falls is a wonderful small park for tent camping. It adjoins South Cumberland State Park with its impressive views and great hiking or simple strolls. The campground has no hookups so mobile tin cans with generators, bright lights and TVs cannot disturb. Enjoy quiet, stars, sounds of the woods,waterfalls,trails and a rare chance to do tent camping with just enough conveniences to make life outdoors a pleasure. The Resident Manager is very friendly, but runs a tight ship so even camping alone is not a worry. Tracey City a few miles away offers small town courtesy and Dutch Maid Bakery. Give Foster Falls a try; you will love it. (And tell TVA to let it alone!)

Phyllis McCoy wrote on September 13, 2011: Wonderful place!

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 35.181745000
Longitude: -85.675803400
Elevation: 1588 FT (484 M)
Meet the Author:
Tiffany Foster
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