Foster Falls Small Wild Area (SWA) located in Marion County, TN consists of approximately 178 acres. It is a focal point and a drawing card for thousands of outdoor enthusiasts that seek recreational opportunities in the South Cumberland State Recreation Area.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Tennessee Valley Authority worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to protect large scenic, recreational and ecologically significant land in Grundy, Franklin, Sequatchie and Marion counties. Foster Falls has been managed by TVA as a natural area since 1973. It is one of the best known TVA natural areas, drawing approximately 100,000 visitors yearly. Foster Falls, a 60-foot vertical waterfall, is the center of this 178 acre TVA SWA and marks the end of the southern end of the Fiery Gizzard Trail (visit TVA's trails webpage for more information). The falls are visible from several exposed sandstone outcrops surrounded by beautiful hemlocks and mountain laurel thickets.
Foster Falls contains habitat for rare plants, including Talinum teretifolium (fame flower), Nestronia umbellula (leechbrush), Platanthera integrilabia (monkey-faced orchid). Two important biological communities are included in this area, an upland swamp, and a sandstone outcrop plant community.
TVA provides picnic facilities and a seasonal campground for overnight visitors April through October. Facilities include restrooms, a picnic pavilion managed by the TVA resident manager, a handicap accessible boardwalk and viewing platform and a wooded picnic area.