Foster Falls TVA Small Wild Area

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.


Latitude: 35.18174 Longitude: -85.6758 Elevation: 1588 ft

Pet Friendly Notes

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

How to Get There

Interstate 24 headed south east from Manchester TN. Take the US-41A E exit, 134, toward US-41/Monteagle. Merge onto W. Main St. Turn left onto US-41/TN-56/Fairmont Avenue. Stay straight to go onto US-41/TN-56/Fairmont Avenue. Continue to follow US-41. Turn right onto Main St/US-41/TN-150. Continue to follow US-41/TN-150. Turn right. Turn slight left onto Stiefel Rd.


This is one of the most spectacular swimming holes anywhere. The trails are spectacular as well. Sweeping panoramic views and dramatic bluffs are all along the trails.

Randy Hedgepath, 8/11/2011

Do you know who it was original founded by, I know it says a different person on the sign but I have fact that my Grandfather Delmas Wright and some more Tree cutters back in the early 60's, I know he didn't credit for it, but back then there was no road they had to make there own road. They went down to the Falls to bathe.

Elizabeth Boss, 12/12/2015

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