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Sale Creek, TN: Rock Creek Gorge

tn

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Distance: 2.3 miles


"One of the Cumberland Trail's gorgeous gorges! Numerous deep water holes along Rock Creek make it popular with swimmers. The Rock Creek Segment has 9.9 miles of the Cumberland Trail." ~ cumberlandtrail.org
  • Swimming Hole

Our trip began at the upper trailhead off Leggett Rd.  The parking for this trail is simply a gravel pull off with no real markings...  To get to the trailhead you walk back down the side of the road a bit to where the signs are.  From there we took the path leading to the campsite.  The beginning of the trail is very flat and peaceful, and then leads down in elevation quite a bit.  We quickly came to the first of three bridges on our trek to the campsite.  From there the trail goes up and down in elevation and crosses two other bridges.  Leggett Branch is the last real water we passed over before the campsite, but there is a wonderful little pull up a hill before making the final decent to the campsite.  Needless to say with my wife and four young children we were all happy to make it to camp after that hill.

The campsite itself is very nice and is close to Rock Creek.  The creek in this section is deeper and slow moving but plenty of fish and crawfish are in the water as well.  We were glad to have our water filter along with us as the weekend was very hot and we needed to refill several times.  We had plenty of room for our 2 and 4 person tents and the nearby creek made a great place to entertain the kids and cool off.  It wouldn't be a wild guess to say plenty of folks make use of the cliffs there for jumping into the water, but it was a little shallow for us to attempt so we just swam around checking out the flora growing along side the ridge.

The second day we explored up stream rock hopping and swimming our way to the newly build Rock Creek Bridge.  A big thank you goes out to the volunteers who somehow managed to build this beast of a structure, it is very impressive.  At the bridge there is a great place to swim or sunbath on the rocks if you so choose.  We made our way back along the trail and back to the campsite for some wild rice and chicken later on that evening.

The trek out was quicker, which we've found is usually the case for us.  We certainly did enjoy the trail and campsite and look forward to exploring more of the Cumberland Trail.

I will be updating the map with our actual GPS data when I get the chance.

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