About Foster Falls
Foster Falls was the last waterfall we saw on our Appalachians 2012 trip, and it was a fine way to cap it off!
Even though the Foster Falls Wild Area is better known to climbers looking for a thrill and a challenge, we didn’t have to do any technical climbing to experience this pretty 60ft plunging falls.
In fact, there was an overlook that was only a few paces from the parking lot (see directions below) where we were able to get the view you see pictured above.
There was a steep hiking path that went down a combination of stairs and uneven rock-protruding trail.
It led towards a swinging bridge at the mouth of the large plunge pool of the Foster Falls before end at the shore further around the plunge pool itself.
On the opposite end of this plunge pool was the waterfall.
I noticed that there was the possibility of scrambling further to the left to get more angled views of the Foster Falls.
The only catch here was that there were fallen rocks reminding me of the everpresent danger of chunks of the cliff falling at any moment.
But the reward for this was a view of surprise second waterfall (though it wasn’t flowing too well during my visit) seen next to Foster Falls itself.
The skies were overcast and threatening rain during our visit, but it created great photo ops given the even lighting without the sun.
We also heard a few loud booms, and we guessed there must be some hunting going on within earshot of this area.
It only took me an hour to fully experience Foster Falls.
This included the views from the overlook, the hike to the base, all the picture taking throughout the excursion, and the return hike to the car.
I’m aware that there were longer trails such as the Fiery Gizzard Trail that may include other ways of experiencing the Foster Falls.
However, I wouldn’t know sure since I only did the trail to the Foster Falls and back, which I figured provided the best bang for the bang (figuratively speaking as precious time would be the currency here).
Foster Falls resides in the Foster Falls Recreation Area (part of South Cumberland State Park) near Tracy City and Jasper in Marion County, Tennessee. It is administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
The Foster Falls Wild Area is off the US41 between Tracy City and Jasper.
Since we came up from Chattanooga, we’ll describe the directions from there (though I’m sure there are many ways of getting here).
From the I-75/I-24 interchange in Chattanooga, we drove about 30 miles west on the I-24 past Nickajack Lake towards the Hwy 28 exit near Jasper.
We then drove north on Hwy 28 for 1.6 miles before turning left onto US41.
Next, we followed the US41 west into the town of Jasper before signs told us where to continue on the US41 going north.
After about 9 miles or so on the US41, we saw the signposted turnoff for the Foster Falls Wild Area to our left.
The large parking lot was at the end of this spur road.
For additional context, Chattanooga, TN was 112 miles (under 2 hours drive) southwest from Knoxville, TN, 135 miles (about 2 hours drive) southeast from Nashville, TN, and 118 miles (2 hours drive) north from Atlanta.
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