GRUNDY STATE FOREST
The Grundy State Forest is a captivating natural habitat encompassing 1,747 acres of dense woodlands, vibrant foliage, and tranquil streams. The forest offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, with its diverse range of recreational activities and stunning landscapes. Hikers and backpackers can traverse the well-maintained trails, immersing themselves in the beauty of towering trees, wildlife sightings, and breathtaking vistas. The forest also provides ample opportunities for fishing, camping, and picnicking, ensuring a delightful experience for visitors of all ages. With its pristine atmosphere and untamed wilderness, the Grundy State Forest reveals the true essence of Tennessee's natural wonders.
In the mid-1930s, Tennessee suffered from severe soil erosion and deforestation due to unsustainable logging practices, leading to the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933. As part of the TVA's conservation efforts, the state government, in collaboration with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), initiated a reforestation program known as the Forest Management Plan.
Grundy State Forest was established in 1935 and became the first state-owned forest in Tennessee. The CCC workers, with their dedication and hard work, began reforesting the eroded lands by planting seedlings, constructing fire lanes, and managing the surrounding timber.
The forest played a crucial role in providing watershed protection to the neighboring communities and lands. It also served as a demonstration area for forestry practices and management techniques to be applied statewide. The CCC workers, under the guidance of the State Division of Forestry, actively managed and protected the forest from wildfires and other threats.
Throughout the years, the forest has partnered with various organizations and agencies to expand its reach and protect its natural resources. In 1994, Grundy State Forest entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Nature Conservancy, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and the state Division of Natural Areas to create the Fiery Gizzard Conservation Area. This partnership aimed to enhance wildlife habitats, protect unique plant communities, and provide recreational opportunities for visitors.
Grundy State Forest covers approximately 1,279 acres and continues to serve as a prime example of successful reforestation efforts and sustainable forest management practices. It offers outdoor activities like hiking, bird watching, and camping, attracting both locals and tourists who appreciate its natural beauty and historical significance.
1. Grundy Forest Day Loop Trail offers backcountry camping for experienced campers.
2. Foster Falls Campground provides 26 rustic campsites with picnic tables and grills.
3. Primitive Camping is available at the Fiery Gizzard trailhead in Tracy City, near Grundy State Forest.
4. The South Cumberland State Park has several designated backcountry sites within a short drive from the forest area.