Without a doubt the most visited area of the South Cumberland Recreation Area is the Savage Gulf/Stone Door Area.
This tract of 14,357 acres contains some of the most spectacular natural rock formations in Tennessee.
Purchased by the state in 1973 to protect one of the last known stands of virgin timber in the Eastern United States, Savage Gulf has 55 miles of trails and ten primitive campgrounds.
The Savage Gulf Ranger Station is the eastern access point to the Savage Gulf-Stone Door trail system that traverses the most rugged and scenic areas of the South Cumberland complex. The Stone Door Ranger Station is within the Savage Gulf area and is accessible off State Highway 56 near Beersheba springs. It is named for the Great Stone door, a 150-foot deep crevice at the crest of the Plateau. It is the western access for the Savage Gulf-Stone Door trails network.
The Stone Door, initially inhabited by Native Americans (primarily Cherokee), provided a natural passageway for them in their seasonal migrations from the valley to the highlands of the Cumberland Plateau.
The door itself is 10 feet wide and 100 feet deep, creating a spectacular view of Mother Nature’s handy work.
A bent Hemlock tree protrudes into the Door creating what is referred to as “the handle of the door.”