Stone Door: 2 Miles Roundtrip
Daniel and I decided to take a day hiking trip last weekend to Stone Door, which is located in South Cumberland State Park–about a 2-hour drive southeast from our home in Spring Hill. We brought along our beagle, Lola, who could really use the exercise, and she loved it! And so did we 🙂
Although I was unable to find the precise address beforehand, as it’s in a pretty small town (Altamont? Beersheeba Springs? I’ve seen both names), I trusted the alltrails app which led us right to it. There are several clearly labelled signs as you get closer.
We went on a Sunday, and there were quite a few people–not too terribly many, but you were never alone in any one spot for very long. It’s roughly one mile from the beginning of the trailhead to Stone Door, and the first quarter or so is actually paved. Even the rest of the trail is fairly easy to traverse. There were many dogs, and there were also people of all ages and hiking abilities.
When you get to the end of the trail, you can head right down the stone steps of Stone Door or you can step out to some incredible lookout points. We were a little worried at first that we would have to wait our turn to lookout, as there were several groups of people about; however, that wasn’t the case–there is plenty of space for many, many people to stand looking out! In fact, it’s the perfect area to sit around and perhaps have a picnic. I can imagine that this point is even more beautiful in the fall!
There’s also a pretty cool photo opportunity a little farther down to the left. Don’t worry! It might look semi-sketch, but it’s really not! It’s awesome! (What’s actually sketch is trying to get a good pic while holding on to a nosey beagle.)
We then headed down the steps of Stone Door. There are many of them, and I know that on the day we went they were semi-slippery. They might not actually be accessible for all people; I did see an older woman who had decided not to go down them–but it could be enough for some people to just look at them, as it seemed most came right back up them anyway.
The trail continues down some stairs and another dirt path, but we didn’t go down it as we were unsure of where it led. When you get back to the beginning of the trailhead though, take note (if you hadn’t before) that there’s actually a very short loop to a Laurel Falls (I swear there’s a million Laurel Falls…); it’s pretty and worth the little hike down to it, but the real beauty is Greeter Falls.
Greeter Falls: 1 Mile Roundtrip
We had actually surprisingly driven passed the road leading to Greeter Falls about ten minutes before we arrived at the Stone Door trailhead. We hadn’t originally planned on going, but it was soooo close and the leisure hike to and from Stone Door (and Laurel Falls) had only taken us about two hours. We also discovered that the hike to Greeter Falls was only .5 miles one way, so of course we had to go!
The Greeter Falls trail is still fairly easy, but not as much so as the one to Stone Door. It’s a little steeper and more rugged, but certainly worth it!
To get down to the actual waterfall, you have to go down these spiral stairs. Lola had been a real go-getter all day, but this point is where she drew the line. She refused to go down and could not be coerced. I ended up going down by myself–which was quite disappointing because I wanted to stay down there forever.
There were only a couple people besides myself at the bottom. It was so serene. There were plenty of places to sit on the rocks and places to climb farther downstream, and this area here in the photo is, I’m certain, a great swimming hole in the spring and summer! As you can see in the first photo (there’s a man and his dog at the top), you can also access the upper falls, which is where we took Lola together before we left.
I’m a sucker for a breathtaking waterfall, so this portion was definitely the highlight of the day trip for me. I’m always amazed at the beauty to be found right here near home.