Grundy Lakes Park and Grundy Forest State Natural Area

Located in Grundy County, Grundy Lakes and Grundy Forest are part of the South Cumberland State Recreation Area. Grundy Lakes began as an environmentally devastated mining property, part of a complex of 130 coke ovens established and operated by the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company in 1883. In the late 1930s, after the property had been donated by the Tennessee Consolidated Coal Company, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reclaimed the land, built the lakes, planted new trees and foliage, and constructed recreational facilities. The considerable CCC effort turned a wasteland into new recreational opportunities for a community that had been devastated by the Great Depression. Grundy Forest began as another CCC project in 1935, after local residents purchased 211 acres and donated it to the state for use as a CCC camp. CCC Company 1475 moved to the site on June 29, 1935. It built the first section of Fiery Gizzard Trail, which was extended by the state parks division in the late 1970s and early 1980s to connect to Foster Falls. Fiery Gizzard refers to the name given to an experiment blast furnace built there in the 1870s during the height of the coal industry in Grundy County. Foster Falls, which drops sixty feet into a pool surrounded by sandstone bluffs, is the highest volume falls in the South Cumberland area. The state has designated Foster Falls as a Small Wild Area.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Grundy Lakes Park and Grundy Forest State Natural Area
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date July 21, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018