Stinging Fork Falls State Natural Area
Site Directions: Stinging Fork Falls is located west of Spring City. Access to the natural area is via Hwy 68. In Spring City turn onto Shut-In Gap Road and proceed five miles to the parking area on the right.
Near trailhead - Lat: 35.7127°N Long: -84.92848°W
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: Stinging Fork Falls is a 783-acre natural area located in Rhea County. It is named for the 30-foot waterfall located within the Stinging Fork gorge. The creek flows over the fan shaped falls, then quickly slips through chutes, and tumbles over cascades below the falls.
The gorge contains a second growth mixed mesophytic forest community. Steep cliffs may be found along the smaller bluffs that descend into the gorge.
An oak-pine forest can be found along the gorge bluff. Indian Head Point provides a view of the gorge and creek 160 feet below. Much of the upland area between the parking area and gorge had been planted by Bowater in loblolly pine, and has since been removed due to heavy southern pine beetle impact.
The Stinging Fork Falls trail terminates at the bottom of the falls about 1 mile from the parking area.
Wildlife to Watch: This area is undergoing hardwood succession and is currently home to numerous early successional bird species such as Northern Bobwhite, Field Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and American Goldfinches.