Suter and Horsepound Falls, South Cumberland

After a recent night at Stone Door camp, we packed up early and planned to go to Ranger Falls, but the kids wanted to save that until we camped at Alum Gap, so we looked on the map and picked out Suter Falls and Horsepound Falls, both in Collins Gulf, so off to Gruetli-Laager to the trailhead.  The town is tiny, but has a hardware store, a couple roadside places to eat (there’s a dairy bar with a painted sign that reads ‘dariy bar’), a Piggly Wiggly, Dollar General and Family Dollar.

There is a camping area near the parking lot at Collins Gulf called Collins West.  It has fire rings, a nearby spring and a privy.  There’s no bathroom, trash can or ranger station at the trailhead.  There is a well marked spring between the campsites and the parking area.

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The unique shelf trail headed toward Suter Falls
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shelf trail
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One person bridge
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The trail is tough, lots of rocks and climbs, so bring your hiking poles.  Because I didn’t.  I also spent a while contemplating the vast amounts of snakes that likely live in those rocks.  Probably…I’d say around 50 thousand, give or take.
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The trail through the valley was gorgeous!   We met up with a man, now retired, who used to cut timber at the top of the gulf and he used to hike to Horsepound Falls and eat lunch every day.  That’s a RT of 5 miles and he’d run it.  In the middle of an 8-10 hour lumber cutting shift.

He said he’s seen bear in the gulf.  I have talked to the rangers and they have had reports from locals, but as of yet, no one backpacking has bothered to report a sighting.  You can rest assured, if I see a bear, I’ll tell somebody.  SO exciting!

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More of the valley trail
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Horsepound Falls! We hung out in hammocks at the top and had lunch before heading back.
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