Volunteers Needed Sept. 17 to Help Staircase Project at Greeter Falls
The Friends of South Cumberland State Park (FSC) are looking for volunteers to help them move lumber and other construction materials down to the site of a new trail staircase project at Greeter Falls in Savage Gulf on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, Sept. 17.
“This volunteer day is an important part of our larger effort to improve many parts of the access trail to Greeter Falls,” explained FSC Trails Chair John Collins. “The Savage Gulf West trailhead, which leads to Greeter Falls, is one of the three busiest trailheads in South Cumberland, and as a result, the original trail is worn, eroded and very difficult to navigate in some places. On Saturday, Sept. 17, we hope to change that by delivering to our work-site the materials we’ll use to construct an all-new staircase later on this fall. We need lots of help to do that, and hope everyone who’s able can join us from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on that day.”
Collins explained that the FSC Trails Team, working with SCSP Rangers, has spent the past nine months building or renovating trail sections along much of the route down to Greeter Falls. He noted that the new staircase will greatly improve response times for EMTs and Park Rangers, in the event a park visitor is injured while visiting Greeter Falls. The staircase project will connect two of those segments and mark the completion of what is the first phase of an even larger project to improve trails in South Cumberland State Park.
Volunteers are asked to pre-register for the event from a link on the home page of the FSC website at <FriendsOfSouthCumberland.org>. There, they can see plans for the staircase and learn more about volunteering for the event. All volunteers are encouraged to bring plenty of water and a high-energy snack, wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves, if available.
“We’ll be moving a number of long boards and posts, with a person on each end. You should be able to lift 25 to 30 pounds in order to do that, but if you’d just like to come to hand out water and help direct traffic, that’s fine, too,” Collins said. “Please be on time, 9 a.m. sharp, at the Savage Gulf West/Greeter Falls trailhead off Highway 56 between Altamont and Beersheba Springs. We’ll have a brief orientation session, and then we’ll get started.”
FSC’s Trails Team hopes to have the new staircase completed and open by the end of 2022. A second staircase, just above the Greeter Falls Plunge Pool, is planned as a 2023 project, subject to funds being raised in the interim. Donations can be made via the “Make a Gift” page on the FSC website.