Photo Credit: Michael Hicks
Marion County

Fiery Gizzard Trail

PROJECT PARTNERS The Conservation Fund, The Castle Family, Open Space Institute, and The Tucker Foundation

In the Spring of 2021, TennGreen Land Conservancy and The Conservation Fund expanded the popular Fiery Gizzard Trail in South Cumberland State Park. By purchasing this land and adding it to the park, the partners helped secure the viewshed of the popular trail that will connect Denny Cove, Foster Falls, and most of the park system.

TennGreen and The Conservation Fund purchased this tract vital to the park’s and the Fiery Gizzard Trail’s continuity and transferred it to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for permanent protection. The acquired land, known as the “Castle Tract,” contains rich forests essential for wildlife habitat and outdoor enthusiasts. A portion of Little Gizzard Creek also runs through the land.

Now in TDEC ownership, the land will be managed for recreation and habitat protection, securing the natural treasures on the property from development, timber harvesting, and mineral extraction.

TennGreen and The Conservation Fund are proud to have negotiated and facilitated this vital land purchase. Conservation of these unprotected forests along the Cumberland Plateau, particularly at Fiery Gizzard, are priorities for TDEC, the Cradle of Southern Appalachia Initiatives by the Thrive Regional Partnership (of which TennGreen is a member), the Natural Treasures Alliance, and the Southeast Conservation Blueprint.

This expansion at Fiery Gizzard was supported through the Open Space Institute‘s Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund made possible with funding from the Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation, and Merck Family Fund, which seek to protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity in landscapes that are critical to facilitating adaptation to climate change. Additional funding for the acquisition was provided by The Tucker Foundation.

TennGreen would like to give a special thanks to Robert McCaleb for his help facilitating this project.

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