Our vision is bold, but our strategies are sound. We save Tennessee Treasures and Corridor Connections by conducting capital campaigns, collaborating with public agencies and through outright purchase or by conservation easements (voluntary agreements with private landowners that permanently restrict land from development but keep it in private ownership). We award small grants to other conservation groups through a matching grant program, State Park Connections. Over $300,000 in grants have funded more than 185 projects across Tennessee. Through education and advocacy we work for greenway planning and increased conservation funding. Additionally we fundraise to buy natural treasures, accept land donations, and through our Emergency Land Bank, we make loans available to other private or public organizations. Our work has saved more than 40 treasures including famous Tennessee landmarks such as Gateway to Mound Bottom, Black Mountain, Devilstep Hollow Cave and Head of Sequatchie Springs, Randolph Bluff and more.
Please take a look at our Road Map of accomplishments.
Travel up the Sequatchie Valley, along the Sequatchie River, to its extreme northern end. The craggy pine-topped escarpments of the Sequatchie Valley rapidly close in from either side upon the pastoral scene. The river valley narrows from four miles wide in the south to this gushing mountain stream and the half-mile wide by three mile long canyon, which is Devilstep Hollow. Here is the River's source, Head of the Sequatchie Spring. Here, also, is Devilstep Hollow Cave, a nationally significant archaeological and geological wonder.
The mouth of the cave is massive at 125 feet across and 150 feet deep and dramatically beautiful with a blue-green pool of water at the entrance sink. In a National Geographic Society study, twenty-two cave drawings dating back more than a thousand years were discovered in Devilstep Hollow Cave. This cave is the only cave ever discovered to have three glyph forms (pictographs, petroglyphs, and mud glyphs. Mythical creatures…an eagle being with a weeping eye holding a mace and two drawings of woodpeckers incised into the walls that frame the drawings in between the mouth and end of the cave.
Devilstep Hollow Brochure
The Valley of the Caney Fork River was a favorite hunting ground of the native Cherokee. This hunter's paradise was to be settled by the white man and many battles with the Indians were fought there.
The Davis family settled at the bottom of the Caney Fork River gorge and called it Bethesda. By the mid-1800's there were 80 families that lived in the area building homes and churches. The hardwood trees of the forest were so huge that in the 1870's the Bethesda School was built from just one poplar log. None of these buildings are still standing but foundations can still be found along the way.
Scott's Gulf Brochure
Stand at the top of the bluff. See the big bend and the River perhaps a mile across. This historic bluff offers one of the best views of the Mississippi River along its ten-state journey. Walk down the bluff pathway to the mighty River's edge. There you can put your feet in the muddy water or hike along the riverside trail. Listen to the shrill cry of the Mississippi kite and then watch it soar and dip at your feet, or come some early morning and hear the cacophony of twitter and tweets and see an array of birds as they traverse the grand Mississippi flyway to points unknown. Or put in your canoe or kayak for a float, but beware – these churning waters have swallowed braver men. Throw in a line but make it a strong one because you know that ancient fish dwell in these murky waters and they are numerous and large and include eels and gar and monster-sized catfish.
Here you will find the old town spring at Randolph on this good land and you can walk year-round to hear its waters fall. Know that it attracted travelers both man and beast for millennia, and you and other visitors can be sure it remains. For even when the Mississippi River is low, the spring will create a fresh-water pool where you can find four species of mussels and other delicate life.
Randolph Bluff Brochure
Stillhouse Hollow Falls
Stillhouse Hollow Falls is a 75-foot high waterfall in the center of a 90.35 acre wooded tract, located in Southwestern Maury County (near Mt. Pleasant) and the juncture where the counties of Lewis, Lawrence, Giles and Maury meet. Stillhouse Hollow is located on an unnamed tributary stream of Big Bigby Creek, one of two primary streams that feed the world-class Duck River.
Stillhouse Falls Brochure