Believe it or not, fall in Tennessee is beautiful. On top of that, Tennessee has some really beautiful rock. It’s a big state, and I’m not saying I’m picking a favorite crag, but if I were to pick a favorite crag, it would certainly be Denny Cove. I know this may seem blasphemous considering the Obed and the rest of Chattanooga, but hear me out.
Purely based on looks, Denny has it all. It’s a new crag in the middle of nowhere, and there are hills densely lined with vibrant, bushy trees for as far as the eye can see. I mean, sure, a couple of crags in TN can compete with that, but they can’t compete with the silence. It’s dead silent at Denny. Truly, I can’t think of any other easily accessible crag that just feels all yours. Like the whole state is yours.
Right…I mentioned easily accessible, didn’t I? Directly across from the Foster Falls Volunteer Fire Department (Denny Cove is technically an extension/counterpart to Foster Falls), you’ll find an even gravel road to a nice little square parking lot surrounded by what seems to be an infinite number of absolutely huge, gorgeous trees. From there, signs direct you to different areas along the trail.
There is a small waterfall at the end of the trail, which is also stunning, but in general the main attraction at Denny is the climbing, so you rarely see anyone who isn’t climbing. In truth, you rarely see anyone at all. Part of this is because the crag is new and quite a bit smaller than its neighbor, Foster Falls. Another reason is because of the difficulty. Despite being the arguably coolest place to climb in TN, it does not offer very much below the 5.10 range. Having said that, the grades are actually very, very fair, unlike the majority of older crags in the Southeast. In other words, if you climb 10s in the gym, there’s almost no chance you send a 10 at King’s Bluff, but you could probably crush one at Denny.
Speaking of the climbs…did I mention that Denny is a newer crag? All of the protection is fresh and pristine. The sandstone is so textured that your hands stick to it like Velcro. Routes and protection have reasonable spacing. Climbing there just feels so good. Sure, the Mountain Project could use a little help, but you can figure it out.
If you’re in TN, you cannot skip Denny Cove!