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trails that are long and have trail campsite near watet

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backpacking
23 hours ago

Trail was pretty easy to follow and there are plenty of waterfalls to look at along the way. On the hike in, we went up to Martha’s Pretty Point from the junction just past the cable crossing (solid uphill but nice view and campground). We stayed for about 15 minutes and then left and went back down to the main trail. Finished the trail and at the Falls loop junction (past Big Laurel Falls) we continued straight (lower trail) and down the rocky ridge. Rocky is 100% correct. It’s a rough downhill but nothing terrible. At the “T” we continued to the right and on to Virgin Falls (to the left is Caney Fork River). Great waterfall and a nice camp area. We took the spur trail to the top of the Falls. Very short trip and an easy place to get water if you’re staying here overnight.
There is a junction here to continue on to Lost Creek Trail but we didn’t go that way. We stayed the night and then continued the loop (upper trail), past Sheep Cave, and then back to the main Virgin Falls trail. If you’re not planning to do the entire Falls loop....take the UPPER trail on the way in and out. It’s less rocky, more flat, and generally easier.

The trail itself could use more trail markers past Big Laurel Falls but if you take a little time you can find the trail if you look ahead.
Wood had been pretty well picked through if you’re trying to build a campfire but go a little further out from your camp and you’re sure to find something that has fallen.

Overall a good hike and one I would do again.

Lots of waterfalls in a short hike. Easy in harder out. Like a fellow said we met on the trail “it’s all downhill till you turn around”! He was pretty much on the mark. Slippery rocks and leaves in winter but spring and fall would be awesome!

This trail is great. It has beautiful overlooks and cool natural features. It isn’t very hard either.
Also near the beginning of this trail, there is a short trail that leads to a waterfall. This trail is kind of hard but worth it.

hiking
6 days ago

Absolutely incredible. I live in Nashville, and this trail tops my list for hikes that are within reasonable driving distance. Spectacular scenery with every step.

Absolutely gorgeous!

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike with awesome views. Closer to 10 miles total.

The trail is a short enchanting hike with a beautiful 65 ft waterfall.

backpacking
15 days ago

Our 1st overnight experience. Going in was easy. Coming out was another story. Trails needs to be marked better, especially heading up to Sheep Cove from Virgin Falls. Next time, we will set up camp closer to trailhead or enter via the other side.

Loved it. Overcast day, but still some beautiful patches of color even after most of the leaf fall. The bare trees revealed some pretty awesome views, and the recent rain had water flowing along most of trail. Hiked it counterclockwise to get that biggie out of the way first. But don't worry, ascent is gradual enough to warm you up before it gets vertical. And even if we hadn't been able to see distances, the sights along the way, including some substantial boulder formations, are worth the trip out there. Nice steep, lengthy uphills if that's your thing ;) Will look familiar if you're AT-friendly. Go on and do it in one day if you already know how you handle long steep ups and long steep downs. If you're just starting out, wouldn't recommend the whole thing in one clip. But good-looking back country campsites, so maybe break it in half for your first demanding overnight. Overall, a gorgeous, challenging trail. 8 hour hike, including about an hour of total breaks.

Trail was awesome. Needs better trail blazes on the backside of the trail.

Great trail with wonderful views! I was impressed with how well the trail is marked throughout the route. I would also strongly echo what others have posted - go clockwise (big creek gulf first) or else you are in for a very steep scramble at the end of 9 miles!

Went in counterclockwise with some nice rock scrambles but up on the rim the storm has almost made it impassable.We went about a half mile in a hour then just gave up on following the trail and went cross-country until we finally picked the trail up later.Made us late getting into Sawmill and we exited the River trail on Sunday which in a nice workout.Overall a good weekend but would have liked to have had a heads up on the storm damage on the rim trail

hiking
21 days ago

Amazing hike.

great hike, but be prepared. it is not an easy trail. this loop transitions from a well maintained trail to steep stone steps, to rock hopping across areas where no trail is defined. the stagecoach rd is amazing, when you think of how it was built, hiking up it, know it is a long steep grade on a rock road. the rim trail leaving the stagecoach rd is your typical trail, and easy hiking untill it gets back around to the point it has to cross Collins river. it becomes more difficult there with some rock hopping.

overall I liked it, the camp sites are nice, water is plentiful, while it is not an easy loop, it is not overly difficult. it is well marked.

My uncle and I circumvented the trail surrounding Fort Mountain State Park in a little over 5 hours. The trail is well-maintained and several of the views are spectacular, I hear. We were among the clouds during our hike and although the vistas were not available to us the scenery and foliage was and it is tremendous.

hiking
28 days ago

Wonderful hike especially if you have a photographers eye. Great workout as well.

hiking
29 days ago

Probably one of the more impressive waterfalls I've seen. It's easy to lose the trail in between Virgin Falls and Sheep's Cave, so heads-up. I did this on a Thursday morning, and I only saw a handful of people the whole time. I had my dog with me, and we stopped at each waterfall for a bit, so it took me 5 or 6 hours.

Just completed this section this week as my first foray onto the AT. Spectacular views from the balds. Last 6-7 miles to 19e were difficult and challenging. Spent night in Overmountain shelter. Great spot. Plenty of water available on the trail. I agree with other posters that the distance is more the 13.6 miles posted. Absolutely worthwhile trip

This is a strenuous hike. lots of rocks and boulders. if you love water falls this trail has plenty of falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Falls was well worth the hike. Being from Michigan where it is flat, I was pretty tired the last half of the hike on the way out as I was not used to the up and down. Was not as in shape as I thought either. Lol. Also did some geocaching along the way. Very much enjoyed this hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

Had a great overnight backpacking trip along this trail over the weekend. Car camped on Friday and 7 miles in to campsite 2 on Saturday. 8 miles out Sunday morning back to the parking lot (we went off some side trails adding to what would have been ~6 miles on Sunday). Would definitely recommend going counter clockwise. Hiking down into the gorge and back up the other side is the biggest stretch of elevation changes. If you're going clockwise you'll have this nice long ascent for the tail end of the hike. Going counter clockwise lets you get all that out of the way near the beginning when you should be fresher.

Campsite 2 has a well pump for water. Still recommend filtering the water but it is very convenient. Outhouses were fine to use. Clean enough, considering. Definitely recommend site 2 over 1, it is much closer as a half way mark.

The trail can be a bit difficult to find when you get closer to the nature center. Lots of fallen trees over the trail and parts were not very clearly defined. Not a big deal though, just had to take a quick minute to find a marker a few times. I saw other reviewers taking a star off their rating because of this. I don't think it was that bad. Still a five start hike in my opinion.

100% recommend this for overnight trips or long day hikes. Will likely be back

I love this trail. It has a streams, waterfalls and gorgeous mountain views. My favorite hike in Georgia.

Awesome trail. The views are excellent. We did the full loop clockwise, which I would highly recommend. Going down into the gorge was very steep and rock filled. The gorge itself was lovely, and the river was flowing pretty strong. The way back up to the rim was not near as steep as the descent (again why I would recommend clockwise). Overall a good challenge but very doable if you are active.

Great and easy hike! Beautiful in the fall.

Good trail for hikers and dogs. Once you get out of parking lot area not many people. A few “water crossings” not really water crossings but water on ground is great for dogs. Added miles making it an 11 mile loop in four hours. There was good up and down making it a great workout. Lots of fallen leaves at moment which did make it hard to see slippery rocks so watch footing.

[TL;DR: A good starter trail if you want to do long day hikes. the only tough spot is at the top (middle) of the trail. Useful as a gear-check and practice for scrambles and rapid ascents.]

Did this 3 weeks ago; didn't have the app yet, so here's a belated review.

This is a longish beginner trail with one short (~1 mile) tough spot between the two campsites. I went clockwise (left at the junction), so after Campsite 2 I had a scramble down to the bottom, with a rapid ascent to Campsite one. Neither is overwhelming, and will be a good place to get some practice and try out gear.

The trails up to the 2 campsites are very smooth and easy. Near the Nature Center the signage and blazes go crazy, so I did the last bit on the road, as I kept getting directed to the wrong paths. I recommend parking at the Village. You've got some good connector trails and on return you've got all the food and facilities waiting on you.

This is another trail everyone I met was overnighing, but I did it in 7 hours, counting breaks, without pushing for speed at all. Very good beginner trail, but I may or may not do it again (the trails to the campsites are kind of dull).

[TL;DR: Solid trail, good workout. Varied terrain so you won't get bored. Watch out for false trails.]

First, if you're reading this close to the date of this post, go now. The leaves just started really changing color about a week ago, and now it is in full swing. Lots of pines, but in the deciduous areas it is all red and gold. The trail is casually beautiful, with the occasional stunner just laying nonchalantly in full view of the trail. Waterfalls, cliffs, boulder fields, etc.

Second, someone below said this is harder that Fiery Gizzard; I would disagree. I would say it is equal to Fiery Gizzard to Raven's Point Loop, but with a different kind of difficulty. I would compare it more closely to Lower Loop at Fall Creek Falls, but with rougher paths and more and longer scrambles.

You will have a scramble on either side of the trail head. The one to the right (counterclockwise) is more continuous, with no real flat spots until you're out of the scramble. The one to the left (clockwise) is not a continuous scramble, but seemed more difficult due to a number of odd angles and weird transitions. I would call them equally difficult, but in different ways. I would recommend going to the right from trailhead, though, if only because the left-hand side gives you a beautiful spot to appreciate once you get close to trailhead on the way back.

Outside of the scrambles the path tends to be very broken and rough, but nothing worrisome. You will need to cross 4-5 streams, so keep an eye on the rain and prepare accordingly.

The ascent on the way back is fairly rapid, but not too much so.

I will note that I cut the loop close to the end: I cut across the connector trail by the sawmill campsite instead of completing the last nub of the loop, trying to save 30 minutes to an hour as I was racing sunset (late start, thanks Google Maps). It was a good choice, as I made it back to the parking lot just in time for a golden sunset. I carry night gear, but doing a scramble in the dark on a new trail did not seem like a good idea.

One important warning I haven't seen anyone else mention: there are false trails everywhere. Some seen ike abandoned paths, some for locals, some seem natural, but it is very easy to go off trail here. I went down two false trails (one even had a wooden ramp along a cliff edge), and I ran into two groups that had lost members further back on the trail, which I hadn't seen. One very tricky spot is when you cross the suspension bridge when heading couter-clockwise. Once over that there'll be a small footbridge. At that point the trail will be slightly behind your right shoulder; take an immediate right. Someone has tried to block the false trail (immediately in front if the footbridge) with a wall of branches, but it just looks like trail debris. Lots of blazes down, so when in doubt, just stop and break out the app, otherwise you'll be off trail and have no idea.

All in all, a good day trail. I completed 13 miles in about 8 hours, counting breaks, without being in any great rush (cutting to the connector did help). Bear in mind with the varied terrain and scrambles your speed is not going to remain steady. Also remember that you've have a moderately long scramble wanting for you at the end of the trail no matter which way you go, so don't exhaust yourself. Everyone I met on trail was overnighting, but you shouldn't have a problem doing a day hike.

Not fun, no views. Better hikes in the area.

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