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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

We went in the middle of October the hike wasn’t to bad but the waterfall is totally worth it we’re from Missouri and we had a blast.

hiking
2 days ago

Amazing hike.

Beautiful trail and well worth hiking down the steep hill and across the rocks for the waterfall !

Great hike. You’ll probably get a little wet near the falls with some rock hopping. Very pretty and safe.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous waterfall a little over a mile out. You’ll need to cross the water twice, which was about knee deep for me.

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.

It is amazing what nature does. I was truly suprised when I saw this natural phenomenon!

hiking
10 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.

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

on Cummins Falls Trail

walking
13 days ago

Trail to the bottom of the falls is a little confusing. It becomes more difficult to get to the falls the further down you go. But the overlook path is short, clear, and absolutely beautiful!

hiking
14 days 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.

Very diverse trail with all types of terrain. At times it can be tough to navigate. It took us around 6 hours to complete with a few stops along the way. We backpacked in and set up camp along the creek side. Beautiful park!

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.

Pretty, very easy hike. We took our small dog for the first time and she had no problems.

Trail to the bottom of the falls was closed for repairs. Would have liked a little bit of a longer hike but the trail was really nice.

Great hike on the stream trail to the falls. Bring some water shoes and a towel as you cross stream twice each way.

[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.

Lovely hike. Go right at the trailhead so you end with the falls!

hiking
20 days ago

Wow. What’s not to love. The hike was beautiful and kid + dog friendly. To get to the bottom of the downstream trail there is a big section that is narrow with a steep drop and no guard rail so if your walking children are not familiar with trail safety I would consider that but otherwise it’s fantastic. Our kids (9 and 6) have hiked since they were babes on my back and still exercised extreme caution during the before mentioned part. But at the end and in the water (despite the frigid temps) they lived every minute of it. It was a perfect stop to picnic on a rock and then watch them explore. Highly recommend this trail!

Be prepared to get wet

backpacking
22 days ago

The main to and from Virgin Falls is traveled a lot. I went backpacking on a rainy day and I passed 12 or so day hikers. The trail is rocky in portions and this trail is moderate, not sure why the trail is rated hard rating. "People" not backpackers, just can not leave TRASH at the falls, just plain lazy! I have found that short hikes, less than 10mile one way, are like this.

did this trail Oct 13. nice trail. not the best rim trail. there is a huge mistake on this trail map. I took the trail to the gulf first on advice from a hiking pro. saving the bolder field for last. better than a 3 mile up hill out of the gulf. If you do this route please note that when you get to Sawmill Camp take the connector trail to the right just past the foot bridge. The map on here shows you going on the river bed and making a large loop to the stagecoach trail. I tried to blaze this trail but lost track of the trail. Had to backtrack to the bridge. If there was a trail there it would add around a mile and a half. Which it did add 1 mile on my hike going in and back out. Just watch for the connector trail on the right past the bridge. It takes you to the Stagecoach.

Great trail - some of the best views in TN.

hiking
25 days ago

Fun trail. There can be a creek crossing after a decent rain.

camping
26 days ago

We really enjoyed this trail and falls was gorgeous at the end!! Several of the camp sites were occupied but we were told of a couple alternate locations. The hike is fairly strenuous on the way back as most of it is uphill. We chose to set up camp earlier in the trail to reduce weight for the rest of our hike. Numerous places for swimming holes (if it were warm weather). Definitely coming back again!

Nice trail! Not too hard, good length, and an abundance of nature!

Very unique place!!

This place is pretty amazing. It has it all... rivers, waterfalls, meadows, and lots of history (as told through the museum and trail markers). I took my dog and she had an amazing time running with me through the meadow, hiking the trails, and playing in the river. We saw a huge blue heron and a herd of deer in the meadow. It’s a magical place! The only complaint I have is what others noted - the trail is just dreadfully marked. I spent 2 hours essentially wandering around looking at my GPS here on AllTrails and trying to figure out where I was, as did nearly everyone I passed. The problem is threefold: there are multiple trails and spurs (not just “a loop”), AllTrails is not accurate here (not even close), and again, trails are poorly marked. An old pro told me to stop next time at the museum to get a trail map, which I had foregone since I had my trusty AllTrails. I am not deterred though despite some frustration... this place is too great for that. I’ll be back again, and next time I’ll be sure I have a paper map and will keep my phone in my pack. Can’t wait to come back!!

Tough but nice. Technical in many places. The campsites were awesome.

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