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on Savage Day Loop

1 day ago

this is the fourth time I've been to this trail. usually it's great but today the trail was closed due to dangerous conditions and fallen trees from a recent storm. We hiked anyway but encountered many obstacles that forced us off the main trail. We never made it to the falls due to impassable piles of large fallen timber, brush and branches. Heed the warning signs until they finally get the trail cleaned up and cleared again.

Not hard, moderate at best. No hard climbs, but a few of them add up. First one on the trail at 9:30 on a Sunday morning, lightly trafficked is accurate. I went after the leaves fell, so lots of crunching underfoot. I can see how it would be difficult after a solid rain, it was dry on my venture. No access to the lake unless you trailblaze a bit on your own. Different topography hiking along the ridge, but lots of time in the forest with not much to see. Lake is very pretty, but you’re never real close to it unless you go off trail.

hiking
4 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.

hiking
9 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.

hiking
9 days ago

Very nice hike - fairly easy - just the distance. Waterfall is beautiful as is the overlook. Great walk for someone like me trying to get into shape and get some outdoor time. Was fun!

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.

backpacking
16 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.

Greeter Falls is worth the effort. The trail is a bit rough in spots (rocks, roots, etc.) and the staircase down to lower Greeter Falls was a little daunting. Nice trail with a good amount of people enjoying it. Highly recommend.

Did this trail Oct 28. I actually added going into the Big Creek Gulf then to Stone Door then took the Big Creek Rim trail back. 12.5 miles. 2500 feet. If you do this hike don't pass up ranger falls. Very worth the trek and a beautiful falls. Be ready though this complete trail plan isn't moderate it's hard and trying. But very rewarding. Leaves haven't completely changed yet but the Rim trail is going to be one of the best views for foliage. Good luck.

camping
20 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!

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike! Very beautiful and very well maintained trails. I went as soon as finished raining, so the trails were slick and muddy. Just be careful! To get the best bang for your trip, when you get to the part in the trail where it splits for the loop, go right first. You'll get a few overlooks, and by the time your turning to go back to the ranger station, there's the spur to go over to the waterfall - it's a great place to relax. If you have a hammock, there's a perfect area of trees and no brush at the base of the falls to set up. Then it's just over a mile hike back to the parking lot.

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

hiking
1 month ago

The falls are beautiful! Definitely a must see. The woods on the outer part of the loop are nice. Very easy relaxed hike.

Did this trail today and took our 18 pound older Boston Terrier. He did fine but was pretty tired at the end. We did the lower and upper Falls and BlueHole trails. Falls were great and very photogenic. No restroom at the trailhead. Would love to visit again. Easy day hike.

Absolutely gorgeous, both along the rim and through the gorge. I started at Stone Door and hiked the loop clockwise, going down through the gorge first, and finishing the loop by hiking the trail along the rim. The trail through the gorge is difficult, trust the reviews and be prepared for uneven terrain and a strenuous climb out at the end. Also, watch your step. We saw 3 snakes while at the bottom of the gorge, and 2 of them were copperheads. Regardless, this hike is incredible, one of the best I've found among the dozen or so areas I've hiked through in TN. After emerging from the gorge, the hike along the rim is pretty easy and there are multiple overlooks that are ideal for taking in some stunning views of the gorge from above. This one is definitely worth the effort!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. My wife and I hiked Virgin Falls in a day, left out around 8 AM in a foggy drizzle and by the time we reached Virgin Falls it was sunny and perfect. We did the main trail, spur to overlook, sheep cave, top of the falls and bottom of the falls and came in just over 11 miles total. Both Big Laurel Falls and Virgin Falls are pretty awesome. The trail has some sections over rocks on the descent in/ascent out that I would assume give the trail it's rating...they were tough, but not too bad. Once you reach Virgin Falls, I highly recommend the short climb down to the base, it's so worth it, (be careful it's muddy) and the short climb around to the top (again, so worth it!). We spent 45 minutes to an hour at Virgin Falls and at least another 30-45 at Big Laurel Falls, took our time and were still back to the lot in 7 hours total. I hiked it in chacos, the wife had boots...I could see where chacos might be an issue for some on the way down. Probably going to go back in a few weeks when the leaves are peaking. Also think it would be a great overnight and the camping options look great. Almost rated it a 5 but wasn't as well marked in some places as I expected, but still an excellent hike!

FYI- When you get to the Loop to the falls where it's 0.5 to the falls one way and 0.8 (Sheep Cave then falls) the other way, it might help to know that the shorter trek to the left is a fairly steep descent followed by a climb the last 0.2 mile or so to the falls. The slightly longer route to the right (also to the falls via Sheep Cave) is much flatter and possibly even quicker.

This trail is a great mix of easy with some technical sections thrown in if you take the Big Creek Gulf Trail. I had my small Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with me, and although he was tired at the end, he was able to navigate the trails with no problem. Great for day hiking!

I have only lived in Tennessee for less than two weeks. This was my first real hike since arriving. I loved this trail. It’s a great trail for an agile dog. There are a lot of really narrow and rocky parts to the trail as well as a spiral staircase (which my dog would not go down) to Greeter Falls and another area that had a suspension bridge. There are lots of beautiful trees and a couple of spots that take your breath away with awesome scenery. A few different falls along the way. The trails are well marked and easy to follow. Very light traffic if you go first thing in the morning on a Saturday. I left after completing about 4 miles at 10am and the parking lot was about half full. I will come back in a few weeks when the leaves begin to change color for another beautiful hike. Highly recommend this trail.

Great hike. The gulf will test your meddle a little. Took the trail clockwise saving the push up out of the gorge until after the creek trail. It will give you a great cardio workout, Was tougher than the climb down from the Stone Door area other than the rocks but they were not bad at all. Watch out for the climbers by the SD. Didn't want to put on water gear to cross to Ranger Falls. I will catch it next time. Creek was high and running fast. The rim is good but there is a lot of forrest time. Great overlooks just would love to have seen more. There was a group of Hawks hunting up and down the gulf flying right above my head. Really a great tough hike. I clocked in 10.2 miles and 1945 feet elevation. And 4 hours of moving time. (Take your lunch down at the creek bed you will love it.)

Went after about a week of steady rain and the river was roaring the whole way through the gulf. Fantastic views, lots of great spot on the rock bars to stop for lunch, and the falls were rolling.
Crossing to Ranger Falls was at least waist deep and pretty swift, so didn't get to see that. This trail earns its hard rating as BCG is pretty rocky. The climb down from Stone Door is bouldery but you can stay upright the whole way so not quite a scamble.
Very cool tough trail.

I didn’t get to do the entire loop due to rain (and didn’t have my rain coat), but I definitely would go back to if I was in the area again. This waterfall is prettier than Foster Falls, in my opinion. The hike that I did go on was pretty. There were only 3 other cars in the parking lot early afternoon last Sunday which was great. A few people were swimming and that looked like a great idea.

I hiked this trail after coming in on Big Creek Rim and setting up camp at Alum Gap. It was harder than I expected, mostly due to the 4 miles already hiked, and I'm pretty new to backpacking.

With that said, it was gorgeous. The falls were great, and I swam in the cold pool at the base of Greeter Falls.

I'm glad I didn't bring my old dog on this one, because she would have struggled with the elevation change.

I can't wait to go back!

hiking
1 month ago

We absolutely loved this hike on our honeymoon. The terrain is beautiful and unique with some of the coolest caves and waterfalls I’ve seen on a single hike. It took us about 7 hours. We hiked to Sheep Cave as well as to the top of Virgin Falls.

Worth noting:
On our way to Virgin Falls, we went the shorter way (Left) and came back by Sheeps Cave trail. The sign indicates that Sheeps Cave is a longer hike but I’ll say that the trail seemed much easier and I know it didn’t take us as long either. Both trails are beautiful but getting to see Sheeps cave and also having a bit easier hike leads me to say I’d go to the right to Sheeps Cave trail despite it being longer.

Remember to pack plenty of water and food and possibly a change of clothes at the least. We are fairly experienced day hikers and this trail is certainly hard but not grueling. If you prepare correctly, start early and take breaks when you need, it’s a very enjoyable long hike. This would be a great trail to hike to the falls and camp for the night, hike out the next day. I think we will do that next time as it is a long and tough single day hike for us.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a great overnight hike. The falls were amazing. We did this hike on a weeknight so it was not crowded. We camped at the falls, but I think on our next trip we will stay at Martha's point.

The beginning of the trail is well marked and kept, but I decided to take the Merrit Ridge Trail to be near the lake; first part of trail was kept up, but after about a mile in the trail was overgrown.

what an awesome hike! I decided to go counter clockwise so my first 3 miles were along the ridgeline; some great photo opportunities while on the ridge. the return was through the gorge and although it was just as fun, coming out was a bit tiresome with the extreme accent; the valley line would have been more enjoyable if I had come after a rain, because there was no water

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! There is beauty everywhere you look! Me and my friend completed this hike in one day. If I was ever doing it again, I would do it as a overnight trip. It is a hard hike. We thought it was harder getting down to the falls instead of back up. We did all the side trails Sheep’s Cave, Martha’s Pretty Point, we took the trail to top of virgin falls to see the cave. Very nice and a good place to cool yourself off! Wish we would have had more time to hang up a hammock and relax but had to make it out before dark. Our record time from AllTrails was 9:33 hours to complete. We did eat lunch and sit down at the falls and explore some! AllTrails clocked us at 13.9 miles not sure if that is correct or not my garmin watch said 12.8 miles so not sure which is right. It is so beautiful and worth the hike! Start really early if your not camping overnight!

We started really late so we only went to the overlook. The Ranger was awesome and super informative about time and distance. Loved the trail and rain. Apparently it rains often there. The trail is rated as hard, but up to the overlook it’s not difficult. The ascent up I guess is why it’s rated that way. Going to take another trip and go to the falls next time.

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