Explore the most popular forest trails in Virgin Falls State Natural Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
3 days ago

Jeffery THANK YOU!! Your review is what made me go! I'm a teenager and I went with an adult- this trail is GREAT for fit high schoolers!! Don't be intimidated by the distance! It is definitely hard but I was able to complete it in a reasonable time!! The waterfalls are beautiful and so worth the hike! Just a warning if you get wet in the water, you will be stormed by bugs, and I ran into a TON of spider webs while hiking which became a little annoying. Getting wet was well worth it! There is a small trail that leads to the base of Virgin falls where I hung out and cooled off with the amazing power of the waterfall above! I also got in at Big Laurel Falls and a blue hole I found that had a nice trail leading to it! There are amazing blue holes throughout the trail on the way to big Laurel falls! Really clean water and great for swimming but pretty cold! Definitely suggest dipping in! Great experience!!

Beautiful hike

hiking
15 days ago

This was my 4th time to backpack Virgin Falls. I just can't get enough of it, although coming up Laurel creek canyon yesterday took everything this 57 year old hiker had. I am hurting today but would not have missed it for the world. This is a tough hike in places and technical but worth every bit of sweat. Stayed at the Caney Fork river camp ground via the junction trail. Should be called the vertical rock scramble trail. Returned via the Virgin falls sheep cave trail. Anybody know whats up the the tent at Big Laurel Falls? Someone left coffee and other gear. Anyway, I don't think there is a better more scenic trail in Tennessee so 5 stars is a no brainer.

hiking
15 days ago

Good hike. Good amount of falls. Trail was a bit overgrown in parts when I was there. Going to backpack camp in next time.

hiking
18 days ago

One of my favorite trails by far.
The scenery changes almost every mile and it’s all beautiful. Plenty waterfalls and caves. The camping is great, especially by the Caney Fork. They do charge to camp now but it’s cheap.
The hike out will kick your butt if you’re not in great shape but it’s well worth it.
You don’t realize how far down into the gulf you go until you start hiking back out.

This trail is one of the more challenging hikes I have done. If you are looking for a nice short stroll I would NOT recommend this one. It took a total of 8 hours including lunch and exploring the caves to get through with a 10 year old. The streams and falls were AMAZING! Lots of little places to go explore and see. Be careful with the sheet cave near the loop. We got a little turned around with the trail markers.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful trail with three waterfalls! My husband and I did this hike in 4 1/2 hours which included a lunch break at Virgin Falls and I stop and take lots of pictures. Very rocky in some areas. Will definitely go back!

hiking
22 days ago

Beautiful trail. The views through the trees to to the river were beautiful, along with the other waterfalls along the way to Virgin Falls. My dog loved wading in the creek in the beginning and end of the hike.

The trail wasn’t that exciting, but it was fun. It’s pretty once you get around the water. The view from Welch’s Point is definitely the highlight of the trail!

Definitely the most beautiful hike I've been on in Tennessee! Babbling streams, lush forests, and the absolutely breath-taking Virgin Falls at the end, complete with a rainbow. I wouldn't rate this hike "hard", however I've hiked in Colorado extensively. There is nothing overly steep or technical but the distance will get you and the return hike from the falls is almost completely uphill. Just start early, stay on the trail, be safe, and enjoy the magic!

hiking
1 month ago

Great, challenging hike! Beautiful views along the whole route. It’s pretty easy on the way to Virgin Falls, a little steep in some areas, but not too bad since you’re going down most of way. On the way back, you feel the elevation change! Give yourself a little extra time to get back!

2 girlfriends and I hiked to Virgin Falls today. Perfect weather. Took us about 4 hours and we stopped at Laurel and Virgin falls to take pics and have snacks. I would rate it as hard but totally doable. The falls were beautiful. Lots of water flowing. It would also be a great place to camp.

hiking
1 month ago

my favorite by far, it's a 3 in 1 trip with such unique waterfalls. take plenty of water....

camping
1 month ago

This was my first hiking/camping trip about a month ago and Ive been wanting to go back ever since. We hiked down to Laurel Falls,Sheep Cave and eventually Virgin Falls. All were a sight to see. Virgin Falls was literally breathtaking if you're able to safely get closer to the bottom. I plan on returning this summer.

So this place is infested with wild boars. Wild hogs? Whatever you call them, they’re everywhere and convinced that the trail is theirs. Not to mention there were numerous water/creek crossings with no bridges, which I imagine would be fine on a warm day. The first family of boars I stumbled upon (around 8 or 9 of them) were just after honey pond. I backed away slowly and waited until they cleared with no problem. All the rest that I saw, I had only a few miles left and there were dozens of them. It was too late to turn back and there was nowhere else to go. I was charged by one from over 100 yards away. It was awful. I slid down a hill trying to get away. Bring a gun, bring a friend, go on a sunny dry day. There is absolutely no service the last 5 miles of the trail. This would’ve been a halfway decent hike if it wasn’t for all these stupid hogs.

This was my first time on the Upland Trail. It is best to do the trail clockwise. Pass the first sign towards the Upland trail and continue on the trail that leads to Virgin Falls. Go across the cable crossing and keep going until you come to the turnoff to the right towards Martha's Pretty Point. Take this way up to the overlook. Once you are up there you will see the sign for the Upland Trail that will loop you back to the Virgin Falls Trail and back to the parking lot. It's a nice hike up the the overlook. The Upland trail is a nice stroll through the woods. Part of the time you are on a rocky roadish area. Be sure to take a camera and tripod as there are many, many waterfalls on the way up to turnoff to Martha's Pretty Point as well as a very pretty creek that runs along part of the Upland Trail.

backpacking
2 months ago

Awesome trail, the elevation change gets you on the way out.

hiking
2 months ago

The trip was great! Our group made it a small weekend trip. We hiked into Martha's Pretty Point Campground Saturday morning and then relaxed most of the day. We got up early Sunday morning and hiked down to Virgin Falls and back out. It was a nice weekend and there were a lot of people there. A lot of the people seemed to be day hikers although the campgrounds fill up fast, so book in advance if possible. I recommend making the journey up to Martha's Pretty Point overlook. It is an "extra" bit of incline hiking but the view from the top is worth it. As many other reviewers have stated, the hike down to Virgin Falls is worth it but can be deceiving as it's mostly downhill. The hike back up the trail can be a long exhausting trip for those who aren't physically fit. I consider myself a fairly active 26 yr old and it was tiring but I've definitely done harder. My recommendation would be to make this a two day trip if possible. There are a few campgrounds along the way (all with a beautiful setting) and this makes the trip a little less tiring, especially if you can make the hike to Virgin falls without any gear. Happy hiking!

it is a trail that is very well marked and it would almost be impossible to get lost. The Welch's Point Overlook is an unbelievable view of Scott's Gulf. Interesting variety of scenery!

hiking
2 months ago

Went last week to get a feel for the trail and made it just past Big Laurel Falls. Tough hike on the return though! Wish I had arrived a hour or two sooner to complete it. Will be back in a couple weeks!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing spot! My tracker measured as 10.5 miles. Difficulty is correct & you hike uphill a significant part of the return. Be prepared & don’t make them rescue you from out here.

it's a tough trail but worth it!

Tough going on the way back, but my middle and elementary school-aged kids did great. We went after a week of rain and the falls (all three you come to on the trail) were worth every step it took to get out and back.

We'll be going back to hike to some of the overlooks and explore the spurs.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. The falls are so pretty after a rain event.

Me and my friend went today! Gorgeous falls, gorgeous overlook, but the trails could have been marked better. We ended up getting lost twice, but finally made our way back!

It was great!!!!

Seriously in my top 3 most beautiful hiking trails, including the Twin Arches in Savage Gulf and Virgin Falls. The entire route is interesting and amazingly gorgeous, with rock formations galore, several creeks, and all the little waterfalls your heart can imagine. The overlooks are breath-taking!!!

I would recommend turning around and going back the same way after making it to Welch's Point, which is about 2.5 miles in. The last stretch puts you out on the gravel road, and that is what makes the loop back to the trailhead. That part is nothing to get excited about, but the overall experience is still fantastic!

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely made it into my top 5. We went after a few days of heavy rains but the trail wasn't any harder. The river crossings were a little more interesting and we definitely utilized the cable rope at the second one. Chacos would've made it easier, taking the worry of wet feet out of the picture. Took my boyfriend and I about 5 hours including a lunch break and a snack break, we walk really fast though. Come prepped with water and a snack you'll need the carbs for the return trip. The going there wasn't too bad more moderate but holy crap, the way back, we took a lot more pauses. It's way more incline on the way back. Wasn't crazy crowded even though it was President's Day. A couple solo hikers and 3-4 groups but everyone was great.

backpacking
3 months ago

I was in love with this area. There are a few waterfalls, backcountry campsites and beautiful views everywhere! It rained while I was out there and just made everything that much more beautiful!

great trail. well marked but also challenging. well worth the hike. I did an over night trip and the areas to set up a twnt are great and right nest to the fall. I would not recommend this hike for kids.

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