Amber's Den Ridge Trail

MODERATE 44 reviews

Amber's Den Ridge Trail is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Sparta, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from January until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
337 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Amber's Den Ridge Line Trail is a new trail that is wooded, mostly following a creek with the pinnacle being the overlook at Welch's Point. This trail is located inside a Wildlife Management Area. Area is generally closed during big game season.

hiking
5 days ago

Not recommend. This wasn’t a trail, it was a road. A road that wasn’t kept up. Tons of brush. Not marked at all. “Amber’s Den?” — would love to find this mythical place. It was a mile down which means a mile up. With a family of five that would’ve been good to know. Not real moderate.

hiking
27 days ago

Welch’s Point is worth the trip all on its own. Enjoyed the hike though not all that well marked. After reading reviews on here I drove all the way to the parking area for Welch’s Overlook and hiked back to Ambers Den. Some nice rock formations, spur trails and although it’s a little hard to find Ambers Den is a hidden gem. The loop is an option if you just want the added distance but the extra is on a road.

hiking
1 month ago

Sadly, I read the comments here and didn't make it to the den. Please, please, drive all the way to the Welch's Point overlook. You'll see the posting for the Amber's Den Trail to your left. You can start the trail there. Note, when you get to the creek, I'd recommend turning around and hiking back the way you came otherwise you will need to walk on the road back to the parking area.

2 months ago

Nice trail, there weren't any other hikers on the Saturday we went. The Virgin Trails trailhead was slammed, probably 20 other vehicles were parked there. We finally saw other people once we made it to Welchs point, since you can drive to it.

3 months ago

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!

4 months ago

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!

5 months ago

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!

5 months ago

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
6 months ago

Easy hike. Adequately marked. A lot of the "trail" is actually on road and uninspiring. A short pretty forest section at about 1.2 miles is the exception. The big payoff is Welch's point which is as beautiful as advertised. Never found Amber's "den". There is a sign indicating the direction (this is about 2.2 mi in) and 1.1 mile distance to Amber's Den near Welch's Pt. I took this fork in the woods and after 1.4 miles ended up on the banks of the Caney Fork. Pretty, but not what I was looking for. Virgin Falls definitely the better option if looking to hike in this area.

9 months ago

Beautiful Hike! A little tricky to navigate, but just keep you head up and you'll be fine :)
Trail head is two post one with red and one with blue. After 1-1.5 mile you'll see a sign to turn left and a rock cairn. Then look for the little orange hiking men blazes on the trees to your left. Stay aware the entire time and you won't get lost.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful area and hike !

hiking
11 months ago

Not a bad hike overall, nice and pretty easy with a reward at the end. I wouldn't rate it as moderate though. Trail is easy to follow, just look for the orange metal markers, signs, as well as the rock cairns that some hikers have built. There was also some pink ribbon tied to some trees, and fallen branches some people have to moved to line the trail to help mark it. Its definitely worth it to walk back down the gravel road at least once, that's where you'll find the cemetery, and it's different scenery than the "trail" trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Great trial, the last half of the loop from the overlook to the parking area is a gravel road that you can simply drive up to the overlook. Otherwise a good trip.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Did this today with my boyfriend. It was easy to find via Google Maps. The trail head was marked by a gate with red and blue on it. There wasn't much for parking at the trail head so we just parked at the gate, directly in front of it.

If it wasn't for AllTrails app, we would have for sure gotten lost as this trail wasn't clearly marked all of the way through, though there were very occasional markers of a hiker on an orange circle.

Some parts were super easy, some parts were on the strenuous side. Some were quite steep, with a few big assents. To be honest, we're both in our early 30s, over weight, and inexperienced in regards to hiking. We got out of breath a few times but it was all doable, fun, and I never once felt like I couldn't handle it.

The first vista is okay. Great view but not a big opening. The second one, however, is quite grand. Almost breath taking.

The second vista can be assessed via a gravel road, so a few people drove up while we were there, but as far as the trail goes we only saw one other hiker the entire time.

The worst part to me was the gravel road you walk down after the second vista. It was hot, and boring.

5/5. Good practice for future hikes.

hiking
Monday, July 31, 2017

This is an awesome trail to hike, very low traffic and the overlook at the end is quite amazing. The trail leading up to the overlook is also a joy, nothing too difficult, although it does get narrow in some places. Lots of spider webs, used a stick to help break it up. Started the hike at 9am, bugs didn't get bad until around 11a. Saw a couple turkey along the way. At the overlook we came upon a rattlesnake so be aware of that. Only reason this gets a 4/5 is because there is a tight right turn in the trail at about 2.5 that isn't very well marked. We ended up following an ATV trail for an extra mile or so before realizing our mistake. Just know that the entire trail from beginning to the overlook is marked with little hikers pinned to trees. If you no longer see the hikers, you are no longer on the trail. Once we backtracked and found the markers, we were good to go for the rest of the hike.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

The views are amazing, especially in the fall. This trail has much less traffic, too, which makes for a relaxing, solitary experience. Definitely worth visiting. One point of caution: the trail isn't well-marked, so download a map in advance.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Took the wrong trail head...got lost and had to take an atv trail back to the main road. ran into wild hogs, somehow avoided getting attacked. Strange experience...

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Amazing lookout in the middle of the loop, a civil war cemetery, crossing a riverbed and overlooking a small waterfall. This trail had a little bit of everything. Will definitely do this hike again for the overlook alone!

hiking
Monday, May 15, 2017

This is a hike to a rocky outcropping and beautiful panoramic overlook of the pristine valley, Caney Fork River, and the surrounding plateau. To get to the trailhead, drive past the main Virgin Falls trailhead and turn right on Welch's Cemetary Rd, and then take a left at the fork. There isn't really much of a parking area at the trailhead, which is marked by a gate with red and blue reflectors, so we just parked at the gate. The trail up is pleasant, especially after you turn left off the old log road and wind along the stream bank under Mountain Laurel. We completed the loop back down on the gravel road, but next time I'd return the way I came; the gravel road is hot and dusty (though framed by pretty meadows and pine trees). The only downside of this trail is the slight bummer of hiking to an overlook that other people are driving to, but hey they missed the best part after all.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Perfect way to spend Mother's Day with my daughter. We plan to do this again in the fall. The view should be spectacular then.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I had a great hike. the view was spectacular.

hiking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Okay, so I'm thinking half of the reviewers didn't begin at the correct trail? We just did this trail yesterday and oh my, the trail and the overlook were SPECTACULAR! So let's clear up the confusion now to avoid terrible ratings due to not even being on the actual trail. You drive down Scott's Gulf Rd and immediately after the Virgin Fall trailhead, you take the road on the right (Welch's Cemetary rd). You drive a small bit and there is a gravel pull-off on the left hand side. Not sure how there was confusion as Google Maps leads you right to here. There are two poles, a red and blue stating foot traffic only. This is the beginning of the trail. The trail itself is very well-marked. The blazes are little metal reflective circles with hikers on them. Also, hikers have contributed to rock cairns at the spots you turn on the trail. Major tip- Look for the blazes, as there are little side trails that aren't part of the trail. The first part is not spectacular, just an old logging road you take for over a mile. THEN, you turn left and go into a beautiful almost magical part of the forest following a cascading creek and overlook to a pretty big waterfall below. Keep going; when you start ascending the mountain, you're getting close. Make sure to keep RIGHT at the sign that says Amber's Den Ridge Trail; DO NOT go left to "Amber's Den". Keep going straight across the gravel rd through the red gate.The overlook comes 400 feet from here. We had the entire trail and overlook to ourselves and it was lovely. We hammocked and watched the sunset. You can take the gravel Rd back to the parking area (1.8 miles) -- I definitely recommend this if it's getting dark. Whomever said there was no wildlife is mistaken. We saw 3 dear leaping through the forest, 4 turkeys fighting, a possum or raccoon in the dark as we were getting in the car, and lots of pretty wildflowers and centipedes as well as mushrooms. **If you do not have a few hours and want to skip the trail to see only the overlook, you can drive to the dead end of Welch Rd and park for the 400 foot walk to the overlook (Welch's Point). However, the hike is amazing and probably 75% of the excitement of this trail.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tons of spider webs, recent forest fire so NO wildlife and much of the foliage was destroyed. Good elevation changes and lots of different terrain though. Make sure you find the old Civil War Cemetery! It was the coolest part. The overlook at the end was (mostly) worth the lack of scenery on the way.

hiking
Sunday, January 08, 2017

This "trail" is extremely confusing. There were no visible signs indicating the direction for Amber's Den. We ended up at the river following a TWRA officer's instructions for the loop and realized we weren't even on the "trail." It wasn't until the way up we found a small sign about 15 foot up a tree indicating which direction to go. Welches Point was definitely the best part of the day, great outlook. Amber's Den on the other hand didn't work out to well for our group.

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Well where do I start! We never found the outlook but we did find a body of water that was at the bottom of the mountain which is a 2 mile drop. The drop is very steep and the incline according to my Fitbit is the same as climbing 73 flights of stairs on the way back up! I would say the trail was definitely moderate to difficult at times. When we finished we had completed 4.17 miles but we went back up the same way we came down! We didn't see any adjoining trails to come back around and if there was any they were not marked! It was a great work out but not much to see! It needs better markings or signage for the way to go for the bluff! I probably won't do it again but I got my 10000 steps in and had fun with my friends! Even the dog was exhausted and kept laying down in the way back up the mountain! Hahah

hiking
Monday, February 22, 2016

Great trail. The trailhead is a bit confusing though. When you pull off Welch's Point Rd to the dead end (and park on the side of the "road") you'll notice a sign stating you must go on foot from this point forward. While it would be great if there were a trail sign here denoting Amber's Den Ridge or likewise, it was not to be. Once you begin down the trail you'll soon realize it's an old logging road which you'll follow for close to a mile. Eventually you'll see the trailhead sign directing you to deviate from the logging trail off to the left. This is where this trail truly begins to shine. Beautiful creekside hiking/crossings as well as overlooks and a waterfall. Perhaps the best part of the whole hike is that I didn't see another soul the entire time I was on the trail. I will certainly be visiting again soon.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can visit Welch's Point without the hike by following the road to its end. A little disappointing but no big deal.

cross country skiing
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Great

hiking
Monday, May 25, 2015

We had a hard time finding this trail. When we found the footpath through the logging area I wasn't sure if it was the correct place, but we just kept walking. Eventually we found the sign for Ambers Den Ridge trail and turned left. The actual trail was very pretty, and lots to see. We found the first overlook, and then turned back. (We didn't realize that wasn't the main overlook, but it had a beautiful view anyway). We will probably go back soon and walk farther to find Welch's Point. Nice hike, but I don't think this is for everyone, I would consider it a moderate trail.

hiking
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A pretty nice and quick trail with a great view from Welch's Point which can also be driven to via a gravel road. The trail starts out fairly flat via an old access road which is common in this area. On this day in late September high trees and a large, high canopy kept the better part of the hike in shade and there were plenty of cool breezes. As others have mentioned the trail has a very nice creek crossing and a small waterfall can be seen from the trail as it follows the ridge of a gulf. The track I uploaded from this day includes the loop back via the gravel road. There is really nothing to see by returning this way and I suggest going back the way you came unless you want to visit the small roadside Welch's cemetery which has some very old graves including a Civil war veteran grave site. I believe this would make a very nice fall hike and plan on returning once fall colors start to appear.

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