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Yellow Bluff/Polly Branch Loop

MODERATE 10 reviews

Yellow Bluff/Polly Branch Loop is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Sparta, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.9 miles
1,361 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers


Wooded trails, waterfalls, creek crossings, wildlife and mountain views All trails are marked with dayglo tape. 75' from parking area is a connector trail to the Caney Fork River Trail, the Joe Hollway Rock House is on this trail. The trail is an old logging trail and follows the Caney Fork River. You will connect to the Polly Branch Falls Trail with views of Upper Polly Branch Falls. You will then connect to the Yellow Bluff Trail with side trails to Honey Pond, Boar Hog Gap Overlook and Yellow Bluff Overlook. From here continue on to end the loop hike to Scott's Gulf Road. Great year round hike but spring is a great time for wildflower lovers during peak season of mid-April there are over 50 varieties for viewing.

11 months ago

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.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Moderate difficulty. Good solitude. Not well marked. Several scenic falls, Yellow Bluff overlook, rock outcroppings, & segment along the river make this a compelling hike. Hollway Rock House good camping spot. However, much of the "trail"is on old logging roads and not appealing. A segment along the Caney Fork was non-existent. Just keep moving south and up through boulder fields & you'll find the trail. At the end you are unceremoniously dumped onto Scott Gulf Rd & a half mile road walk to the trailhead. Interesting afternoon, but there are better hikes in the area.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I have hiked this trail in several different trips, including a loop trail that started in Virgin Falls. Sections of this trail are better marked and maintained than others. A recurring theme on all the trails in this area is that the person that placed the blazes (round metal placards) nailed them to trees facing the trail, and only one. This means you have to walk up the tree with the blaze and look to your side, if you happen to miss it, good luck. Due to this area being used for hunting (not complaining) from roughly October to April it does not get a lot of use during the most popular hiking times so the trails become less visible. Middle Tennessee from late May to Late September is brutally hot and humid. However, the campsites along the trail are typically loaded with firewood due to the low usage.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Great trail. I look forward to exploring more of the area. Trails aren't busy like the Virgin Falls trails. Easy to moderate hiking. This time of year the streams are dry or barely trickling,but still a great view of nature!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Hiked trails on 6-6-2015 with my buddy Dave. Trails were very, very poorly marked. Very few trail emblems posted along the way. Most of the trails were like off trails hiking, as it seems these trails hadn't had any recent activity on them. The hike would have been more enjoyable and comfortable with clearer and more frequent markings.

We did about 11 mikes and had a good day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I hiked this trail on 4/19/12, the reviews here are a few years old and mention that the trail is not marked well. From what I saw there is plenty of signage now and I only saw one area that could use a sign.

That being said, the trail markers themselves are of the aluminum disc type with the hiker icon. These markers are of varying color which could be confusing to some people. I'd prefer to see the usual white blaze markers as they are hard to miss and are used on most TN trails.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Friday, May 18, 2012