Explore the most popular wild flowers trails near Sparta with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Gorgeous alternative to our planned Molly’s Den ridge trail hike, which was closed for hunting season. Beautiful vista views. Waterfall. Cable crossing. Even a ladder climb along the way. Martha’s Pretty Point was our halfway point for lunch with a view! ‘‘Twas a great day!

Don’t go during hunting season! Had planned to hike from the trailhead to Welch’s Point and back. Closed for hunting events. Soooo we heeded the warnings. Parked and did the short trek to Welch’s. Plan B - back to Virgin Falls trailhead. Did a 5 mile loop out to Martha’s Pretty Point. ‘‘Twas a great great day!

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

Not much of a hike, but it’s beautiful. It’s great for kids, dogs, people who aren’t able to handle big/difficult hikes.

hiking
10 days 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.

Super easy hike. You have an amazing waterfall that you are able to walk behind on one side and a huge cave 500 yards away on the other side. I highly recommend packing a lunch and eating at the waterfall. I was told the waterfall was used in the children's movie the Jungle Book.

Great short little hike with two trails and a couple of caves. The water fall was AMAZING!

hiking
28 days 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
29 days 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.

Started the "trail" by Welch's Overlook and hiked down toward the river. Beware: THIS IS NOT A LOOP! Nor is it a real trail... it's an abandoned gravel road in extremely bad shape. Deep ruts and loose gravel along the steepest sections make things challenging, not moderate. The trail effectively ends at the river because the rest is either totally overgrown or washed out...it was hard to tell which. (Met a local on our way back who said it hasn't been a loop in years.) Also, either Amber's Den is along the inaccessible part or it's gone. Never saw it. On the positive side, the calm water made for a great place to swim and cool off. Overall the lack of scenery meant it wasn't worth the energy.

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!

Short and sweet, beautiful in all seasons!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Unspoiled, rugged beauty. This trail is hard, but I guess it doesn’t help when it thunderstorms all the way back to the trailhead! GPS clocked 8.6 miles round trip to just go to Virgin Falls and back. Took me 5.5 hours but I was really slowed down by the torrential rain. Trails are well blazed and maintained with good signage. Passed several other hikers but it was still a very secluded and quiet hike. The streams and waterfalls are absolutely stunning. Be prepared with hiking boots and plenty of water or a way to filter water. Lots of exposed roots and rocks along the trails and some boulder scrambling. Be sure to stop at the station at the trailhead and speak to the ranger and get a map if you need one. He was a big help!

hiking
1 month ago

Favorite hike in Tennessee! My first time here we did a big day hike and covered 8.5 miles round trip. We stopped for lunch and took our time taking pictures of the mushrooms along the trail and 2 snakes that we saw, so in total our round trip was about 5 hours.

All of the waterfalls were raging like crazy, which I did not expect as many waterfall hikes in August are barely flowing. It wasn't so hot that I felt like jumping in but there were definitely nice areas that you could take a dip. The trail isn't too difficult but heading back to the trail head was mostly uphill which is where the "hard" rating comes in. It was really interesting to see the river and falls come out from underground cave areas. We hiked by the Sheep's Cave but didn't venture in.

We didn't see any campers but I think this would be a great place to backpack and explore the area more. The sites near the Virgin Falls seemed like the best.

I definitely recommend stopping by Welch's Point afterward -- the view is a great payoff that is only a short walk from the parking!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great place. Not to hard. Also presents a smaller waterfall/cave 2 miles in that would be a good turning around point for those worried about it being too hard.

When you get to too bigger waterfall make sure you take to spur trail to top. Real easy. It has an awesome cave where water comes from.

If you do go up there, the trail will continue to “lost creek”. This is a whole other site. I went 3.25 miles up this old atv trail before turning around. From the map, I was almost to lost Creek but ran out of time. It exhausted me. Had to run a lot of it to try to make it back to pick up kids from after school care.

It would be a cool hike to see both Virgin and Lost Creek. It would be a hard full day or two cars placed so you didn’t have to backtrack. Or overnight. There were some cool campsites by cave entrances and by creeks. Signs say the must be reserved. No one was there when I went Aug 27.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely a work out. Beautiful scenery along the way to the majestic finish line at Virgin Falls. Take your time to enjoy it.

camping
2 months ago

we backpacked to our campsite... it was amazing but definitely difficult with a heavy backpack! would love to do it again when the snakes are sleeping and without a huge backpack!

on Virgin Falls Trail

hiking
2 months ago

First hike for us. Grueling hike back but it was definitely worth it. We did this in eight hours including closing out the day at Welch’s Point. Will definitely go back to camp! We played in the falls at Laurel Creek and explored the cave behind it. Hiking down to bottom of Virgin Falls was breathtaking. Beautiful and powerful!!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike a few weeks back, for the first time. By the time we went back and explored a bit at all the main "sites" of the trail, it ended up being 11.3 miles. The hike itself was pretty but the falls, both at the bottom and the top are definitely a site to see. I highly recommend going being the falls, just be very careful.... there's a crazy drop down into some kind of underwater river system. Its just neat to see. will definitely be back. I don't have a ton of "difficult" hiking experience, but I'm a very active person & at times I struggled. It took us 6:14 to complete by the time we stopped for lunch and messed around at the various sites. If we were focused, we could have easily done it in under 5. We will definitely be back, loved this hike!

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.

I wouldn't really consider this a "hike" but it is a beautiful destination. We had the falls all to ourselves the day we went. It was 98 degrees that day and we were very comfortable at the base of the falls and the water was cold. It is hard to find the Natural area. I recommend it for kids. The day we went the water only came half way up my calf but I'm sure that changes. If you want to explore in the cave or even just walk over to it, you will need your hiking boots but I recommend water shoes for the base of the falls. Its very rocky. Don't skip this experience! Enjoy Loves!

hiking
2 months ago

I found it strenuous but once you hit the falls it is so worth it.
It took us 4 hour and 30 min round trip at an elevation of 906 ft

Once you hit the cross the path above the falls there is a cool spot perfect for a picnic

One of our favorites!

I enjoyed this trail and I agree with the previous Hikers. It’s probably more of a Moderat trail. Lots of roots and inclines and downhill sections. We did about 10 miles without the Overlook on a day hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!! We hiked all of Virgin Falls trail, including the Northern Overlook, Sheep Cave, Caney Fork, and Welch point on a weekend summer day. Our group ended up hiking about 11 miles including all of the little side trails. This is not an extremely difficult trail, but also not for beginners. It has steep, rocky, and rooty inclines and declines all of which is not terrible if you are fairly in shape. Our group found it to be a fun challenge. We also went at a time of low water flow. This may have made the falls slightly less dramatic if you are going to just see the falls in full force. I found it to be perfect for crossing the river at the cable crossing and for exploring the caves. We were able to go back into the caves as far as we wanted or felt comfortable without the proper gear. The falls were majestic! I highly recommend this trail and all the side trails. Bring a bathing suit and take a dip in one of the many blue holes. This trail does not disappoint.

on Virgin Falls Trail

2 months ago

Great trail in a beautiful area. Be sure to go to the top of the falls. Found a great little swimming hole on the way back.
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hiking
2 months ago

*whew* this was one difficult hike. We did the entire hike plus went to sheeps cave. If you plan on hiking the over look and sheeps cave, it is longer than 8.3 miles. My friend brought 3 liters of water, I packed 2 water bottles and we both ran out near the end. Started at 9:30am last Saturday and didn’t get back to the car until 4pm. Saw lots of ppl backpacking to camp out over night. Probably a smarter idea. We did stop a lot to enjoy views, it can definitely be done in one day but it is hard. If I could do it again I would swim in the streams before the first waterfall which looked like the best spot to swim throughout the entire trail. Good luck, happy hiking.

backpacking
3 months ago

Great trail and very well marked. Did an overnight at Virgin Falls campground to break up the distance. Highly recommend!

hiking
3 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done! I took my ReLeaf Outing Group there and it blew everyone’s expectations out of the water. There is so much to see and do including 4 different waterfalls, a big rushing creek you hike next to almost the entire time, cave exploration and beautiful camp spots not to mention a beautiful overlook so make sure to take the extra .5 mike hike to go see it! Next time I am definitely hiking in and camping to have more days there! When you finally get to the giant Virgin Falls it will blow your mind, definitely hike up to the top and explore the cave behind it.

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