Virgin Falls Trail

MODERATE
#1 of 3 trails in Virgin Falls State Natural Area
true
Virgin Falls Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sparta, TN that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.3 miles 1240 feet Out & Back
dog friendly kid friendly birding camping hiking nature trips trail running walking cave river views waterfall wild flowers muddy rocky
Hide Map

Vanessa&Doug Miller
1 hour ago

9 Completed4 Reviews

Great physical trail with great landscape and water views. Dog friendly. Serene. As described by my 12 year old " a fun trail but a little slippery when wet."

Rachel Gardner
4 days ago

5 Completed1 Reviews

lovely hike, but tough

Somejerknamed Shawn
21 days ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Dave Keiser
27 days ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Amber Samousseva
29 days ago

5 Completed0 Reviews

This was a sublime hike...everything I had hoped for and more. I completed this trail as my longest hike to date, and I'm proud of the accomplishment. I had knee surgery the first of the year and was making this hike my goal to complete healing. The terrain was challenging at times, especially coming back, simply because the majority of it is all up hill. A section around the Big Laurel Falls stretch was the most strenuous with big steps to climb up.

We got to the trailhead at 7:30 that morning, moved at a comfortable pace, stopped and took pictures, had a nice respite at the end of the trail by Virgin Falls with lunch and coffee, soaked our feet in the Big Laurel falls to cool off, and still managed to get back to the parking area by 4 PM. I wasn't shooting to break any records other than do the hike and live to tell about it! :-D

The cable crossing creek was mildly swollen after so many big rains, so I opted to switch from my hiking shoes to my water shoes to insure I wouldn't get soaked at the first of the hike, but it wasn't completely necessary. But I'm glad I opted to get my feet wet...it was nice and refreshing!

Sheeps Cave had a notice at the trailhead that it was closed, but we still scrambled our way up to the mouth of the cave. We didn't wander back too far simply because there was too much water rushing out of the cave and didn't want to go swimming.

Virgin Falls was roaring with power and mirth. The double rainbow haloing the base was an incredible thing to drink in. I love this place, and am so thankful for the beauty of the creation I was surrounded by! I am in no way an experienced hiker, but I went into trek with a bit of planning and preparation. I'm so glad I did. I hiked in with 2 liters of water, and still ended up filtering water for the hike out. I wore my sturdy Salomon trail running shoes, and wouldn't recommend less than that. There are a lot of roots and rocks along the trail. Found a cool geocache back there around Big Laurel Falls.

I never made to the overlook. I simply ran out of steam on the hike back out. But when I return, I will do it at the beginning of the hike. We charted our whole hike, and according to our GPS, we did 12 miles round trip.

chris dobbs
1 month ago

11 Completed3 Reviews

a bit strenuous for a beginner overnighter, mostly all down hill going in. is it worth seeing? yes. is it worth the sore feet ,calves, and legs? every bit of it.

ginger lange
1 month ago

14 Completed0 Reviews

After lots of rain over the last 48 hours, the falls were all pretty intense--Virgin Falls was running so hard the water was muddy and it threw up mist that carried way up the hill beyond it. The rest of the falls were running clear water. The cable crossing was deep enough to wet the bottom of my pants, but walking on rocks submerged a few inches below the surface kept the inside of my boots dry. Lots of spring wildflowers. I agree with what others have said--the trail is too rugged to safely walk in anything other than hiking boots. Many people do it, but I felt much more stable and protected in boots. I loved watching water come from nowhere (underground), create big waterfalls, then return underground again. You can look through rocks and tree roots into a deep hole at the top of Virgin Falls and see water below ground boiling madly. Pretty cool! Sheep Cave Falls and several other areas came and went in the same way... There was a bit of trash on the trails--so disappointing that people throw plastic water bottles and cigarettes down... I'd have picked it all up, but wasn't carrying anything to carry it out in. The trails were well marked--I did the loop without a map and only made one wrong turn when I wasn't paying attention. Great long day hike or overnight.

Jessica Nash
1 month ago

23 Completed17 Reviews

This is a great trail for beginner backpackers. It has some parts that will have you breathing heavy especially with a pack but its short so leaves lots of recovery/relaxation time. There is a lot to see so it is very interesting and extremely well marked.

Michael Watson
1 month ago

17 Completed0 Reviews

It's 4.5 miles each way, so ~9 total plus a few worthwhile detours. Fantastic waterfalls. Definitely some cardio sections.

Mellissa Blockel
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful hike! The big Virgin Falls at the end of the trail is SPECTACULAR! A must see! Check out the river next to the camp grounds. The water is crystal clear and turquoise.

Travis Vignon
1 month ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

Fantastic trail. Difficult in parts for a novice and out of shape hiker like me, but very doable. Beautiful views, and excellent camping sites.

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Nathan Randolph
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

We hiked in on Saturday March 12, 2016, camped at Virgin Falls and came back out on Sunday, the trail was great going in, well marked and easy to follow, we did do the side trail to the overlook, we took our time and enjoyed all the scenery the area is beautiful! Coming out definitely took us longer as we are novice backpackers and it rained quite a bite overnight, the trail does get slightly muddy in spots, but wasn't to difficult to manage. We throughly enjoyed our time spent on this trail and say this is a must do trail if in the area or looking for a challenge with several neat waterfalls and features!

Barbara Swaim
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

First hike of the year. Was very a great start to the year.

Olivia Reed
1 month ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

Jennifer Hill
2 months ago

8 Completed0 Reviews

Gorgeous hike! It's definitely not an easy hike back but the views are very well worth it!

Jason Smith
2 months ago

7 Completed3 Reviews

Hiked this trail today, alltrails gives it an easy rating. I hike a lot an would give it a moderate to difficult hike. Going in is easy but the hike back is mostly uphill. Just make sure you have food, water, and proper shoes and you should be fine. It took us right at 5 hours to complete it. It's right at 10 miles round trip if you go all the way to virgin falls. There is a total of four waterfalls on this trail, With virgin being the last. There are a couple caves to explore also. You pass several camping areas with nice fire pits already made. I will definitely be going back. This is my new favorite hike in Tennessee.

Toby Bates
2 months ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

We had a great time hiking here today the water was so clear and there's so much to see.

Ashley Patterson
2 months ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

Hands down best trail we've been on!

Maren Bader
2 months ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

This is a gorgeous hike. The waterfalls, rock formations, water holes. All of it is beautiful. We set up camp at Big Laurel Falls, so we were able to drop our backpacks off and finish the hike to the falls with a lighter load. The campsite was great. Looked right out onto a smaller waterfall with a cave. Very cool. But the hike back from the falls is definitely a little more of a workout. But totally worth it.