A trip to Middle Tennessee is not complete without viewing the many amazing waterfalls. Fall Creek Falls may be the most famous waterfall considering it’s the longest in the state and home to the largest state park, but just as impressive are those found in the Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness.
Not too far from Fall Creek Falls, Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness can be found in Sparta, Tennessee. This outstanding natural phenomenon can be accessed on an eight mile trail leading hikers through the beauty and diversity of the Cumberland Plateau.
This natural area is created by the Big Laurel Creek and other smaller creeks. The water flows in and out of caves creating four cascading waterfalls. Perhaps one of the most interesting curiosities of these falls is that some of them are formed by water flowing out from a cave, tumbling down, and at the bottom flowing back into another cave; all with no stream or creek visible.
The trail is eight miles long but splits several times allowing hikers various routes to view the falls and explore the many caves along the way. Sheep Cave is at the end and is quite large. The trail does require the crossing of creeks but supplies cable guides to aid. Though by no means a difficult trail, it can become quite slippery depending on the season and last rain.
Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness should be on every hiker’s to-do list when visiting Middle Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau. Located near other famous and breathtaking waterfalls like Fall Creek Falls and Burgess Falls, this wonder offers an up close and personal view of the regions unique geography.
Virgin Falls is located southeast of Sparta and is accessible via Highway 70. Go to the community of DeRossett, 11 miles east of Sparta, turn onto Eastland Road and proceed six miles to Scott’s Gulf Road. There, you will see a sign for the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness. Turn right onto Scott’s Gulf Road and proceed two miles to the parking area and trailhead on the right side of the road.