Virgin Falls SNA
Site Directions: We recommend heading east out of Sparta on Hwy 70. Travel approximately 11 miles and 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 to the parking area and trailhead at the end of the road. A short hike down to the Caney Fork river from this stop reveals substantial caves (Big Spring Cave on the north/west side of the river; Rose Cave on the opposite bank). From the same parking lot, you are also able to access the trail to Virgin Falls.
Lat: 35.84146°N Long: -85.32133°W
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: One of the most spectacular assets of the region is Virgin Falls, which is formed by an underground stream that emerges from a cave, then drops over a 110-foot high cliff before disappearing into another cave at the bottom of the sink. The area is noted for its unique geological features and several (additional) other waterfalls including Big Laurel, Sheep Cave Falls, and Big Branch Falls.
The Caney Fork River Gorge, located within the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness is another incredible feature of this area and it has been called the "Grand Canyon of the Cumberlands."
The trail to Virgin Falls is difficult. Caution should be used when hiking this trail, which may take 5-8 hours.
Wildlife to Watch: Forest songbirds can be found nesting in summer include Black-throated Green Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Ovenbird, and Wood Thrush.
NOTE: Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.
For more information:
Virgin Falls SNA web page
Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail
Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site
Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.