addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1linklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo
This Meetup is cancelled

Virgin Falls - Challenging 9+ Mile Hike - By Request

  • This location is shown only to members

  • Carpool #1 @ 7:30am (CT): Kroger, 5544 Old Hickory Blvd, Hermitage, TN 37076 (I-40, Exit 221).

    Carpool #2 @ 8:00am (CT): Home Depot, 955 S Hartman Drive, Lebanon, TN 37087 (I-40, Exit 236).

    Hike Distance: 9 to 10 miles

    Drive Time: Approx. 1 hr. 45 min. from second carpool

    Hike Time: Approx. 5 to 6 hours

    Rating: Challenging - must be in good hiking condition!

    This is a beautiful hike, routinely ranked as one the best hikes in all of Tennessee.  Highlights include 3 waterfalls, huge boulders, stream crossings, and several caves (for those interested, we may "pop-in" for a look-see on the upper VF cave).  At the halfway point, weather permitting, we may hike down to the Caney Fork River, near one of the campsites; hikers here will have the option to swim for a little while to cool off before making the return journey.  Or, you can choose to jump in the cold, clear creek on the way out---if the water is flowing well, there are several nice spots to cool off. (Bathing suits optional---Note: there is no official place to change clothes)

    • There will be an optional dinner in Cookeville.
    • Appropriate reimbursement for your carpool driver is $10. We will try to distribute passengers so drivers are all fairly compensated. Remember, fuel is only a portion of the cost of operating a vehicle.
    • Pack adequate food and water.
    • Children permitted only if experienced hikers, and capable of a 10 mile strenuous hike.

     

     

    From the state website for Virgin Falls...

    Virgin Falls is 1,133-acre natural area located adjacent to the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness in White County. The natural area is named for 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 caves at Virgin Falls include Big Laurel, Sheep Cave, and Virgin Falls Cave. The sinkholes at Virgin Falls, such as Virgin Falls Sink and Sheep Cave Sink, are characteristic of karst features found on the Cumberland Plateau. The Caney Fork River and its tributaries drain the area and contribute to the formation of the gorge. The Caney Fork Overlook provides a dramatic view of Scott's Gulf and the Caney Fork River 900 ft below.

    The trail leaving the parking area meanders down to the Big Branch of the Big Laurel Creek through an upland oak-hickory/chestnut oak hardwood forest crisscrossing a fern dominated upland drainage. Upon descending into the gorge the vegetation changes to hemlock and mixed mesophytic forest which includes maples, oaks, tulip poplar, hickories, buckeye, basswood, cherry, yellow birch, sycamore and many more species. Mountain laurel, magnolia and several ericaceous shrubs (such as various wild blueberries) are common along the trail. The trails pass by small rockhouses, boulder fields, sinks, caves, and waterfalls on route to Virgin Falls where the trail ends. The distance to Virgin Falls is four miles one way. There are designated camping sites off the trail.  There is no camping allowed above Virgin Falls. The streams at Virgin Falls are noted for flash flooding, so keep up-to-date on the weather conditions before hiking into the area.

     

    Driving Directions: I-40 East to exit 288 in Cookeville, head south on Hwy 111 to Sparta and then exit Highway 70 and turn left to go through Sparta. Go to the community of DeRossett, 11 miles east of Sparta, turn right onto Eastland Road (Mourberry Road; there should be Bondecraft Day Care building on your right)) and proceed six miles to Scott's Gulf Road (you'll see a sign for "Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness"). Turn right onto Scott's Gulf Road and proceed two miles on the gravel road to the parking area and trailhead on the right side of the road.

     

Join or login to comment.

  • jim d.

    Ouch, I cannot make it this coming saturday. Wish I could.

    March 25, 2013

  • Naomi S.

    Total bummer. But I'd rather be dry tomorrow.

    1 · March 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me, too... :-(

      March 23, 2013

  • Jane

    Well, I'm very disappointed but looking forward to next Saturday : )

    March 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      GOOD! Hope to see you there!

      March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The weather forecast isn't looking good. If there's anything I dislike more than cancelling a hike, it's driving 2 - 3 hours only to be rained out. :-(
    So, I am going to reschedule this for the following Saturday, March 30.

    1 · March 22, 2013

    • Bob A.

      good call. The rain is more certain now that the day has arrived.

      March 23, 2013

    • Laura L.

      Ok, my dad is coming into town that day & we have plans so I will not be able to join you next week , but I will soon!

      March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What time do you expect to be at the trail head?

    March 22, 2013

  • James Q

    Going to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival instead. At least I can duck around the rain there.

    March 21, 2013

  • Tracey W.

    While weather.com is predicting a 60 percent probability, NOAA is showing 30 percent all day, with a much higher probability Saturday night. I put my faith in NOAA, since weather.com has let me down many times.
    I'll continue to monitor and make a decision by 10 tonight.
    Consider this: The more rain, the more water over the falls...
    FRANK

    March 22, 2013

    • Bob A.

      Agreed, NOAA is my preferred weather source. Of course, weather forecasting is nearly impossible for situations like this. They can have it right, but be off by hours.

      March 22, 2013

  • Jane

    Will this hike take place due to the impending rain?

    March 21, 2013

    • Tracey W.

      Jane, please read my comment (above).

      March 21, 2013

    • Bob A.

      Actually, the comment is below. The weather is still marginal, with a good chance that we will have a shot at a dry hike. Though expect a lot of places to be slick from recent rains. The forecast will be clearer Friday night, but we may not be able to decide until Sat morning.

      March 22, 2013

  • Tracey W.

    Forecasting the weather, more than a day in advance, is not worth doing...now the rain chance, for the hike area, is 20%. Anything 30%, or lower, unless lightening is probable, is usually a go. at this time, I am planning on going. I'll keep a close watch on any changes in the forecast.
    Frank

    March 21, 2013

  • Susan N.

    There's rain in the forecast- 60% chance on Saturday. There's a 50% chance on Sunday. If it looks to be steady rain, I will probably cancel and wait for a prettier day.

    1 · March 21, 2013

  • becky

    Must cancel.. Have fun!

    March 20, 2013

  • Brian

    Maybe next time

    March 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Won't be able to do anything strenous for 5-7 days...darn.

    March 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      :-(

      March 20, 2013

  • jim d.

    Are dogs allowed?

    March 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Jim, Well-behaved dogs, on leashes, are welcome.

      March 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will meet you there

    March 17, 2013

  • becky

    If anybody is interested in riding up for half/ hike? I am planning to drive from west nashville. I have room for two more.
    Bringing one guest...

    March 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any thoughts on dogs? Abby is off leash on trails (I would obviously be responsible for any penalties if leash laws are present), wonderfully behaved and sweet. She has been on a handful of group hiked without complaint.

    March 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Allison, I cannot authorize breaking the rules...

      March 7, 2013

  • bill h.

    Gotta work--arrghhh

    March 4, 2013

  • Laurel

    lebanon

    March 3, 2013

Cancelled

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy