The Caney Fork River's sources are in the northern Cumberland Plateau. On its way to the Tennesee River, it cuts a dramatic gorge known as "Scotts Gulf" near Sparta, TN. The Bridgestone-Firestone Centennial Wilderness protects Scotts Gulf, and an additional tract of land is Virgin Falls State Natural Area. Virgin Falls State Natural Area protects a number of features, with the key feature known as Virgin Falls. The 110-foot high cataract is very rare - it flows out of a cave and disappears int a pit in the ground that leads into an underground cave system. Additionally, Virgin Falls State Natural Area encompasses two more, smaller waterfalls, and a great overlook of Scott's Gulf itself. This hike occurred on Saturday, August 9, 2014. My plan was to do a loop hike with the Virgin Falls Trail, Caney Fork River Trail, and a Connector leading back up to Scott's Gulf Road. Also, on the way, I would check out Sheep Cave, Big Laurel Falls, Big Branch Falls, and Martha's Pretty Point Overlook. However, the plan had to be abandoned as the Caney Fork River Trail's condition deteriorated rapidly. The result was an out and back hike on Virgin Falls Trail and an extension along the Caney Fork River Trail.
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