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Big Laurel Falls in Tennessee

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Big Laurel Falls is a BEAUT of a waterfall in the Virgin Falls State Natural Area near Sparta, Tennessee. It's a nice hike that will give you a workout without an embarrassing amount of heavy breathing. (It's okay, we've all been there.) Difficulty: Moderate Length: Approx. 2 miles one way Why it's cool: There's a whole cave behind the waterfall The parking area and trailhead are both very well marked here. Stop by the shelter at the beginning of the trail where a volunteer should be where you can pick up a map and some useful info about the area. 

A photo can't do this waterfall justice. First of all, it's super tall. Behind the waterfall, there's a big cave. The waterfall is almost like a sparkly veil hiding the depths of the cave. I really wanted to ~wander~ into it, but alas, I did not. Another time!

There's a spur off of the main trail that leads to this beautiful overlook. You can see the Appalachian plateau stretch long beyond the horizon in a vast expanse of rolling beauty. In other words, do it. You won't regret it!

If you're looking for a chance to do one of the classic arms-stretched-out-conquering-the-wilderness poses for Instagram, this spot is perfect. Is it basic? Maybe. Will anyone judge you? I won't, but the trees up there might, they've seen a pose or two before.  Enjoy wandering the beautiful region that is Appalachia! Practice Leave No Trace wherever you roam. Take only pictures, and leave only footprints. Happy wandering, y'all!


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