Lost Creek Falls
A remote 0.2 mile trail leading to a 40′ waterfall and cave.
Coordinates: 35.84109, -85.36103
Address: White’s Cave Rd, Sparta, TN
Details: Open year round. The area closes at sundown, and reopens at sunrise. No hunting, fishing or camping. Parking, + dog friendly.
This is an easy trail with a big reward. Just a short 0.2 walk and you are at the bottom. The trail is not paved, but it is maintained, cleared and has large wooden steps.
Situated on the western flank of the Cumberland Plateau, Lost Creek Falls emerges from a large spring, dropping over a 40’ ledge. On the opposite side of this large fall is a dome-like entrance to Lost Creek Cave.
This is much like a well-preserved bowl full of lush ferns and moss. Cold air is trapped at the site – making it almost chilly even in late summer. It was a drastic difference in the air at the top and at the waterfall.
If this place looks familiar, you may be thinking of ‘Jungle Book’. Turns out, the charm of this place attracted Walt Disney Co in 1994 to film a few scenes from the “Jungle Book” – utilizing both the waterfall and cave entrance.
Lost Creek Cave
With 5 different entrances, Lost Creek Cave is one of the larger caves in Tennessee with seven miles of mapped passages. It is home to rare species so the cave is closed during the hibernation and swarming time of the bats. Access is allowed during other times, but a no-cost permit must be obtained from the Nature Center at Fall Creek Falls.
This area is actually connected to the larger 57,000-acre land base informally called the “Mid-Cumberland Recreation Area”. This larger area is managed by TWRA, the TN Division of Forestry, and State Parks. It would be possible to hike from this area over to Virgin Falls, or on down to Fall Creek Falls State Park, and never leave public land. However, at this point, there are no trails connecting these areas.