Welch’s Point

0.3 hike ending with a scenic lookout point over the Caney Fork River

Sparta, Tennessee | near Virgin Falls

Address: Welch’s Point Road, Sparta, Tennessee

*Take Scott Gulf Road south, turn on Welch’s Point Road just past the Virgin Falls Trailhead. This is a gravel road with a sign at the front. Once you reach the very end of the long gravel road, it is a short walk down to Welch’s Point. You will first come across Virgin Falls parking area. That is a strenuous 8.7  hike. It’s best to give yourself a few hours to explore both.

Waypoints

Trailhead: 35.83721 / – 85.30168

Welch’s Point: 35.83763 / – 85.30392

Have you ever been to Sparta, Tennessee? This is quite the place and paints a good picture of what the Upper Cumberland region really looks and feels like. If you want to get out of town – way out of town – and see these Tennessee hills from a good spot, Welch’s Point is the next place you need to go.

If you’re afraid of heights, this may be a little overwhelming for you. You really feel like a hawk on a huge boulder overlooking miles of hills. It’s absolutely stunning!

Getting There

This place is located within Virgin Falls State Natural Area so if you’re looking to spend the entire day outdoors and you’re up for a good bit of hiking (with some amazing views), this is the place.

You can use Welch’s Point Rd, Sparta, Tennessee for your GPS. It’s a bit strange when you turn down the road that Virgin Falls and Welch’s Point is on. It’s a very long gravel drive way and feels a lot like private property. You will see state signage though so don’t worry! It’s easy to navigate once you’re on this gravel road.

You will first come across the Virgin Falls parking area. Park here if you’re up for a 8.7 hike to see the waterfall. Almost immediately after this area, you will turn right onto another gravel road that ends at Welch’s Point. It’s a 2 mile drive and ends in the parking lot so just keep driving. Once parked, it’s a short 0.3 easy walk to Welch’s Point.

Coming to the lookout point, you can tell you’re on a huge ridge. Just through the trees, you can see massive rolling hills in the distance. Through a few trees, you will see it – the clearing leading to the point!

If you’re brave enough, take the trail to the right to get onto the large rock.

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This view is nothing short of spectacular. It looks like the land of giants. So vast that it’s hard to comprehend what you’re looking at. Like a postcard. There’s no individual leaves to see – just endless clusters of lush green.

There is also a small ledge you can sit on.

The horizon fades to that Tennessee blue haze. The ridgeline becomes lost in what looks to be the sky. You can see outlying farms on far hillsides and just below is the Caney Fork River, winding gently around the bend onward to some other place.

Who is to know where exactly those farms are or where the river runs to. This is just a glimpse into the rural wild.

Standing in the river and standing several feet above it, gives you just the right amount of insight. Tennessee is known for rolling hills and lush valleys, but you can’t see it when you’re in the thick of state parks or forests.

At this very point, it’s very clear: the lay of this region is magnificent. Meant to be taken in atop remote hidden lookout points among the trees just like this. If you want to know what a hawk or eagle sees, go here.

To be continued! We will be sharing Virgin Falls soon!

Sunset Rock Overlook is also near this point. Stop by this place too!

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