Baxter, TN

Day Hike Challenge!

KAT Adventures

It's hiking season, are you up for a challenge?! If you are seeking a long hike, with some challenging terrain, I've got three spectacular suggestions for you! Be sure to look these places up ahead of time, prepare for the long haul, and get ready for some all-day adventure!

1. Window Cliffs State Natural Area (Baxter, TN) - This is a great hike but it is challenging, especially the final hill coming back to the parking lot. This is a day-use area only and you can plan on your hike taking 3+ hours to complete. This out-and-back hike has 9 creek crossings so be prepared to get wet a grand total of 18 times! The 5.5-mile (out and back) hike has waterfalls, fantastic views, and a difficult/strenuous hike for those really looking for a challenge. Do note that pets are not allowed within the natural area so your fluffy companion will have to sit this one out.

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Window Cliffs State Natural AreaTara Hunt

2. Virgin Falls (White County, TN) - Virgin Falls is an incredible waterfall but isn't the only one on this trail. Considered a strenuous trail, this hike will be a total of around 9 miles (out and back). If you are wanting a hiking challenge, you've found it by going out to Virgin Falls. According to TN.Gov this trail descends around 900 feet in elevation along a very rocky and uneven trail. This trail can take anywhere from 5-9 hours so if you're doing this in one day, start out early and fully prepare for your trip. There are campsites available to reserve on the trail if you are wanting to spend more than one day exploring the trail. Knowing your limitations and what to wear/bring are essential for this hike. This is a well-traveled trail and you will pass many other people and their furry friends along the way.

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Virgin Falls - (White County)Tara Hunt

3. Horsepound Falls - (Collins Gulf Trail -Savage Gulf State Park) While this is only a 4.5 mile out and back trail to Horsepound Falls it is rather challenging. It has some very rocky sections, steep areas and unstable footing. However, along the way to Horsepound Falls you will also pass Suter Falls, and a really neat walking bridge plus lots of beautiful sights. As with the other long day hikes, be sure to prepare, have a map, and also have the correct clothing/footwear on. While this was the shortest of the long hikes listed above, it was the most challenging for me personally. However, we did do this trail after an ice storm so we had an extra layer of difficulty when it came to walking across the rocks. Overall, this is an impressive and challenging hike. Pack a lunch, hit the trail, and explore this beautiful and quiet area!

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Horsepound FallsTara Hunt

If you read the descriptions above and said, Challenge Accepted!!!, be sure to prepare, know what to expect and know what to pack. Help keep our state parks and natural areas clean by remembering to Leave No Trace!

For more ideas on places to visit in Middle Tennessee check out my blog Burgess Falls and Beyond

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My fiancé and I own an adventure company giving Guided Kayak trips to the local waterfall. We are well versed in our area here in middle Tennessee and enjoy sharing the beauty of the area with everyone!

Sparta, TN
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