Distance: 8 miles roundtrip
Maps: (trailhead) maps and Google directions
This rugged hike has creek crossings, vistas from the rim, caves, disappearing creeks, and several watefalls -- Big Laurel Falls, Big Branch Falls, and Sheep Cave Falls. The creek feeding Virgin Falls comes out of a cave, travels about 60' before plunging 110' and disappearing again. Also see TN state natural area info and map (pdf).
Originally, there were two sets of steps to take you up and back down the overlook off the main-trail. As of 2008, there is just one set of steps.
GPS track map, photos, and elevation profile of Virgin Falls hike -- 1100' cumulative climb (plus 150' if you climb up to the bluff overlook). Topo! GPS track