TWRA welcomes visitors to one of the most spectacular overlooks in Tennessee. The gate is open this weekend. For many it will be the first opportunity to visit Welch’s Point. For over a decade the gate has been locked and access limited by a three-mile hike. Today, you can park within 400 feet of the overlook and walk down to Welch’s Point.
The fall leaves make this a special invitation. To get to Welch’s Point; about half-way between Sparta TN and Crossville, turn south off of US 70 onto Eastland Road. The closest GPS address will be 5747 Eastland Rd, Sparta, TN 38583 (Gulf Trading Post).
From the Gulf Trading Post, turn south onto Scott’s Gulf Road. Follow the gravel road and fork to the right immediately past the parking lot for Virgin Falls Wilderness Area. About four miles past the Virgin Falls parking lot you will get to a large gravel parking area with the remains of an old cabin and the hint of a view into the Caney Fork River Valley; then follow the foot trail (about 400′) to the overlook. You will be peering into Scott’s Gulf, the headwaters of the Caney Fork River. Across the gorge is
Van Buren County, look west and you can see the break in the mountains called “Big Bottom”, where the river exits the Cumberland Plateau into the Tennessee Valley. The kayaking in the upper Caney Fork is so good, I have met paddlers from both Europe and Asia carrying their kayaks out of that canyon; they came just to run that stretch of river. The river is also brimming with fish from small trout to four-foot musky. It’s a site to see; see it today.
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