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The trail was amazing today. We took everyone’s advise and went clockwise and glad we did. Thanks to all before us for that tip. Ranger Falls was beautiful and the scenic overlooks were amazing. Ended up taking us about 5 1/2 hours and right at 10 miles. We are totally sore and can hardly walk but had a great time and plan on doing again in the fall.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked trail in about 3 hours. Wasn't marked well at all. Loved hearing the chimes and monkeys, I think that was the highlights of the trail. Clocked 9.06 miles.

I did the trail this past weekend. Went in at Stone Door ( best heed everyone's advice and do likewise), and took the BCR back to the ranger's station. I made it a point to check out Ranger Falls, although it was running slow as expected. With the side trip to the falls, plus the extra couple of miles that the leg from the ranger's station adds, my pedometer showed just over 12.2 miles. I was going to wait til fall or winter when the views would be better. but a free Saturday was available so off I went. Not as tough a hike as the Fiery Gizzard, but tough enough to leave me plenty sore the next day. Believe all you read about the long climb out.....seemed like the uphill would *never* end! I'm 67, fairly fit, and hike regularly, but this trail will remind you for a couple of days of your experience. Will definitely go back!

This was an awesome hike! We entered via the Stone Door Trail and continued on the Big Creek Gulf Trail and spent the night at Alum Gap campsite#2. The water source at Alum Gap (creek crossing 100ft down the GreeterFalls Trail) was dry so we actually had to go downstream about 30yds, until we found a small pool of water. The BCG trail is a beautiful trail with huge boulders. The last part of the trail that goes back up to Alum Gap is long and steep but worth every step.

Nice trail with some challenging uphill areas. The Stone Door was really cool and there were some great views from the Big Creek Rim. We started with the Stone Door, then Big Creek Gulf, and finished with Big Creek Rim. Unfortunately there was no water in the riverbed so we decided not to take on the extra mile to Ranger Falls...wasn't sure if it would be flowing. We were a group of 5 plus a pup -- the pup handled the rocky areas really well but it may a bit difficult for less experienced hiking dogs! With a few breaks it took us about 5 hours to complete the whole loop.

It would be a 5 star if I could find a better trail to the large Waterfall. Very beautiful and rewarding. Great views and after hiking there for several years I found a small cave to hike through. Bring a very long rope if you want to see the big fall.

Tough Trail but we really enjoyed it. It rained 2 days before we started so there were 2, shin high, water crossings before getting to Barkshed campsite the first night. You can filter water from those locations and also at Barkshed. Ticks we're in abundance! We lost count how many were on our bodies and inside our tent.

hiking
1 month ago

Love that this trail is close to home. Started today but to hot to finish. Easy trail. Lots of beautiful woods and a wonderful view of the lake for part of it. The part I went on was clean and clearly marked.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Started the trail at 9:00 finish at 11:00. The first section is very confusing. Got turned around several times. The trail is marked, however not very well. I’m not sure how many miles I lost in the first section, definitely rode the same section multiple times before realizing I was going in a circle. The AllTrails app shows 6.5 miles. Definitely longer than that. The last mile marker I saw was 7.5, I road for at least another 30 minutes before returning to the starting point. I also took a short cut following the road back. The trail continued through the woods so not sure exactly how long the trail is.

On my opinion, the Big Creek Rim trail hiked in conjunction with the Stone Door trail is the best hike in the South Cumberland Park. The views are the best, it’s a great mix of challenging and easy, there are descents and climbs, great overlooks a a outcroppings for lunch or rest. In rainy conditions, you might have to Ford a few creeks.

I’ve only done the Gunner Pool to Blanchard Springs section of this trail (and back in the same day) and it was something I’ll never forget! It was simply gorgeous and so varied, yet mild enough that we completed this trek in a day with one adult and 4 children (ages 10, 8, 6, 4). By the end we were all exhausted, in the best way possible, and had all taken turns carrying the 4 year old. Both campgrounds have toilets, but only Blanchard has showers and such. I can’t wait to take another bite out of this trail!

This is a great trail that is well marked and challenging at times. Lots of large rocky areas and great overlooks. Ranger Falls is a nice add on at the cost of an extra mile round trip.

Whoever left the orange markers is a blessing. You da real mvp.

Beautiful hike but be prepared or just stay on the rim.

The overlooks are really beautiful. Only found one falls with a large pool underneath. The trail was pretty much nonexistent at some point and we didn’t see any ribbons or markers. It was still a fun hike with great views.

hiking
3 months ago

Started at 8am and finished around 11. I clocked in right at 6 miles. It winds through thick woods with plenty of shade. The first 2 miles are very confusing. I constantly referred to the AllTrails map (Be sure to download it. No signal out there). The trail is very poorly marked, with a ton of forks. I pretty much stuck to the red mountain bike markers for the most part. I think there are a lot of bike loops that add to the trail, but if you pay attention to your map, you can bypass them.

There’s a great spot overlooking pond to throw up that Eno for a break. It’s part of a Chimpanzee refuge, so you can hear the chimps going nuts in the distance.

It’s mainly a mountain biking trail, so be sure to look out for those guys. Overall it’s a great trail considering that there aren’t many in this area.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail would be 5 stars if it was clearly marked. Multiple unlabeled forks in the trails and the cell signal is really bad out there. I realized I was lost about 2 miles in, and switched to follow the horseback trail (since THAT is clearly marked) in hopes of finding my way back to the car. It worked, and I ended up with a nice 5 mile hike still. The two cycling/hike trails cross over each other and the horseback trail multiple times, and they aren’t marked in a way that you can tell you are going the right direction for a loop.

The whole 23 miles is wonderful, absolutely one of the best Arkansas trails, and also one of the finest trails in the southeastern U.S. Six trailheads make it perfect for day trips or camping in Forest Service campgrounds, and backpack camping is allowed.

I took 2 kids (7 year olds) and a puppy. Trail is family and dog friendly. Love this trail. The overlooks on the way to the first waterfall are beautiful. The first waterfall is so simple to get to and is a great little swim spot. The second waterfall is a easy trail but you have to pay very close attention and follow the orange ribbons. Both waterfalls are pretty great when they are flowing.

Beautiful trail! Would highly recommend. My dog and I did the ~9 mile loop and we both really enjoyed it. I agree with the previous reviewer that you should walk through the stone door area FIRST otherwise you're in for an excruciating last mile or so. Be careful this time of year about ticks! My dog (who doesn't stick to the trail completely) had 3 or 4 on him after he was bathed that I had to pull off. He has a flea and tick collar too, so I can only imagine how bad it might have been without it. It took us about 4.5 hrs to complete: we kept a pretty good pace while walking but stopped momentarily in a few places to enjoy the view.

I have been there twice and love it.

Great day hike if you are looking for something more challenging than a leisurely stroll. Allow enough time to complete your hike as necessary, the spur trail to Ranger Falls is a MUST. STRONGLY RECOMMEND starting with Gulf trail from Stone Door and finishing with Rim trail to allow time for recovery. Otherwise you will be making a steep ascent over rocks and some boulders to end your hike.

Moderate to difficult trail. I hiked this in a race day, so Big Creek Gulf was very well-marked, but I’m not sure it always is. Nice variation of terrain. I did it clockwise, so went down Stone Door first, then Big Creek Gulf (which was fun and loud from all the rain), then took the Big Creek Rim back, which was easy and flat after all the work in the first few miles. Highly recommend.

The two waterfalls are gorgeous following rains. The Redbud trees were blooming and that made the scenery spectacular , too.
The map does not show the route to the second waterfall. It is a bushwack to it, but someone has tied pink and orange ribbons along the way. We went in circles a bit, but I marked waypoints on my recording on 3/31/18 if you want to look at that map.

Backpacked down Stone Door, along Big Creek Gulf trail and back up to Alum Gap campsite. Lots of rock hopping so the proper footwear is essential. Ranger Falls was gushing due to all the recent rain. You have to walk a bit to find firewood as it is picked clean around the Alum Gap campsite. Nice overlooks on the hike out along Big Creek Rim trail. Strenuous hike but worth it.

Went through Stone Door into the gorge. Very rocky, but once down there, wildflowers were everywhere! Beautiful The bolder filled creek was dry, but hiked to a Ranger falls anyway. It was running great, with a small rainbow at bottom. It goes underground, that’s why you see no water in creek bed. Going on along BCG Trail, I came upon another smaller waterfall. It also runs back underground, as does Big Creek, which you will see for the remainder of the hike out of gorge. Very rocky climb out to the rim. Rim trail has a few nice overlooks. I would rate this moderate, with steep climb at end. Don’t wear flip-flops!!

Beautiful views, considerable elevation gains and descent. Tricky footing in some places over rocky trails especially when climbing or decending on the gulf. Take the extra .8 miles to see Ranger falls!

Not the easiest to get to, but that means less people, and in my book, less is more. You're first decision is clockwise or counterclockwise. Clockwise will take you UP the road then onto the trail. The benefit being you finish on the trail. Counterclockwise you will finish on the road going down. The benefit being an easy walk downhill to finish. There is a trail to the Thunder Canyon Falls that you will miss if you are not looking. If you've read that it's slippery, it was an understatement, expect to slip and maybe you won't. Don't neglect the fire pit at the northern most portion of the trail. It's a great place to have lunch or play in the water. There is nothing spectacular about this trail but it is a solid 4 star. The distance is obviously longer if you trek back to the falls and it will take you longer than you think to get there.

We hiked from Barkshed to Gunner Pool and back. It was beautiful. Both recreation areas are a great place to bbq and relax after a rigorous hike

It was challenging for me as I haven’t done that distance in years. The views were fantastic- great time of year (early March) for some bonus waterfalls. Great sense of accomplishment after completing the loop!

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