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Great weather for a hike! We missed most of the fall color, but was still very lovely. The damn bridge is beautiful.

Had a great time on this trail. About 2 miles around the lake on the bluff trail. Some inclines but all in all a pretty easy walk.

hiking
16 days ago

Lovely views and well-marked trails. Hiked here with Outdoor Adventures for Women and really loved it.

Very pretty easy fall hike. Varied views.

Nice, easy hike

Nice hike but pay attention to trail after damn. Not clearly marked

Very nice quick and peaceful hike! Was about a mile. Reflection of trees in water was awesome.

4 mile loop around the lake. Nice hike. Restrooms at beginning of trail near cabins.

Fun, easy and short. Very pretty hike and good for beginners.

Great hike

Rewarding views around every turn! I started on the southern loop on day 2 but it was an exhausting series of switchbacks so I went back and explored the northern section again. Has everything! Towering bluffs, gurgling creek, plenty of camping spots, 200’ cliff/waterfall (if running). Even a creepy old cabin. Lots of hikers and horses on the northern section but it didn’t feel crowded. Peaceful, serene. I’d go every weekend if I could. Trail was poorly marked in several crucial areas. Expect to cross the river several times.

Beautiful hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail. Trees and lake view. The damn is neat. Got lost past the damn. Very pretty.

backpacking
1 month ago

This was my first backpacking trip and so I might be slightly biased on the rating of 4 stars. It was a great first experience! Though, there were plenty of struggles along the way. My husband, who has been backpacking a few times before, said it was kind of a dud compared to other trips he's been on.

Pros:
*This trail isn't over traveled, especially on the week days. If you're looking to get away and be mostly alone, you won't meet too many people out there.
*There are some sites that were created for backpackers looking to stay in the back country, but you can just as easily create your own campsite and then leave no trace that you were there. One of the spaces that is created for back country camping is said to have Adirondack chairs built out of stone right along a creek that you can swim in. When you get about 2 miles in and reach the first sign on the trail, do not take the trail that goes up the hill, rather take the trail that verges away from the main trail. Not all of our group got to see this site. We camped about half a mile from there, because we didn't know about it. This would have been much preferred, if we had known about it!
*When you do get a chance to see a view of the mountains - it is gorgeous! There's a stretch where you can see the view through the trees right before you come back down the hill to the trail head.
*Wildlife - we didn't see any bears or any signs of bears. We did see a few white tail deer. We did not see any critters - raccoons, opossums, rabbits or squirrels. But there were plenty of bugs: mosquitoes, worms, millipedes, dung beetles, rhino beetles, lots of spiders (big and small), and hoverflies (flies that looks like bees). Spiderwebs on the trails were not very problematic either.

Cons:
*The dirt road to get to this trail is a little difficult in a car - it's a long dirt road, that winds up and down some pretty steep, rocky hills - but it is doable. Most people we saw back there had trucks or SUVs. You know you are starting to get close to the trail head when you have to drive across an area that flows with water. We did this in our car and we were completely fine! However, I would recommend being very careful if you're in a car and it is spring, when the waters may be much higher! There are some people who live back along the road so it appears to be pretty well-maintained. It's a beautiful drive, but definitely be careful driving over the rocks.
*Hiking this trail in the fall meant that water was fairly scarce if you didn't know where to go - as first timers, we didn't really know. Reaching a water source was very important for us and on a couple of different occasions, became a source of some concern. The places on the map where it said you should be crossing water and seeing water, did not have any water the majority of the time. These places were instead extremely rocky and sometimes very slick.
*Around the 3rd mile in, after seeing the sign that can take you to the creek, the main trail starts to climb. It is an uphill trek for what feels like an eternity and for what is really around about a mile. In terms of difficulty, when people say that this trail is moderate, I think the ratings are a bit skewed. The water crossings we did have were not bad! While crossing some of the slick, rocky areas was difficult, it was the uphill climb that made this trail difficult. Anyone seeking to do this trail, needs to know in advance that it is seriously a big heaping helping of SUCK. It's the part of the trail that makes you start to think about why you're doing what you're doing and whether or not it was a good decision to get out there and do it. That's the hill that tests your faith, endurance, and strength. BUT - if I could do it with a 35 pound pack on my back, ANYONE can do it!
*Poison Ivy was prevalent along the trail, as well as, some plants with thorns that overhang the trail.
*One of the main reasons we picked this trail is because we thought we would get to swim in a creek and see the old homesteads and cemetery. We saw some of these sites, but they really didn't end up being all that we had hoped for. It turned out that having a pack on, hiking and toughing it out with friends, setting up and tearing down camp, and just being out in nature was worth way more than the sites we had hoped to see.
*We weren't ready for the trip to end so soon. When we reached the second sign, we got a bit confused about where we were. We walked down the old horse road and ended up back at the car by surprise. We finished a day ahead of schedule. FYI there is ONLY ONE trail head. Take the trail to the right if you want your hike to continue.

There's so much more that could be said - ultimately, it was a great experience and a trail we would recommend, as long as you willing to embrace the suck that comes with the big uphill climb. It's beautiful countryside and well worth the effort and time! Enjoy!

Nice trail. Took us about an hour and a half to do the loop. End of September and all the Creeks were dried up. East end of the lake and dam area were the nicest stretch.

Nice hike, little challenging in spots with tree roots, hills and crossing some small steams. Lost the trail for a little bit in the river bed past the damn. Very awesome view from old damn. Saw a snake near the water that spooked some of my fellow hikers, many spider webs across the trail as I was the 1st hiker of the day. Got one of my feet soaked crossing a stream. Overall enjoyed the hike.

Easy and maintains a pleasant view throughout. A very pleasant short hike.

Ended up finding a nice trail at leatherwood lake that went all the way around the lake and across the dam. The only problem is it isn't called leatherwood trail, it is called Beachum trail. Never saw a sign for leatherwood trail until we were done and it went away from the lake. it rained alot the night before so the trail was like a creek much of the time. Also had to cross a couple creeks on the trail. There was a waterfall off the dam that was very pretty. I would rate the tail a 5 but it wasnt the trail listed and described.

Fun hike

This trail is so beautiful! On the west side of the lake anyways. In hindsight and if I ever go again, I will hike up the west side of the trail to the bridge then turn around and come back. The west side has all the beautiful views of the lake, and the bridge is worth walking across for great panorama pictures. The east side however, was a much more difficult hike (which doesn’t deter me but it may for some) without much to look at. You can’t see the lake most of the time on the east side. I went in early September in the afternoon, and for whatever reason the bugs were heavier on this side of the lake. It felt like I spent the whole back half of the hike trying to fight the horse flies. West side of lake: 5 stars. Easy side: 1.5 stars

Great views at the dam, good trail

Peaceful trail. Wear appropriate shoes as the trail is mainly loose rocks with intersecting root systems.

I was disappointed with this trail. It started nice and pretty. then end up having to cross the highway twice. We were unable to locate trail upon second crossing and had to walk highway back. when returning couldn't locate other trail head. the trail had plenty of sharp rocks and some glass so be careful for any 4 legged friends paws.

Fun trail. Good for kids

Fun and quick

Beautiful trail!

Very beautiful even during the dry season. My wife and I, along with another couple backpacked Sneed's Creek from the Compton trailhead and then looped back by way of Hemmed in Hollow. Sneed's Creek was somewhat overgrown and hard to see the trail, but was very beautiful nonetheless. We camped north of the old homestead near where Sneed's Creek feeds into the Buffalo River. Many primitive campsites were along the trail. We filtered all of our water from the Buffalo, however, I wouldn't recommend drinking straight from the source. Definitely a hard hike with a backpack but very well worth it.

beautiful overlook of the Kings River. easy to set up camp near the rim

Great little, short trail. It's a nice trail for a quick walk and fairly easy for older and younger hikers.

Did this trail in July of 2017. Loved it!!! Bring snacks, extra water and watch for rattlesnakes in the rocky area.

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