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Went during leafs weren’t on trails and now much to look at but definitely a tough trip and fun!

backpacking
14 days ago

Only my 2nd time our backpacking after doing 20 miles of AT in the Grayson highlands/mt Rogers. Some cool rock formations. Only saw 2 people in 2 days. Very enjoyable. Didn’t find it that difficult.

backpacking
17 days ago

This place is very secluded with no cell service and no water along the trail. This whole area was strip mined and the water is polluted with heavy metals. The trail is rugged and not recommended for beginners, especially carrying all that water!
Lots of wildlife: owls, coyotes, tons of woodpeckers and birds. Saw a large black snake on the trail too.
Campsite was fine. Didn’t see much trash but there were many loud ATV riders in the morning which was a buzz kill.

hiking
20 days ago

A pleasant surprise.
Very well maintained and I can’t wait to go back

backpacking
25 days ago

Great hike lots to see and lots of camp sites.

Awesome trail.

backpacking
27 days ago

I'm pretty new at this, only my third trip, I really enjoyed this hike. About 13.5 miles, went counter clockwise, a lot of rock formations, some old oil pump rigs, nice spot along stream about 3 mi in for lunch, several established camps the first 9 miles, did a 1 nite, 1 1/2 day trip. A couple of fairly steep climbs, but not bad if you take your time.

muddy. .. never been on it without trudging though mud . ..some of it, I imagine is/ always has been swamp. a bit confusing and camp sites not well marked . never found camp 2 and had to return ..

I hiked on a cool week day, and did not cross paths with anyone else, including people riding horses. Apart from crossing two streams, one of which was thigh deep, the trail was very muddy and, being a bridle trail, thoroughly pockmarked with hoof prints. For a trail in southeastern Indiana, it wasn’t too bad, but one trip there was enough. I’m not likely to return as it was not that we interesting.

Easy to get lost and spider webs in your face EVERYWHERE. A poorly kept trail with little memorable places, someone just decided to carve a trail around a lake because it was there. Also the trail is very uneven and covered in horse crap.

backpacking
1 month ago

so, spider webs... i feel like its something worth noting because yes you are out in the woods so obviously you should expect spider webs. but its true there are a lot, at face level, and the webs are thick so you will notice each one. waving a long stick out in front of you helps, but if you dont want to march through the forrest looking like an outdoorsy wizard casting shitty spells with the worlds biggest wand, wear a mosquito mask and long sleeves.
also DONT DRINK THE WATER. even with a filter. due to the mining that went on in the area even a filter cant for sure get all the heavy metals out of the water. we did a water drop at the horse camp which is 11 miles into the hike and a decent place to stop and camp if you would prefer access to a toilet.
the hike is not for beginners. its long and hard and its easy to get turned around and end up on a horse trail if you arent paying attention to the trail markers.
outside of that if you are looking for a challenge to get you ready for something like the AT its got a good mix of terrains, altitudes, grades, and "you're on your own, so figure it out" frustrations to get your body and mind right. - John & Melissa

backpacking
1 month ago

The giant rocks and natural bridge are cool to see. I enjoyed the hills and how far away it is from people. The stars were beautiful here. I will be going again.

The trail was a long hike through the woods with lots of changes in elevation. Overall it was not that interesting. The trail is coated with spider webs. I would have rated the trail at least a 3 if I did not run into webs every 10 seconds. It made the hike less than average. However being able to camp anywhere we chose to was enjoyable. At camp my father had a black widow crawling up his leg!

Be prepared for some road waking on this section. Between coming up out of Red River Gorge and old beaver road is mostly blacktop.
The Red River section passes by Indian Arch and Staircase. On the Northern side is Furnace Arch and Clear Creek Furnace. All points of interest.
Plenty of camping spots along the trail.

backpacking
2 months ago

Has been a few years since I did this hike, but connected it with the south loop and managed to extend my stay for five days. The north trail was definitely less populated, but also the trails were less well maintained. Still an excellent hike, but I remember the south loop being more scenic.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. We did this as a day trip and went counter clockwise. Lots of spiders on the first half. I found it to be a little bit better marked than other reviews have suggested. We only noticed Natural Gas smell at a couple of spots next to a pretty obvious natural gas processing area. The second half featured some pretty awesome weathered sandstone. I would make sure to map your route to the trailhead prior to getting close as there isn't any reception.

backpacking
2 months ago

The trail could use better trail markers. The cave nothing big, it’s more of an over hang. It does make a good rain shelter

BRUTAL! Poorly marked in many areas. Some areas not marked at all. The 2 maps from ranger station don’t agree and are both wrong. Thank God for “All Trails” the GPS on the trail map saved me. Lots of horse traffic made trails very rough and i never found the designated campsites. Last 2 miles i had to do on the road because the trail disappeared into nothing. Road crossings need arrows, i walked 1/2 a mile multiple times to find where the trail picked up.
Beautiful scenery, lots of water sources, convenient location but lack of trail markings and inaccurate maps made for lots of bushwhacking & a very discouraging trip.
Closer to trail head nice markings and maps. This is definitely a good day/short hike area but 3-5 miles out it gets rough. I don’t think this trail is backpacked much.

trail running
2 months ago

The Ona entrance is not easy to find. From First Sentry Bank, go east on Mud River Road for about a 1/4 mile. Hang a left on Wildcat Rd., which goes under I-64. The trail head is on the right about a mile out Wildcat Rd. Don't enter the woods at Trail Mile Marker 1. Go about a 1/2 mile more on the road and the trail goes up the hillside at a well defined stairway.
Tough sledding, but enjoyable. Will definitely get a workout!

backpacking
2 months ago

Took the east day hike trail to Camp number 3 the next day hike from 3 to 1 please note that the water at Camp one is a mile from Camp one so if you're coming from the trailhead to one don't walk past it if you're going the way we did it requires you to go an extra mile to get water and then return back to camp. my wife and I spent the weekend there and by far from Camp number one back to the trailhead is some of the toughest hiking we have ever done. love the challenge but it is not for the timid.

backpacking
2 months ago

Link below is the map provided at the trailhead with more descriptions.

forestry.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/forestry/PDFs/SF/Zaleski_backpack.pdf

According to this link the trail (which starts at at the Hope Schoolhouse) is 28.8 miles NOT 20.1. Definitely have this handy or pick up a physical map at the trailhead. AllTrail has you start at "X" or the Iron Furnace which still has a stand for maps and registration.

Other than that, this really was a nice trail for getting my wife over fearing backpacking. Sections W through X have a lot of Creek crossings that get a bit confusing. This is where most of the overgrown parts and downed trees are concentrated. Nothing impassable of course. Campsites we're great as was the water availability.

My only reason for a four star rating was the lack of solitude and the lack of scenic overlooks. If you like fairly brief climbs and descents in to forest creeks and lush hillsides this is a great hike.

nature trips
2 months ago

Very under managed and muddy. However, there are some amazing views on this trail.

backpacking
2 months ago

Trail was very enjoyable, has been awhile since the trail has been marked, a lot of the time we had to follow the permitter trail (blue) markers because the red was so faded or nonexistent. We set up camp about 2 miles prior to camp 2 so we could do some fishing on the lake. The trail wasn’t so bad aside from the lack of markings till the loop, neither side was great but when it came to the south/west portion it didn’t look like it had been maintained for a long time. Was full of thorns, and downed trees.

Friends I was with decided to walk out to the road before we even finished the whole loop. I dropped my gear off near the road and ran the trail back to the trailhead. Doing both I would have to say I think using the trail for a day run instead of a backpacking trip would be more enjoyable.

backpacking
3 months ago

Great trails and well maintained. Campsites have water and pit toilets available. great place to start backpacking.

3 months ago

I’m not sure who said this trail was well marked, but it certainly is not especially on the Barboursville end. Maybe I’ll try again in the winter time or on the other side, but this essentially seemed like walking through the vines behind someone’s house and the trail, if there is one, it is really hard to follow.

trail running
3 months ago

The trail was hard but very nice. It was well maintained and well marked at least for the Kanawha Trace Race.

backpacking
3 months ago

We hiked this trail in late July and enjoyed large portions of it. The portion of the trail north of campground 3 was disappointing though. There were spider webs across the path probably about every 100 feet so you couldn’t really enjoy the hike or sites without that constant distraction.

This trail is super difficult. We only made it about 1 mile out and realized it was out of our access. Lots of bugs even with bug spray so be prepared. The trail does not seem to be maintained well either.

needs maintenance

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