Explore to do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
4 days ago

We completed this loop this past weekend, choosing to do the downward slope first. The views were beautiful, despite most of the leaves already fallen however the path was littered with fallen leaves which was good as the trail was often muddy at times, due to the recent rains.

We took photos of each campsite along the creek. There's also a campsite near the parking lot on your right as you are entering the trailhead.

Rock formations are beautiful, take the time to look around to see huge cliffs nearby. you are in a valley and there are some steep steps at times. Hiking poles are definitely a must!

hiking
13 days ago

This is a fantastic trail and well maintained. We started clockwise but we didn’t have time to finish the entire loop. What we did see was worth it. It’s a bit of a drive but it’s worth it. Very peaceful, we saw tons of birds, mushrooms and the leaves were gorgeous. The hike along the creek is breathtaking. We went clockwise on the trail so it made for a pretty steep drop near the beginning into the gorge. I would recommend trekking poles. We are experienced hikers and we found them very helpful.

Pretty area, but trails are not well marked or maintained.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail to see so many of the beautiful wonders of the Cumberland Plateau and the surrounding areas. Nice day hike but an even better overnight experience.

The geology is stunning from the rock houses to the majestic twine arches. Worth the spur off to see Slave Falls. Encountered several snakes, one small black bear and enjoyed several yellow jacket stings durning an overnight camping trip with a group of Boy Scouts.

Outrageously beautiful!! Just spectacular and so totally awesome! Was an absolutely gorgeous day to hike!! (Labor Day ) There’s so much that I could say....you just have to go yourself-you won’t be disappointed!! The trail was pretty well marked with the exception of the last 2 miles-you must climb over and around the boulders to continue on the trail and finish up!

Well what can I say about this trail, nothing but good. My husband and I walked the whole loop and we saw everything from rock formations, streams with rapids, a beautiful flower garden with butterflies, and even a lodge with places to stay over night with a restaurant to eat at, halfway though the loop trail “ bonus”! It was well worth the hike even if we both were damn tried at the end. 

Beautiful trail!

Needed a break from really frigid weather these past three weeks. What a delightful, well-marked/maintained trail with natural arches to see. Today, 25 Jan. 2018, was clear blue @ low 50's. Highly recommend this trail and other area trails to refresh your soul.

Diverse trail and the twin arches are stunning!

Good brisk walking or running trail next to the water. A few great spots to sit next to the lake and relax. A bit grown up and ticks were pretty bad when I went. I don’t recommend shorts and tennis shoes lol. But overall a nice, easy trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Took a 4 yo who walked and a 2 yo who rode. All had fun. Incredible wonder to find in the middle of nowhere.

Atop of the south arch offers so beautiful views.

walking
4 months ago

The overlook is very beautiful. Only downfall is where the little cave the trail is COVERED in poison ivy, not a lot of people while hiking either.

great loved the hike

Did the entire loop. Really cool rocky outcroppings and rock formations in addition to the arches. Trail past the south loop is pretty much either straight up a ridge or down a ridge depending on which way you travel. Me, my 12 y.o. and dog were definitely worn out at the end. Worth the trip!

Tough stairs

The Charit Creek Lodge is a rewarding treat to see along the loop. Lots of history in this area. Very pretty area!

hiking
4 months ago

We only did the loop to see the arches so I can’t rate the whole trail but it was epic! There are caves that cut through the rock you can traverse easily at the south arch. Truly an amazing natural feature! Mostly an easy hike except for a couple of steep stairwells. I would drive cross country to see the arches. They are a sight to behold.

There seems to be some confusion in the reviews about the 2 loop trails.
There is a short loop from the trailhead to the arches, 1.2 miles total. There is also a long back loop off the short loop which takes you down into the canyon, past Charit Creek lodge, around the canyon rim and back. AllTrails clocked the whole distance as 5.4 miles.
Fantastic Cumberland Plateau rock formations. The folks at Charit Creek lodge were very hospitable about using their restrooms and refilling our bottles from their potable water source - crucial as we were hiking with temps in the 90's.

We stayed Monday and Tuesday night and there were several people there. The shower house and restrooms were fairly maintained. We stayed near one of the ramps so it was easy to put our kayaks in. The lake was down so it wasn't as pretty as I had hoped, but the water is clear and we snorkeled and swam one afternoon. Also, there are several hiking trails. One lead from the campground to the dam and the one I enjoyed the most was Vanhook Falls. We didn't make a reservation, but got a decent campsite. My guess would be that it is noisy on weekends. I would recommend this place to a friend.

Hiked this trail about a week ago. Great trail. This app would have come in very handy when I was camping with my four Shih Tzu companions at Bandy Creek. Lots of nice trails in the area but was only able to log about 27 miles worth before returning home. Hopefully I will be returning to the area in the near future for an extended stay and lots more hiking.

camping
5 months ago

Absolutely a must. Huge arches. Side by side. Trail steel but wooden stairs help. Two of the stairs are steep. Take your time. Not a race. Enjoy the walk. Paths are free on a lot of obstructions. Well maintained paths.

Finding the trail at first was a little difficult, the trailhead is probably 20 feet from the bridge. The trail itself doesn’t seem too hard but plants growing along the trail will have you pushing limbs, bushes, briars, and other plants out of the way of your walking path. At times the trail gets very narrow and often you will duck under low hanging limbs. The end of the trail is very pretty but some of the rocks and hills are a little steeper and challenging. Overall, the trail isn’t the best but the end of the trail is very worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

Really enjoyed the first mile as you can see the lake most of the trail. After that we ran into a few problems. The trail is fairly narrow. There was a lot of long grass with "stickers" that hung across the trail and were relatively painful. Of course, that grass also meant ticks - I removed about 20. Along the water, the trail was washed out at 4 places, making it somewhat difficult to cross. If not for these problems, we would have really liked the trail.

Some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.

hiking
5 months ago

One of the prettiest hikes I've done in Tennessee

backpacking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I really like this trail. A good portion of it is along the Rock Creek. A couple nice camping spots on the water. Good for a one nighter.

5 months ago

awesome hike along a creek. great camp sites along creek, too.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely amazing arches. They are huge. Definitely worth every step along the way. Gravel road to parking lot with toilet. No water. Trail has forest floor, rock and wooden stairs with rails. A couple are very steep but just watch your step on the stairs. It is a moderate trail because of the stairs. About .7 miles one way. A lot of canopy over the trail that provides shade along the trail

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