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Sadly we went after it had rained so we didnt get to finish the entire trail do to flooding but what we did was beautiful. Going back to finish soon!

loved the trail,rough at times,some of the best scenery I have I have ever seen.looking forward to going back now that it has rained so I can see the waterfalls.

I started out at the lodge (there's a connector trail from there). This trail will show you most of what Carter Caves SP has to offer. Rock bridges, waterfalls, rock formations, lakeside paths, suspension bridges, streams etc. It's all beautiful and will not disappoint. It rained the night before so things were pretty muddy. This trail is on the hard side of moderate; many stream crossings and a decent amount of rock hopping. I wouldn't take small kiddos out on it. Elevation-wise however, it's not bad. There's a tough crossing at the dam when the water's high so be careful. I have a photo of it on my recording. Total length was about 9 miles and you'll want to give yourself at least 6 hours to complete it. A fantastic all day hike if you take in the sights.

hiking
14 days ago

beautiful place. secluded and surreal. went after heavy rain and the creek and falls we're raging. pay attention, few places get tricky to follow.

Hiked the loop. Extremely muddy at this time. Didn’t quite understand the falls portion and didn’t go to the right trail by the bridge. Will definitely come back and go see the falls next time.

I went up North Old Mac and camped on a boulder at the Panther Gap Rockhouse because the actual rockhouse was flooded with running water from recent rains. It would be pretty cool in dry weather. The forest sounded pretty dead, no birds, squirrels, etc., except for the constant sound of running water from the bountiful springs, creeks and branches. I took South Old Mac back to the parking area. The total mileage is around 7+ miles. The elevation gain/loss is close to 4,000 feet. With a 22 pound backpack it's a solid "moderate" hike. I only saw 3 other hikers and one pileated woodpecker on the
entire loop. The trail turns to more like a "goat path" for a good bit of the hike, and due to the heavy rains was pretty slippery most of the way. There are no overlooks unless you go to the firetower.

Couldn’t understand the “hard” rating until we finally found the leg that follows along the creek and falls. It was challenging at the very least, made more so by the recent rains and slick mud.
Overall, very much worth the effort to climb/slide down the trail to get close up to the gorgeous waterfalls.

Couldn’t have been more perfect for mid-December. The trails are wide and clear with gorgeous views of the creek from way above, as well as close up as you cross it. I’m sure the lack of leaves on the trees adds to the views, but I look forward to returning at another season, too. Rated moderate, but easier to navigate than many moderate trails, though it is consistently uphill for most of the way in - and it wasn’t a loop that I could tell. Loved it!

Nice December hike but I’m glad I was using All Trails. It got us back on the trail a few times. The trail markings aren’t too good. There’s a lot of deadfall on the trails due to a recent ice storm but manageable. We plan on coming back to hike other trails. There’s much more to explore there.

hiking
1 month ago

This was the most poorly maintained and marked trail I've probably ever been on. I hiked it with two others, we had a map, I hike a lot, and we got lost a ton. Maybe it would be easier to stay on the trail in the summer and spring when leaves aren't covering the ground. It was well-marked in some places, but in other places, we could not find the triangle blazes to save our life. If I had attempted the trail on my own, I would have had to turn back after a few miles due to not knowing where to go. There were TONS of huge trees down blocking the trail, which required hiking off-trail through thick brambles and other brush. It didn't seem like the trail had been maintained in years, in my opinion. They also lock the gate to the trailhead parking area at 4:30, so make sure you start early. It took our group 6 hours and 42 minutes and we were hiking fairly fast...It probably would have taken 6 hours if we hadn't gotten lost and felt like we were hiking "off-trail" for a majority of the trail. It was definitely a good work-out and challenge though. The trail should be rated "difficult" on AllTrails, not moderate, and it's 13.75 miles in length. We took the trail counter-clockwise.

Nice hike. I dont leave but 20 mins away and decided to give this one a try with my mother based on the reviews and the lake, as I love water hikes. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of trails and the decent views.

I hiked here in October and It was a really good hike but can be challenging down the creek

one of the most beautiful I've hiked

Nice workout. Tough hill to get your blood pumping.

hiking
2 months ago

This is probably the best route for hiking Indian Staircase as if avoids the VERY tough nearly vertical climb/descent between Bison Way trail and the Adena Arch. It is a fabulous hike with great views, great geology, and great history. The Indian Staircase trail is an unmarked trail that both starts and ends at the Sheltowee Trace Trail. Tips for finding the correct route: Take Bison Way then left on Sheltowee Trace Trail. After the SECOND stream crossing and a U in the trail take the well traveled unmarked trail to the right. At the top of the Staircase stay on the well trod path near the cliff edge in a giant U until you return to the Sheltowee Trace Trail. Take a left and follow it back to Bison Way.

Hiked this loop with my dog. Went up South Old Mac, up to the Fire Tower, then down North Old Mac. If I did it again, I'd probably go up the North trail and down the South trail because South Old Mac was steeper. There aren't a lot of views or streams to enjoy on this hike, but it's a beautiful walk through the woods.

Very diverse trail with all types of terrain. At times it can be tough to navigate. It took us around 6 hours to complete with a few stops along the way. We backpacked in and set up camp along the creek side. Beautiful park!

Good trail but the markings could be a lot better!! If doing the trail counter clockwise your left hand turn is about 50 yards from the trail head!!!

love this trail and with this app all side trails were easy to find. not a great trail for dogs however when you get to the scramble at the top of Indian staircase. Beautiful views.

Love this hike! Awesome views.

hiking
2 months ago

My wife and I hiked this trail once before, but did not go to the falls. This time we just decided to hike to the falls and it was much more beautiful. To get to the big falls, hike through the trail entrance from the parking lot, go through the “field” area and come to a wooden bridge. Just before the wooden bridge you will see a small unmarked trail on the right that goes down to the creek. You can either follow the little trails off to the side of the creek, or walk right down the creek. Wear shoes that have good grip and preferably waterproof since you’re hiking down the creek. Eventually you will come to the big falls. Stay to the right side of the creek and you will find a little rock scramble to shimmy your way down to the bottom. This part is not for the faint of heart, and you are climbing down narrow trails on the edge of a large steep slope. Enjoy the falls and get some pictures. You can go into the falls if it’s warm. When you are finished go back up the same way you came down, and hike the creek back to the bridge, take a left and hike back to the parking lot. I would definitely recommend, but keep in mind it can get very slippery and steep. Be careful!

Nice trail. Great views.

I live close to the trail head and it’s my absolute favorite.

hiking
3 months ago

I wouldn't call this one easy. More of a moderate-strenuous. Lots of ups and downs, very rocky and cliffy. It was very wet due to very large amount of rain Saturday, but that helped to have running falls and cascades. I enjoyed it very much.. I seen deer 50ft away from me, watched a hawk try for a fish and lots of mushrooms and creepy crawlies. Only down fall, foliage blocks the best views of waterfalls, so spring or winter to see the best.

hiking
3 months ago

Incredible hike, incredible setting! It is a bit demanding — certainly not a trail for novice hikers, but it is the definition of natural beauty. Highly recommend!

Nice trails, there's enough to explore for a good hike or a light one. The lake is peaceful, it's convenient.

on Lick Falls Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Fun has a mix of challenges and entertaining for all.

Fairly well-marked trail (red blaze) with good parking. It was muddy at times but all of the recent rain meant the falls were running nicely. In order to find the falls in the pictures you can either turn right and leave the main trail at the wooden bridge or you can follow the main trail up the hill after the bridge and scuttle down it when it opens up shortly after. There are also a nice meadow and a quiet wooded area with picnic tables.

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