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hiking
18 hours ago

If you are looking for a solid overnight hike with friends I would check out this trail. We parked at the Overnight Trailhead parking and proceeded along the lower loop trail. There is a segment where you will take the paw paw trail to the remaining lower loop. As others have stated, doing this loop counter clockwise is the way to go. I would encourage anyone who is doing this loop to start here and follow the lower loop trail to campsite 1 and then down into the gorge. The gorge is absolutely treacherous so take your time here. The mileage to Campsite 1 is super flat and very quick, the gorge should take about as much time as the hike to it. On the other side of the the gorge that crosses Cane Creek, you will find Campsite 2. That is the campsite you want for your overnight trip. The hike out is about 7 miles and gets pretty dicey towards the Nature Center. Just follow the white blazes the entire time. It is very hard to find the rest of the loop, but stay with the Nature center on your left and you'll see the rest of the trail. The last 2 miles basically follows the road and pretty much sucks.

Campsite 2 has a working water pump and some dilapidated outhouses. It has great areas for hammock camping and open meadow tent camping. I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the terrible break down of the trail near the Nature Center.

Scenic hike. There were a few light water crossings and two bigger water crossings (we didn’t have water shoes so we took off our hiking shoes and went through the water..12” in spots). A lot of camp sites and ran into a fare amount of people along the way. The trail runs along water which makes it very tranquil.

Plenty of beautiful scenery with a great trail that hugs the lake and winds its way up to an old historic homestead, and a small campsite, if you want to pitch a tent. Side note: the part of the trail that hugs the lake was well marked and easy to follow, but the west part of the trail,(on left of the road going in) got a little tricky to find the markers and path. Aside from that, they have a campground(for a small fee) that has great views of the lake and is very clean. it's a great trail for beginners or those out of shape. I highly recommend!!

A really nice hike. Many great views, the water level is high as a result of the recent rain, but the trail has held up pretty well, waterproof hiking boots helped

One of my favorite hikes! Highly recommend!

backpacking
5 days ago

Overall this is a great backpacking loop. There is no log book at the trailhead, apparently if you don’t book a site, they don’t know if you’re out there. We started at the overnight lot and hiked to campsite 2 passing campsite 1. The first 3.5-4 are super easy to campsite 1. This took us about an hour and a half. We hung out at the bottom of the gorge for a while as all the waterways were rushing with water after a week of rain. The ascent up the gorge kicked our a$$. This definitely makes the trail a hard trail if you’re doing it with a full pack. Campsite 2 comes at the perfect time and I thought everything was well marked to campsite 2. There are two outhouses at campsite 2 along with a well that we used iodine tablets just to be safe. #3 is the best campsite I would say at campsite 2. From campsite 2 to the overnight lot was overall pretty easy. The reason I rated this a 4/5 was because the trail markings became sparse after hitting the fall creek falls area and especially the nature center. The nature center is under construction and we had to guess where to go. There was also an area where you had to go on the road that wasn’t clear before getting back to the trail. We ended up just taking the road back to the parking lot. Overall a great trail, I would probably pack lighter for that ascent in the gorge as it took almost as long to go that last mile as it did the first 5. Overall my Fitbit said 6.17 miles in 4:15 to campsite 2 then 7.22 miles in 3:57 to the parking lot.

one of the best places to hike in the state. the pines are incredible

This has to be my favorite hike yet! Such a rewarding view, so beautiful. It is rocky and has challenging footing but that's what makes it adventurous! Very steep climb if you want to go on top of the waterfall but once you get up there the view is most definitely worth it. This trail has so much to offer from some of the stone structures along the way to a few mines and neat bridges, it's a hike I would do over and over again.

fishing
10 days ago

Hello twins. ;)

hiking
10 days ago

There are several areas of the trail that are difficult to follow due to fallen trees. A few fallen trees were trees that once marked the trail but the blazes were on the ground- not very useful. I would recommend doing this clockwise, so start on the paw paw trail part and then continue. It’s rough for a one day but kind of easy to split into two days. If you go clockwise and stay at the last campsite you’ll get about 10-11 miles in and only have about 2 to hike out. Those sites are backcountry 1 I believe. The section of the trail near the nature center is closed but you should be able to circumnavigate this, or just begin the trail at the nature center instead of the overnight loop trail head

Beautiful and quiet. Did all of North and South loop. Camped at campsite #3 which was very nice. The trail has great variety and is well marked and maintained. Some parts of South loop are little overgrown and you have push through the grasses but it never last for long. Would recommend and will return. Happy Hiking

As a novice hiker,this was an awesome experience for me. Starting with the ranger who warned me to bring plenty of water because of the uphill return, to the lovely solitude of the light rain after leaving the quarry, the trail was an amazing experience for me. I’ll definitely be back.

As a novice who is also an old guy, I did have a few reservations on the way out as to whether I was still on trail because the blazes were a little sparse. But the trail itself was visible throughout, and the blazes were more numerous on the return. The fall color is just beginning, and I am wishing I could get back here in a couple weeks.

Fun over nighter!

It was a nice hike with my kiddos. Definitely going to go back again!

Great trail. Rockshelter is amazing.

I’ve ridden over 3,000 miles on this trail over the past 6 years, usually averaging 3 rides per week. Since I’m riding I take the longer way around which is generally around 10 miles. If you stay close to the lake it’s a little over 6 miles. It’s a great place to ride and drains quickly after some rain unless you stay close to the lake which can take longer to drain. Volunteers maintain the trails including building bridges and removing fallen trees so be patient if you run into some. You can take the trail clockwise or counter clockwise. If you’re new to the trail just keep the lake to your right or left and you’ll do fine. Only downside are dog owners with no leash on their dogs, it is a state law and a safety issue on the trails. Enjoy, it is a great place to get away from the city and enjoy the outdoors.

backpacking
21 days 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!

First backpacking trip for me. It was challenging in some parts but the experience and views were well worth it. Stopped for the night at Camp 2 which was by a water source; it provided nice sounds to fall asleep to. Went out to see if I liked backpacking and this trail made me fall in love with it!

backpacking
25 days ago

Kim and I completed the North loop 6+ miles in 2.5 hours with three short breaks for water and snacks. We are a 50 something couple who walk 4 miles a day minimum. We found the trail delightfully different; most of the trail was clear soft sand, pine needles, soil/leaves. About 1/5 of trail was rugged with larger stones (3-10”); would rate this area difficult, all other parts easy. Trail was well blazed; when we were confused, bam, a blazing! The variety is stunning and remarkable; tall pines, deciduous trees, grasses, wildflowers, creek beds, granite formations, scenic views. See photos.

This was my first ever over night. It was a fantastic 2 days on the trail. beautiful scenery and a great trail to test your skills! Can't wait to do it again.

on Siloam Spring Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Not the longest hike I’ve been on recently but this was a beast. It was very overgrown and I felt like I was bushwhacking through Aragog’s hollow with the number of spider webs I walked though. Despite swinging my walking stick nonstop for 3.5 hours to knock down the webs I think I still pulled several hundred spiders off myself. It was not marked very well and if it wasn’t for the app I wouldn’t gotten lost several times. Many times the trail just seems to fade away and you can’t tell the real trail from dozens of game trails crisscrossing the forest. I won’t do this trail ever again.

great variety of terrain, flora + fauna

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this trail as part of the Eagle Rock Loop trail. Hiked from Little Missouri Falls trailhead going clockwise over 3 days/2 nights.

This was a beautiful hike. Lots of water crossings on this section so bring water shoes and watch the river gage height because under certain conditions, it is not passable.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?07360200

Highly trafficked trail as well. Ran into lots of families on this section.

Elise falls is great when flowing. The Lower and Upper (not shown) trail loops are very overgrown and hard to follow in some places. I suggest going when water is flowing and skipping those loops.

backpacking
1 month ago

A friend and I did this hike in two days over Labor Day weekend. Definitely a challenge if you pack in your water (which I suggest since there isn’t a lot of water on the trail). Plus, the trail markers are a bit hard to follow at certain points. Between miles 6 and 8, pay attention. I went off a few times following a four wheeler trail. The last mile there’s a Galen tree and a landslide, but hopefully they fix that soon. Fun adventure!

Water holes for swimming and playing in the water were so fun! Perfect way to cool off after a long hot hike. The trail to laurel falls gets rough for the last mile or so. We took our 1 yr old dog and he was completely worn out. Our 8 year old daughter was able to make it as well. It felt like a lot longer than 2.5 miles. Cool history, it's an old coal and iron mill. Some original structures are still there. The waterfall was hard to access to play in it. Rocks around it were very slick and there were copperheads as well. Overall, it was fun but just wore us out!

backpacking
1 month ago

secluded, river crossings, challenging to navigate. good place to backpack alone or with friends or family. my wife and kids loved it. just beautiful. highly recommend if your tired of car camping and loud, busy campsites. this is what you've been looking for. don't hesitate. Just pack up the kids and go. you'll be glad you did!

Really, really awful experience. There’s no water, the trail is poorly marked and VERY overgrown. The creek is bone dry. And the worst part? Ticks. I went with my friend and our three dogs and we’ve battled probably 1000+ of those tiny seed ticks. Had to gut my apartment with tick killer. This is despite the ample amount of bug spray and flea & tick preventative on the dogs. Spent close to $100 dollars trying to get rid of all the ticks. Would not recommend, especially this time of year.

lots of wild life. found awesome bones. great family trip.

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