Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Carter Caves State Resort Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked the trail last weekend and it was great. Definitely recommend getting a permit for Horn Hollow Cave from the gift shop and checking it out, it's about the half way point on the back side of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

A nice trail to see Spring wildflowers on. Lots of mountain laurel in spots. A nice hike any time of year.

Awesome caves and beautiful bridges! Sooo worth the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked this trail after a week of heavy rain, this made for some great pics. I would highly recommend this trail. There are a lot of up and downs with one steep climb towards the end. Trail is very well marked. We will definitely be doing this trail again in the spring.

Gorgeous trail, but it's poorly maintained and poorly marked in quite a few places.

hiking
8 months ago

At the beginning of the hike I encountered heavy foot traffic along with a boring and fairly easy trail that ran parallel to a road. However, around the half way point the trail opened up tremendously. With plenty of side attractions, this trail made up for the slow and boring start.
The rock formations were incredible, along with the large amount of cliffs and over hangs, this trail offers an additional rock climbing area which looked like it'd be a blast.
Follow that up with the Fern Bridge and the Raven Bridge, you can spend easily 2-3 hours on this trail and not get bored.
The trail was marked well, and I even went down to the lake afterwards to sit and rest.

hiking
8 months ago

beginning of trail is boring and has you cross a road 2 times. not so much off the beaten path, with some road noise in some places. However the plus side the trail was marked fairly well, in good condition, plenty of places to explore off trail. Once you get to the second half the rock formations are beautiful and there is actually an area where you can climb and repel about a 100ft rock face if you bring the proper gear. the second half makes up for the first. I did the trail going counter-clockwise from the trailhead.

Gear I Used on the trail:
water
string bag

Good trail. Lots of hills and rocks. Challenging but overly so.

It's our favorite trail at Carter Caves. It's beautiful and a great work out!

hiking
11 months ago

Fantastic loop hike that passes three large natural bridges: Fern Bridge, Raven Bridge, and Smoky Bridge. If you tack on the short 0.5 mile Natural Bridge Trail, which also starts at the Welcome Center, you can see 4 large natural bridges in less than 4 miles. The difference between maximum and minimum elevation is only about 200 feet, but you will cover that 200 feet multiple times. Overall, best hike at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

Super fun for my husband and I. We even brought our two dogs and explored the caves that you can get into without guides. Super wet but great time

hiking
11 months ago

Definitely an easier than moderate trail with minimal elevation change. Access the trail head by the Saltpeter cave sign across the street from the gift shop/welcome center parking lot. The middle bridge, Raven must be accessed by going about .1 mile off the TBT, the other two are directly on the trail. Smokey Bridge is the first if you clockwise and probably the most impressive. You can follow the red trail blazed to decent down to it. Lastly is Fern bridge going clock wise, which is pretty impressive as well. Lots of smaller caves along the trail as well as lots of rock formations. Over all, not much going on between the bridges, but the river can be seen when the trees don't have their leaves.

Starts out across the parking lot from the visitor center building/gift shop, walk up the concrete steps and to the right, there will be a sign. The trail itself has quite a few ups and downs, we are fairly experienced hikers and feel this is morw moderate than easy. Several small caves and rock features with options to get permits for Horn Hollow and Laurel caves which are accessible along the trail. Fun, short hike that is fully shaded.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Great trail with lots of scenery and challenging terrain, well worth the 3 hour drive I made.

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beautiful!

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Gorgeous rock formations and caves

Completed this trail in the fall. It has a perfect blend of scenery and variety of terrain to keep it interesting throughout the duration of the trail.

I recommend hitting the trail early and bringing a lunch, and not rushing through this one. It is so much better to really appreciate the scenery on this one and take your time.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

Another great hike at Carter Caves. Beautiful scenery. I really enjoyed Shangra La arch. It was a lot nicer than what I'd seen in pictures. A good half way spot to sit and rest for a bit. A nice peaceful hike.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Great hike. There are a few steeper climbs but still enjoyable. A lot of beautiful sights and sounds packed into a short trail.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The scenery on this trail always inspires me no matter how often I hike it. The rock formations are awesome. The trail itself is moderately difficult. A lot of elevation changes and you should watch your footing due to the roots and rocks throughout. Great trail. One of my favorites.

hiking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Brought my dog with me. Very peaceful, only one on the trail

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Three bridges will always satisfy the wilderness seeking individual.
Have fun!

on Three Bridges Trail

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Great trail, with alot of "bang for your buck" sights. Great trail for all levels of hikers.

on Three Bridges Trail

hiking
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Great trail and views

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Loved it. Beautiful views.

hiking
Monday, September 26, 2016

One of the best hikes we've done! Stopped halfway to go explore in Horn Hollow Cave with our flashlights. Brings waterproof shoes if you're gonna explore the caves! But the trail itself is great, too. Will definitely be coming back. Easy for all ages.

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nice loop trail that starts right next to the Carter Caves visitors center. There is a part where it gets really steep right after you pass the sign to return to the visitors center, but it's worth it. I did this by myself with my chocolate lab and we had a good time!

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

I took my dog on this trail this morning and it was very pretty. Fern bridge was beautiful. Carter Caves has a lot of parking and the employees at the welcome center were very friendly.

What a site to see three natural bridge's.

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