Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Alum Ford to Yamacra is around 6.5 miles point to point. This is a mostly easy trail with several nice sights to see. This follows the BSFR. At 2 miles there is a shelter over looking the river. An old homesite is just before this overlook and even before this there is an old gravesite, about 1 mile from start of trail.

Great trail, beautiful views. Stay at Jake's Place and do a side hike to Slave Falls.

Really great hike! Lots of flowing water and small falls from all the recent rain. Multiple wildflower species just popping out. Recommend starting on lower arch part of loop and taking loop all the way to Jake’s Place (ideal spot for picnic or rest on the rock benches) and on to Charit Lodge. There’s a suspension bridge that follows on to the Sheltowee Trace we had to try out just off main trail. Then on for a relatively steep climb for the last mile. Well worth the finish on the upper loop.

Trail was well kept. Just before and following Jake’s Place there were lots of wooded plank bridges on the trail that made for fun adventures for the kids. This part of the trail followed a well flowing creek. Very wet and muddy trail on the back side but the previous day it rained all day. Waterproof or resistant boots a must.

Took us approximately 4 hours. The 5 year old set the pace.

on Middle Creek Nature Loop

2 months ago

great hike! not as strenuous as some with amazing rock houses and well made trail.

on Twin Arches Loop Trail

2 months ago

a beautiful area! hiked down to Charit Creek Lodge then looped back out through Jake's place. total 5.5 mi.

Went the complete trail. It was easy, but it was beautiful!

Best hike of the year so far. The abundance of rain had every rockhouse waterfall rolling. Very well maintained trail, very well marked. We listened to the reviews and went clockwise on the loop. Great advice!! Pictures really can't do this hike justice.

This was a great hike with great rock formations and the water fall

Love love this loop. Amazing views. Beautiful.

Easy. Well marked. Trail in good shape. Close to 3.5 mi. A lot of bang for your buck-many stunning rock features and small waterfalls on a short hike. Don't miss this one. Go soon after or during rain.

3 months ago

Easy. Well marked & maintained. About 4.2 mi with spurs to Needle Arch & Slave Falls. Really nice hike with superb geology & water. Needle Arch very cool. Slave Falls is spectacular. Recommend going after a recent rain.

This is a great trail with some good views but the best part is the Arches of coarse and the rock out crops are a sight also I think in one place saltpeter was mined lots of holes drilled in the rocks the part that follows the creek was peaceful but a little muddy loved it I rate it moderate

3 months ago

Nice hike, we cheated and came back to the car on the road.

Referring to the larger loop hike (about 5 miles), this was a great trail and hike. Well maintained and the arches are great. But even more, the bluffs and rock formations all along the latter portion of the loop were breathtaking. The loop goes last the northern arch, descends down to a beautiful creek, passes the lodge, then slowly ascends to the southern arch. A lot to see along the way on this moderately difficult trail. Well worth it;

Winter wonderland! Amazing day to be out!

Awesome cliffs, easy hike


Great little hike. Good vistas from the top of the arches. The loop trail has some pretty amazing trees as well.

7 months ago

Possibly the best dayhike in Big South Fork, which is saying something in an area filled with good dayhikes. Arches are fantastic; try standing at the south end of either arch to get the best lighting for a pic. Passes numerous large rock shelters en route to Jake's Place (a pile of rocks, all that remains of a house) and Charit Creek Lodge. Soda and snacks may be for sale at Charit Creek Lodge, which also offers overnight lodging. Some climbing is required, but trail is mostly well-graded with good switchbacks.

Also, be aware that there are 2 loops starting at this trailhead that are sometimes called the Twin Arches Loop. A short 1.2 mile loop only goes over and around Twin Arches, while a longer 4.7 mile loop also takes you to Jake's Place and Charit Creek Lodge. This page is supposed to be about the longer loop, but some of the user reviews seem to be about the shorter one. The longer loop is the better hike if you have the time, conditioning, and energy, but of course the shorter loop is a better choice if you only want to see the arches.

Good hike for kids.

This trail is NOT 4.7 mi, it is a short trail 1.2mi with switchbacks you can pick up more legs if you want, still a very worthy but short hike!

7 months ago

We did the loop trail, about 1.2 miles. The arches are fantastic, and one even has a cave. There are steep stairs, so keep that in mind if you are hiking during rainy weather.

Middle Creek trailhead is a 3.4 mile loop for hiking. It is well marked, and has rock houses along the trail. There is one spot where you need to do a little rock navigation. No area to really stop and have lunch. Beautiful scenic road from Monticello. No GPS.

Awesome hike! The farm was really neat. However, the trail is not marked very well. It does make it a bit confusing at times.

8 months ago

Loved this trail. The rock transformations were awesome.

I think it's more of a moderate trail if you follow it all the way out to the meeting of the rivers.

one of my favorite hikes in the area. Nice easy trail but watch for snakes!

10 months ago

Easy hike if you just go to twin arches. A natural of wonder of Mother Nature.

This was pretty easy trail with A great place to swim and cool off little steep coming out but was good exercise plan on doing this one again . i got rained on but was ok because i jumped in the water to cool off it is shallow but deep farther out you go so make sure if you take children has someone who can swim well .

Load More