DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
383 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

walking

forest

river

hiking
13 days ago

One of the best in-and-out trails in the country. Other people have correctly described it as magical. From a river, golden eagles, exotic mushroom species, fish, caves, solitude, rock formations, and plenty of shade, this trail has it all.

We hiked on a Monday and literally did not see anyone on the trail or the trail road. The final road to the trailhead is gravel. The trailhead itself is immediately north of the river not south. Don’t be fooled by the trailhead opening south of the river, that’s not the trailhead.

I am 59, ten pounds overweight and in fair condition. We went on a pretty hot day. No question I got warm, but the trail is not super strenuous; its moderate rating is accurate. There are areas of caution, including steep grades and slippery rocks, but with a modicum of caution, it’s fairly safe and a lot of fun.

There is no cell phone service, and the system of roads in are just a little complicated. Downloading the area on a GPS App such as Maps With Me will eliminate the problem of getting in and out. We hiked to the Cumberland River, which makes it 2.5 miles out (in and out 5 miles). The number of streams and waterfall, plus previous high-water points, means this would not be a good area to get caught in during a red-cell thunderstorm. Lastly children under 10 and individuals with physical difficulties probably would find this trail very challenging.