Carter Caves Cross Country Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews

Carter Caves Cross Country Trail is a 7.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Olive Hill, Kentucky that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.6 miles 1564 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Carter Caves Cross Country (4Cs) Trail is a 8.3 mile loop trail located in Olive Hill, Kentucky. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking. It starts at the Carter Caves Welcome Center and joins the Three Bridges trail for the last mile before completing the 4-hour loop. The 4-C's Trail, miles, begins at Welcome Center, passes through the Shangra La arch, runs parrallel to smokey valley lake before crossing Smokey Creek and ascending hill leading to Johnson Homeplace Backcountry Primitive Campground, permit required to camp and may be acquired from welcome center, trail crosses lake spillway and joins Three Bridges trail for return to welcome center

hiking
7 days ago

10 days ago

12 days ago

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
20 days ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

Its a nice longer hiking trail, with two swinging bridges and takes you through the deeper part of the woods makeing a loop. Best way i found is park at smokey lake, hike past boat ramp to old gravel rd/trail to concrete stairs. Up stairs to trail go right toward lodge,follow to you see trail head for the 4c trail.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail. Second half is the most scenic part. Hiking through creeks and seeing waterfalls.

hiking
1 year ago

This trail captures the full essence of CC's.

hiking
1 year ago

Great trail. Lots of beautiful things to see along the way. Swing bridges, the lake, beautiful creeks, falls, and sandstone cliffs.

hiking
1 year ago

I hiked this trail a few years back. It was obviously more of a horse trail. Nothing to really see. I will soon be hiking the other trails Carter Caves has to offer. Hope they're more appealing.

hiking
1 year ago

Did the trail about a month ago. 8.5 for the whole thing (marked there as 7.2 but most reviews also said 8.5). Beautiful trail, well marked, lots to see. Very nice campsite midway too. We only saw 4 people all day on the trail. Definitely want to do this again.

hiking
1 year ago

camping
1 year ago

Most people either dont know or just don't mention that there is a back country camp site on this trail it's a great hike and a great place to do a shake down run of your backpacking gear

hiking
2 years ago

Great trail well maintained but not commercialized. Really awesome place to hike tons of stuff to see!