Carter Caves Cross Country Trail

MODERATE 36 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

dogs on leash





nature trips

trail running







wild flowers




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

5 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months 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.

3 months 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.

5 months ago

6 months ago

7 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.

7 months ago

7 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, June 12, 2016

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

This trail captures the full essence of CC's.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

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

Monday, February 01, 2016

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.

Friday, November 13, 2015

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.