Archers Fork Trail

EASY 37 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Archers Fork Trail is a 13.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near New Matamoras, Ohio that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
13.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2178 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

Archers Fork is an absolutely beautiful 13 mile hike. This is a great overnight hiking/camping experience. It is very well marked with yellow diamond blazes. The Natural Bridge is a pretty awesome sight and the Cave is pretty amazing. The whole trail has huge rock outcroppings. Absolutely beautiful country!

hiking
21 days ago

backpacking
1 month ago

We've been here several times and it's always amazing. Moderately challenging, not too crowded, plenty of water. Not a lot of big hilltop views, but the woods themselves are beautiful and green. I always get some nice photos.

backpacking
1 month ago

Some overgrown parts of the trail. Some ticks. But beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Had a great trip. Water near campsite. Campsite was great and at a good halfway point.

I will say sections of the trail could have better blazes. Got confused a couple times if we were actually on Archers Fork or North Country as only one was labeled and seemed to use same color blaze. There were a ton of blue blazes but yellow for Archers Fork were not as easily seen at times.

Highly recommend this trip. Did it in two days just to get an overnight tent trip in but could definitely do in a day. Also recommend checking out the Natural Bridge. Sweet caves too.

backpacking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

The best trail i have hiked at Wayne. Easy to navigate with the yellow diamonds. Lots of cool rock formations. Must do for any ohio backpacker or hiker.

5 months ago

This park is great- good variety, scenic, and great campground

hiking
6 months ago

Mapquest took us right to the cemetery for parking with no issues. We started counter clockwise and the first half of the trail was very easy with the trail in good shape despite the monsoon of a winter we have had in Ohio. Smelled gas a couple of times but wasn't an issue. We did lose some time trying to find a stream crossing that wasn't too deep because of all the rain. The second half of the trail was a little muddier and had some steep climbs but not too demanding. It took us 6 hours and my step counter was right at 30000 so I think the trail is closer to the 14 mile mark. The established campsites seemed to be close to roads. Overall a good winter/spring warm-up hike. With all the leaves off the trees there were some nice views but I don't think you would see much besides interior forest once the leaves come on.

camping
8 months ago

we did a family overnight on the trail. hiked a little over halfway and found a nice ridge with an established camp. heard owls at night. had my 8 yr old with us and it was probably more challenging than he deserved. Lots of elevation changes. summer in full swing and water along the trail was scarce.

9 months ago

Meh. Fairly easy trail, with some nice rock formations early on. But, it definitely isn't secluded. You'll hike past old oil drilling stations the whole way and be surrounded by the smell of gas most the way. Cross a couple mildly trafficked dirt roads and be greeted by some very hateful locals.

backpacking
9 months ago

The Archer's Fork loop was my first overnight stay. I completed the trek 2016-06.

Trail-Head
Look for the trail-head sign. There is a dirt road that heads south which declines from the parking area and is on the west side of the small parking lot. This muddy access road is not the trail head. The trail is on the north side of the graveyard. If you are looking at the main gate at the center of the graveyard, turn left ninety degrees and in about twenty-ish paces you will see the trail head sign. To the right of the sign there will be a metal gate and this path then follows the north side of the graveyard. This is the start of the trail. I will try to upload a photo. I noticed many beautiful flowers here when I visited.

Difficulty
I planned on splitting the loop into two days because I wanted to stop at the cave, the natural bridge and to have some free time for whatever came up since I am a newbie. This turned out to be a very good decision. The elevation changes and switchbacks are many. It certainly can be done in one day but this trail kicked my butt (in a good way).

Navigation
The trail was marked very well when I went and I had no real trouble navigating. I did have a few maps.

Trail Notes
Water was not an issue when I went. Sometimes the trail was encroached by growth but that was fun. I was glad I wore pants and long sleeves though. I think the trail was busy when I went as I saw about eight separate people/groups. There were a few nice camp spots but they were taken when I arrived (I started late). I was just camping under a tarp so I just setup near a stream as the sun set. I chose to go anti-clock-wise around the loop. There were many rock outcroppings that I wish I had time to explore.

I came from Cleveland and it did take longer than I expected to get from 77 to the trail-head. I wish I lived closer but I do hope can do this trail at least once a year.

hiking
10 months ago

Trail is pretty hard to find, but once you get to the trailhead it's very well-marked. We did the northernmost portion and didn't do the entire loop, but we were able to see two caves which were really cool. Lots of steep leg-burning climbs - this is a great place for a workout. Best part about this trail is it's off the beaten path and fairly remote - we didn't see another human for hours, and it was quiet and beautiful.

backpacking
Monday, July 18, 2016

My boyfriend and I completed this trail over the weekend. We did an overnighter, splitting the trail in half. We started at St. Patrick's Cemetary, which was very easy to find. The trail itself was very well marked, we had no problem finding our way the entire time. We did not have a map, we simply followed the review left below that was pretty step-by-step. The step-by-step review is accurate but we disagree with the mileage. The trail is more around 12 miles. We stayed at the halfway camping site, as suggested, but it was around mile 6 versus mile 4.6. It was a very nice spot, flat space for a tent, trees for a hammock, rock fire ring, plenty of awesome seating made out of logs and rocks, even had a grilling rack and brush cleaner hanging from the tree. The downside of the spot was no water. There is a stream but it was dry. There was also limited places to hang a bear bag. The branches were short and pointing upwards. A lot of the streams we came across were dry, so be sure to pack in plenty of water and when you do come across water, be sure to take advantage and fill up. The trail is pretty aggressive as far as terrain. I feel as though 90% of this trail was uphill, the rest was steep downhill. It was a lot harder than expected. Overall, this is a great loop trail for an overnighter. We probably won't be back until we're in better shape, but we the end result was accomplishing.

hiking
Monday, July 18, 2016

Very beautiful scenery and a natural rock bridge and cave. The looks might trick you though. This trail is partly overgrown and rocks and roots on the trail might trip you. Plus the the inclines are exhausting, but I would surely do it again.

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

Sunday, April 03, 2016

My wife and I did this entire trail today. It took us 5 and 1/2 hours. We traveled at a moderate pace. We even ran for a portion but we also stopped to eat and enjoy the landmarks along the way. This was the hardest trail we have done so far. We are beginners. We followed the guide left by the review below.Athough we calculated our mileage to be 12.15 miles, the instructions are quite accurate. a portion of the trail was closed but we went through it anyway because we couldn't decipher the map. However, it seemed that when you come to the closed portion of the trail, you can just walk up the road to the left and get back on the trail bypassing the closed portion. We didn't see a single person on the trail but we were accompanied by a couple buddy dogs, a beagle and a pit bull, for a little while but they turned around and went back where they came from.

walking
Sunday, March 20, 2016

This is a pretty great trail. It is located in a nice remote rural area of the state. To get to the trailhead (located near St. Patrick's Cemetery), simply go to Google Maps and type in Archers Fork Trail Head, Matamoras, OH and it will take you right to the trailhead, no problems. Once you get there, hike left of the cemetery gate (from the perspective of one facing the cemetery) and walk for a few minutes on a small path until you get to the Great Cave. From there a sign will point you to the Natural Bridge. Follow a path labeled with yellow plastic diamonds. However, note that there are some parts of the trail where the yellow diamonds are placed VERY far apart. In these cases, follow either blue plastic diamonds or blue squares painted on trees. During the first half of the trail, you will pass a medium-sized campsite located around mile 2.0 amongst some pine trees and also occassionally see signs of previous industrialization- pipes, oil pumps, storage tanks, etc. There is a stream around mile 2.5 which can be a challenge to cross- it is definitely deep enough to get your feet wet in and it is fairly wide; cross with caution. There is a section of the trail (around mile 3 to mile 4) where you follow a poorly marked dirt road with deep tire grooves. At mile four, the North County Trail and Archers Fork Trail split off. When this happens, continue on the left. Soon after this, you will reach a very nice camping spot located around mile 4.6. There is plenty of flat space, a fire ring, pine trees to hang hammocks on, and some stumps, logs, and stone chairs to sit on. I would strongly recommend stopping here for the night. This is roughly the halfway point. After that (or the next morning if you stop for the night), you will soon cross a stream, then pass by another camping site later on, and then cross a stream at mile 6.0. Once crossing this stream, turn right and begin climbing uphill. At mile 6.8, you will cross a road. You will hike with virtually no elevation change for a bit over a mile. This area is quite nice- you can see the surrounding hills and it is very quiet. Then you will cross another road at mile 8.2, and yet ANOTHER road at mile 8.9. Immediately after this crossing it will look a lot like the area around mile 2.3, but don't worry- you're on the right track. Proceed to follow the yellow/blue diamonds until you reach the Great Cave which you saw at the beginning. DO NOT turn left (otherwise you will start the trail all over again and go to the Natural Bridge). Go STRAIGHT ahead. Very soon you will reach a dirt road with deep grooves in it. Turn right at this point. Walk for 3 or so minutes, and you will be back at the cemetery where your adventure began.