Honey Creek Loop Trail is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Allardt, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,053 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

This is a tough and technical trail that is not well marked. There are several rock houses and waterfalls which make the hike very worth while. Additionally the natural, undisturbed beauty of the area is very good reason to hike this trail. There are several points where you may ask yourself if you are going the right way. Trail blazes on this trail are random arrows, blazes of green. There are several boulder scrambles, and points in the trail where you hike in or over creek beds. There are plenty of campsites along this trail but some of the boulder crawls will make it tough to carry a backpack for camping. There are a couple of ladders to climb as well, once you reach the overlook area. The trail length is approximately 5.6 miles for the full loop. However with the different spur trails to take, it becomes more like 6 miles. It is recommended that you calculate at least an hour for every mile. This is mostly because there is so much to see and do along the trail that you will want to take it all in. Bring plenty of water and if it's been raining recently bring extra clothing. You will likely get wet.

9 days ago

I live close to the trail head and it’s my absolute favorite.

hiking
14 days ago

Incredible hike, incredible setting! It is a bit demanding — certainly not a trail for novice hikers, but it is the definition of natural beauty. Highly recommend!

20 days ago

Fun has a mix of challenges and entertaining for all.

2 months ago

Nice trail but found it difficult to follow at times due to confusing branching of trails. Luckily, with this app was able to get back on track. Traveled counterclockwise and took a shortcut back via the metal latter to the overlook when I couldn't locate the rest of the trail.

2 months ago

It was amazing trail with the part we saw but we got to ice castle falls part going north, and got completely lost couldn’t find any trails or where markers. Super sad we didn’t get to finish. Any body have any wisdom please let us know .

hiking
2 months ago

Breaktaking experiences of caves, patterned rocks, and mountain views.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike. Saw two little bears about a half mile into the trail. There are so many amazing sights along the trail and the terrain keeps changing. You’ll cross streams, crawl through little caves and scramble over boulders. There’s so much to see we spent six hours out there. Bring a lot of drinks and you can’t put on enough bug spray.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiking was very difficult but well worth the trip. The hike was definitely more than 5 miles according to the fit bit it was 7.17 pack plenty of water and snacks.

hiking
3 months ago

I found this hike pretty easy! Trail was pretty well marked and we did it counterclockwise. Very beautiful rock formations. The middle section has some rock scrambling but not much. It was fun to go thru the caves and rock tunnels. My husband ended up spraining his ankle mid way thru, so we had a very slow final 2.5 miles... but even with that we finished in less than 4 hours. Probably could have finished in 3 hours. The first 1 1/2 miles and last 2 miles are fairly “flat” and easy trail.

3 months ago

Amazing hike. Not for the faint of heart. Go counter clock-wise, makes scrambling, climbing and looking for signs much easier. In July not to much water, but some rocks are slippery, so poles and good hikers are a must. Take your time and enjoy the scenery. My husband and I are avid hikers. Took us about 5 hours with a stop for lunch at the overlook. Best to plan an hour per mile.

hiking
3 months ago

Make sure that you and your group are prepared if you plan to hike this trail. You will read many reviews stating two varying opinions regarding how well the trail is marked and this is due to the direction you hike the loop. Almost all of the trail blazes are oriented so that they are easy to see when hiking this loop in a Counter-Clockwise direction. Even the painted arrows are oriented Counter Clockwise. So, hiking this loop clockwise makes finding the trail markers much more difficult.

The posted 5.6 miles is not accurate either, we had 5 people running different tracking and GPS apps and no one had less than 8 miles. Some of the additional distance was added looking for the marked trail but not an additional 2.4 miles. We did visit some side trails to check out rock features but this is something to keep in mind when planning this hike.

If you are hiking this trail in the heat of the day, bring plenty of water or a way to filter and replenish what you have. The heat and humidity in the summer of Tennessee just sucks the moisture out of your body and it's easy to get dehydrated. Not something you want on this trail given its strenuous nature. Bring food or snacks for energy as well.

Poles are extremely helpful and you need good boots for this trail as it entails a lot of rock hopping and down climbing. Gloves to protect your hands can be helpful. Bring bug spray if hiking this trail in any season other than winter, the horse flies are horrible.

As far as the trail goes, it's beautiful with huge rock features, walls, massive rock shelters, water falls, creek crossings, rock hopping and route finding. In most places, the trail is well worn but in others it becomes a bit more obscure and many social trails leading in different directions can become confusing. There are some excellent campsites along the trail if you plan to overnight. There aren't too many "Views" on this trail other than the marked Overlook as the trail is primarily under the canopy of the trees, rhododendron, and Mountain Laurel (which bloom the first and second week in June). Plenty of up and down hiking over uneven terrain to keep even the worst masochist happy! This is not an easy hike so the strenuous designation is accurate. Hiking this trail after a big rain will make creek crossings more difficult and your footing a bit more sketchy.

It's a great trail but it wouldn't make my top ten list for hiking.

hiking
4 months ago

This is the best trail I have hiked in the middle Tennessee area. It’s challenging but a great adventure that is worth the workout. Fairly dry at the moment which makes the creek crossings easy and removes the worry of wet feet, however it also makes the waterfalls a lot less exciting. I would definitely return to this trail.

4 months ago

One of my best hikes yet! Most amazing sites to see and is so very different every section you get to. Very wet a good hiking sandal would great but has some very challenging areas that use a good boot as well. Our kids are 10 and 11 did great on this hike. It however very challenging so if your not in the best of shape you will be very sore the following day. Has some very slippery areas. But over all 5 stars!

hiking
4 months ago

Pure magic. I've never had an experience quite like this trail. I hiked it on a foggy/misty day and it only added to the environment. You have to use your trail finding skills to get through it, but that is part of the fun on this unique trail. You encounter the best portion of the trail once you pass the overlook area going counterclockwise.

backpacking
4 months ago

4 months ago

Very much a favorite trail of mine. Yes, it was challenging, but well worth the steep climbs and descents. The views, the rock houses, the boulders, the cliffs, all were breathtaking. At times, you enter places that look like a "fairyland". Unfortunately, water flow was minimal so not much on waterfalls. Great excuse to go back.

hiking
5 months ago

WOW! We loved this trail. It is a tough hike and not recommended for beginners without the right gear. Hiking poles are a must and you need the tips for both rock and soil. Good hiking boots with ankle support and lots of water and snacks. Good to have water shoes and extra socks. Lots of water crossings. I wouldn't want to hike this after a hard rain!
Best to do counter-clock wise. Trail is marked well, but you do have to pay attention. Some of the directions are painted on rocks while the others are markers on trees. Lots of hiking up the creek, around, under and over boulders. Trees down in some areas and low hanging so watch your head. Also some wooden steps have rotted out, but the rebar is still there and easy to trip over.

If you are not in decent shape or have stability issues I would not recommend it.

Keep your eyes open for the wildlife. Enjoy the beauty and don't rush it.

hiking
5 months ago

Best hike iv done yet in the Tennessee/Kentucky area.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail rocks. Better marked than in years past but still moderately hard. A trail to take your time on & savor the beauty. Must rank as one of the best trails in East Tn.

5 months ago

This is certainly one of the best hikes in the region! One has to be in decent shape to complete the trail in 3 hours or less. Despite the rugged terrain the trail is well marked. Keep an eye out for bears!

hiking
6 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever done and it’s literally in my backyard. It’s definitely a more challenging hike and it takes a few hours if you like to check out the scenery. But man is it worth it. Waterfall and overlooks with caves, can’t beat it.

6 months ago

Loved it!

hiking
6 months ago

OMG! I hike every weekend and already done over 200 miles of trails since Jan 1 2018.
Been in Cherokee and the Smoky mountains and this is the best all around hike I’ve done. Charles Bunion and Leconte are better views but this trail in unique. Stopped counting at 15 falls, over 20 creek crossing, some very hard. U have to go thru small rock caves and the creek is part of trail, boots extra pair of socks a must, so worth it.
Colors of rocks and moss are mind blowing, if I die hope it’s hiking there put it that way. Leave dogs at home u less u drive to overlook, not for anyone who is afraid of creek crossings because there are so many. Have to use rope to climb down back part of trail.
Go Counterclockwise! Way easier!! You will see what I mean, otherwise will have wet feet.
Trail starts not where it says trailhead(that’s clockwise) it starts just passed parking lot up the hill. Way easier and The park rangers recommend this way on the website.
5 hours at least to do whole trail about 6.5 miles if u do overlook too.

6 months ago

Probably one of my most favorite so far! Loved walking down the creek and climbing on the rocks. Interesting dens for creatures to hide out in :0! Ladders to climb, rocks to stack, waterfalls to see! I think the trail was marked pretty good some areas could’ve been better, but isn’t that half the fun! :)) Definitely will be revisiting soon!

hiking
6 months ago

Echoing all of the other reviewers: this is a gem of a hike for this area! My boyfriend is not a hiker and I usually have to do a lot of teeth pulling to get him outdoors, but he loved this one so much he wants to come back and do it again--which is a HUGE success. It is such a fun, active hike with unique features, waterfalls, scrambling and creek crossings. I was a little worried about bringing our older dog because of the scrambles, but he loved it! We did have to pick him up a few times during creek crossings, but I think a more/younger active dog wouldn't need any assistance.

Do note: if you have a dog, you most likely won't be able to get to the overlook of the gorge from the trail. The only way up is a steep ladder, and there was no way the pup would have been able to manage. I luckily was able to go snag a peak while my partner waited with the dog, but it was a bummer it wasn't accessible for everyone. You can drive to the overlook by continuing past the Honey Creek Loop trail head, so if you can't do it while on the trail you could always go have a look before you leave--it's a lovely view.

The trail is fairly well marked, but there were a few sections where we got a bit lost and had to double back and find the markers again. Parts of this trail are marked only with the "Sheltowee Trace" markers, so don't be thrown off--it's the same trail.

I brought trail runners and trekking poles, and I think both were good choices. Your feet will definitely get wet past the ankles, so waterproof ankle boots aren't going to do you much good--they'll end up keeping the water inside your boot instead of out. The trekking poles really help with the stream crossings, so bring em if you have em!

This is definitely one of the best hikes in the middle Tennessee area. We'll definitely be back.

backpacking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails I have ever done!! Better marked than I was lead to believe, certainly some rock climbing/scaling and creek crossing! My feet were SOAKED! All of the amazing waterfalls along the way made the trail even better than the overlook! We stopped a lot as my partner is a photographer and we really wanted to take the time to look at and photograph everything. Staked out some really nice campsites for returning in the future! I agree with other reviewers who said if you have ONE day to hike in the area, this is the ONE!

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best hikes in TN. Pay attention to the markers but the trail isn’t as poorly marked as other people say. Never seen so many different features on one trail. Really technical but not super difficult. Be ready to crawl and climb. If you’ve got one day to hike in Tennessee this should be where you go.

hiking
7 months ago

Stunning. Absolutely one of the best in Tennessee. My son and I had a complete blast hiking this trail!

7 months ago

My and my dog went. Amazing trail and we went after all the rain so it was that much more fun!!

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