4 - C National Recreation Hiking Trail

EASY 19 reviews

4 - C National Recreation Hiking Trail is a 39.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kennard, Texas that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

39.1 miles
2326 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers

5 days ago

One of the best in Texas. A bit overgrown in places.

1 month ago

Fantastic! My wife's first true experience camping was a success with this hike. We live just on the east side of Dallas, so to be in woods and back in a little bit of rolling hills was a dream come true.

It's not the most spectacular hike I've ever done, but it hit the spot for us and our 7 month old pup. There was a good pond for our pup to swim and fetch in and a great place we found to set up camp.

Overall, it's a great place to bring your family with kiddos and enjoy the outdoors!

1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

Got finished yesterday - loved the trail, except for the mile of walking along a telephone/elec ROW. Beautiful forest. Stayed at the primitive shelter at MM 11.1. Thanks!!

5 months ago

Hiked this trail southbound on March 2. Perfect day with just a slight chill in the air. The trail is very easy with minimal elevation change (typical of the area). Way more bridges than I had expected, would probably be a miserable hike without them in wet weather. Very well marked and easy to follow. Will return soon for an overnight.

5 months ago

Worst trail I have ever been on. Trail is poorly marked and continually drops you off in the middle of deer blinds. I do not suggest this trail to anyone.

6 months ago

We love this trail. We will be hiking it thru, from Ratcliff Lake to the Bluff and back this weekend for the 40. Stoked.

9 months ago

The Four-C trail isnt the most exciting trail, but its one of the only overnight trails in East Texas. Ive hiked it 4 times now one way and its always quiet and a bit wild. You can get dropped off at Ratcliff Recreational area, or the Neches Bluff Overlook, and picked up at the other for a shorter trip. The trail is under maintained in many areas, passing through private property that is often not well marked. The trail can be unmarked in some sections, but if your out for an overnight hike, you've probably got the common sense to find your way. I'd suggest a trip in the early spring or fall, when the mosquitoes and humidity are low. The shack in the middle point was in poor shape, possibly the roof caught fire during a controlled burn from pine needles on top? it rained and i had to sleep all the way to one wall to get away from the rain splatter. I have seen multiple venomous and non-venomous snakes on the trails so use caution. Geocaches are plenty along the trail if you cant find them, often just a pile of burnt plastic from the prescribed burns or just a film canister. Ive only run into 1 group of people the 4 times i've done it, so not too busy of a trail. I recomend plenty of bug spray, a hammock with mosquito netting, and plenty of water. Like I said, its not the ozark trail, but its all we got :)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We hiked the trail March 17/18, 2016. A bridge was washed out by the recent rains but with some effort we made it past that point. No one at the ranger station told us this (we called before we began) and we had placed our water on the other side of this bridge which was 5 miles (about) into the hike. If we hadn't made it past (we ran into others that didn't make past) we would have not had water for the second day. The camp site seems to be farther than 9 miles and the map is not very helpful but the trail is well marked. The further we hiked the more bridges were out. Some had obviously been out for awhile. Lots of trees were down and it seemed that the further into the hike we got the less maintained the trail was. We did not mind since we liked the challenge. Oh, and parts of the forest were still burning from a recent fire but nothing that had us alarmed. We just walked past. We would do it again!

Monday, February 29, 2016

My girlfriend and I did a two day hike on this trail 2/27/2016-2/28/2016. We started at the southern trailhead by Ratcliff Lake and hiked about 11 miles then setup camp. The trail is very well marked and even though there are some places where trees have fallen on the path which require you to make small detours, we never had any issues finding the trail.

I read a few recent reviews that stated the shelter at Walnut Creek Camp was no longer there, however this information is incorrect. The shelter is still there and aside from what appeared to be a burned hole in the roof, is in good shape.

Overall it was a blast hiking this trail. We may start from the northern trailhead next time to get a different perspective.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I hiked the 20 miles in a little over two days. The trails were easy to hike and was able to form a steady pace along the way.
The trails were well marked by trees which were placard by white tags and the creeks had well maintained bridges for easy passage.
I crossed several park service roads, none had signs which would have confirmed exactly where I was in relation to the map that I had.
On the third morning, I needed more water and was able to safely filter some water from a flowing creek.
Please note that the area surrounding the trails is also designated for public hunting.
To make sure I wasn't a potential target, wore a bear ball, a blaze orange hat and a basic light weight blaze orange vest that was position over my backpack an draped over the shoulder straps.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hiked 10 miles up from the south entrance. Trail was well worn, flat, mostly shady and well marked. After the 10 mile sign things got more overgrown. Couldn't find the campsite that was supposed to be 9 miles in and it was getting dark so we had to make camp without finding the site. Be aware that you must bring or cache any water on this trail as heavy metals prevent the water from being filtered.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I have hiked the trail both ways. North to south and south to north. Neat bridges. Lots of pine. A bit monotonous. Very flat.

trail running
Monday, March 10, 2014

Great trail.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Went thru Ratcliff lake camping area. Sad to see how much damage from pine bore beetles. :(

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My brother and i hiked this trail together and we both enjoyed it. Scenery changes every couple of miles which was nice. There is a nice shelter we stayed in that is almost at the halfway point. A bad storm came through and the shelter did leak a bit, but we were still able to stay dry.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Great trail...Bring Plenty of Water!! No potable water on the trail.