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4 - C National Recreation Hiking Trail is a 19 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 19.0 mi Elevation gain 1,020 ft Route type Point to Point

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Wild flowers

Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: Due to tornado damage, the northern section of this trail is closed. Only about the first third of the trail is currently open.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (54)
Photos (121)
Recordings (28)
Completed (80)
Dan V
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 10, 2020
HikingBridge outClosedOver grown

The north 2/3 of this trail is closed (from county road 1170). The reason for this is that a tornado in 2019 took out about a quarter mile of forest where the trail was and washed out some bridges. A few sections are impassable altogether so I would call this trail "semi improved". Now as to why you can go traipsing through the woods with no trail at in the same forest during hunting season, but this trail is off limits under pain of fine/imprisonment is beyond me. Anyway the northernmost section is tick infested. All in all, not worth it.

Marcos Carmona
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 25, 2019
HikingClosed

Trail was closed. It’s not fair to give it a 1 star review but i was disappointed that the trail was closed so it is what it is.

Amanda Sutters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2019

A friend and myself through hiked the trail. Very beautiful area! There are several bridges out but you can get through. About halfway there is a small shelter for camping and a mile past that is a primitive campsite.

Kassie Bohannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 4, 2019
HikingBlowdownBridge outMuddyOff trailRockyWashed out

started on a Friday and didn't see too many people. I was in a group of 4 and we hiked about 6 miles in on Friday and 6 miles back Saturday. Saturday we saw alot of hikers. there is a bridge out at mile 16 from the lake or mile 6 from neches bluff. we crossed a fallen log using the aid if a pogo. we camped out in a sandy area and I hung my hammock next to a creek stream which was awesome! lots of hog tracks! wear boots or waterproof shoes because it has a few really muddy spots and a few streams to cross . It was chilly outside and sprinkled during the night but the hike kept us warm during the day.

Antony Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 19, 2019
Backpacking

Bridge out at mile 16 heading north. Water was high every where and this bridge was washed away. We walked up and down river/creek 100 yards but no way to cross with the water high. Walked back towards Walnut creek shelter for about an hour then pitched camp. Beautiful couple of days in the woods trail was in good shape except for that bridge. Although if I had gone south from Walnut Creek shelter I suspect that the Big Slough may have been impassable as well. Last time I went south a large portion of the pier style walk ways were gone, only passable in the drier weather.

Alex Grant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 13, 2019
Backpacking

Was my first backpacking trip. Fantastic, and a lot of fun! An excellent trip to start out with, but keep in mind that it's 10 miles in, or roughly 20 miles through.

Scooter Hendon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2018
Backpacking

Hiked in late April and loved it. Underrated East Texas beauty. Hiked north to south on a Friday morning through Sunday morning. North portion is definitely the highlight. There is a bridge washout in the north part, so be ready to get your feet wet. Not a super glamorous trail, but we enjoyed it greatly. Hit me at @scooteronomy on Twitter or Instagram if you want any details on my experience.

Mike Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 8, 2018
Backpacking

This was a nice trail in a beautiful part of East Texas. The trail itself was an easy, enjoyable hike. It wasn't the best maintained trail I've ever been on. There was a major bridge that was washed out with little options to route around it. Many of the other small bridges were in disrepair too. But the scenery was great and it was very lightly trafficked. There are established campsites at each end of the 20 mile hike. In between there are only primitive sites if you can find a site at all, but I actually enjoyed the fact that it was very rustic. I did a half hike of 10 miles heading south from Neches Bluff.

Courtney Silverberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2018
Backpacking

This was my first trail to do by myself with just my dog. I started at Neches and camped at Walnut Creek, then trekked back. Super easy to follow and absolutely beautiful. I went during spring break so I came across quite a few people. Caching water was easy once I found the trail crossing. One big bridge is out so be ready for that. All of the others were sturdy. Definitely hiking this one again but bringing people so I can hike on thru!

Justin Mays
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 15, 2018

Was a fun trail

Gary Hatch II
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2018
Hiking

Rating is based on comparable trails for this area. Southeast Texas is mostly flat, and swampy, and very heavily wooded, and so is most of the trail. The North end of the trail, by Neches, has the only real hills and probably the prettiest part of the hike. I took a boy scout troop here and everyone enjoyed it. Its very easy to follow, with blazes the entire length. There are a number of bridges with the majority of them being pretty sketch so I would skip where possible as they are very slick. One on the North section crosses a river and is completely washed away so you have to find a shallow spot to cross. The trail is best travelled in the winter due to the bugs. Its pretty swampy and on a warm day the mosquitos will be out. We did it in February and even had some. Also, from what I can tell its a well traveled trail. There were at least 2 other large groups there when we were there. Ratcliff lake is a very pretty campground so a great place to stay over the night before. The Neches campground is free and you get what you pay for. There is a shelter at the halfway point about a half mile past FS511, going North. Due to the number of people, plan on it already being used. The area directly around it has really high grass and is pretty buggy. My recommendation, stash water at FS511, then camp just North of there off the trail, Its a nice area on a slight hill. Or keep heading North about .5 miles past the shelter, the forest is pretty clear and lots of space. I drove most of the road up there FS511 (both crossings) & FS526 are easily passable in just about any car. The gps route is not completely accurate where it cuts west and goes across 517, and the map at this point doesn't show a road that is there. The trail parallels this logging road for a .5 mile or so, you can see it on the satellite view. Also, we never did see FS517, so not sure it still exists or not. The area was recently burned so it was probably hidden, but doesn't appear to be a road that can be used anymore. Probably due this trail again in a year or so. Also, lots of ponds along the route so if you take a small rod there is probably some fish there.

Niko Welch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 2, 2018
Backpacking

Great trail for a winter hike. Beautiful open old-growth pine stands. Nice shelter with a fire pit about halfway if you choose to make it an overnight trip. No elevation change or big vistas, but good for East Texas woods. Fairly well kept trail with many bridged creeks. One washed out bridge and a lengthy section of boardwalk that has been destroyed by fallen trees. Quite a bit of wetlands and mud in the central section (it just rained before our hike). Probably a cold weather hike, wouldnt want to do it in the summer with all the mosquitos and ticks.

Bobby Applegate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 11, 2017

We tackled this trail in the summer. There were alot of ticks and small (harmless) spider webs that morning that we experienced. However, the trail is easy hiking allowing you to observe thick pine forest, old railway tram tracks, creeks and ponds all in the heart of deep East Texas. Loved it.

Dave Plever
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 17, 2017
Backpacking

Just finished a quick hike and overnight stay with my wife. We hiked about 6 miles in, then a mile back to a little lake where we camped for the night. Mosquitoes are horrid as always, but that's the price you pay in East Texas especially two weeks after a hurricane. The part of the trail we took was marked very clearly, not well kept but clear enough. The little lake is a great place to camp, however don't swim in it. We just wet our feet and the silt from the bed was stuck to us permanently. It was a little daunting at places carrying a 50# pack but still doable and a lot of fun. We will be back and start at the lake end and see how far we get.

Melissa Waller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 30, 2017

not a trail to take alone..saw several poisonous snakes... alligator and hogs. trail is overgrown in the summer and dangerous to hike. Recommend spring time hiking!

Jesse Koklas
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2017
Hiking

Not worth it in the summer. I did the first 7 or so miles of this trail northbound and after the 6.5-ish miles of lovely wooded trail, I hit a poorly marked field of small growth pines and it was all downhill from there, with poor markings and what you can barely call a "trail" meandering along private farms through dense pricker forests. I thought someone was playing a joke on me. I got all cut up and had to turn around somewhere in the "winderness" section. Made the mistake of sitting at some point and got covered in minuscule deer ticks. Total # of ticks I got on that hike was about 100, not an exaggeration. The negative experience outweighed the lovely first 6.5 miles. If attempting the whole trail in the summer, don't. Maybe the growth is less in other seasons and it is an actual trail not a pricker nightmare.

Jason Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 23, 2017
Hiking

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

Grant Adams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 17, 2017
Hiking

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!

Blayne Gunderman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 5, 2017
Hiking

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!!

Todd Shelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 6, 2016
Hiking

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.

Brittany Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 28, 2016
Hiking

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.

Nikki D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2016

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

Asa Vermeulen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2016
Hiking

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 :)

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