Explore the most popular trail running trails near Olive Hill with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Awesome caves and beautiful bridges! Sooo worth the hike!

Gorgeous trail, but it's poorly maintained and poorly marked in quite a few places.

hiking
8 months ago

At the beginning of the hike I encountered heavy foot traffic along with a boring and fairly easy trail that ran parallel to a road. However, around the half way point the trail opened up tremendously. With plenty of side attractions, this trail made up for the slow and boring start.
The rock formations were incredible, along with the large amount of cliffs and over hangs, this trail offers an additional rock climbing area which looked like it'd be a blast.
Follow that up with the Fern Bridge and the Raven Bridge, you can spend easily 2-3 hours on this trail and not get bored.
The trail was marked well, and I even went down to the lake afterwards to sit and rest.

hiking
8 months ago

beginning of trail is boring and has you cross a road 2 times. not so much off the beaten path, with some road noise in some places. However the plus side the trail was marked fairly well, in good condition, plenty of places to explore off trail. Once you get to the second half the rock formations are beautiful and there is actually an area where you can climb and repel about a 100ft rock face if you bring the proper gear. the second half makes up for the first. I did the trail going counter-clockwise from the trailhead.

Gear I Used on the trail:
water
string bag

Good trail. Lots of hills and rocks. Challenging but overly so.

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

hiking
11 months ago

Fantastic loop hike that passes three large natural bridges: Fern Bridge, Raven Bridge, and Smoky Bridge. If you tack on the short 0.5 mile Natural Bridge Trail, which also starts at the Welcome Center, you can see 4 large natural bridges in less than 4 miles. The difference between maximum and minimum elevation is only about 200 feet, but you will cover that 200 feet multiple times. Overall, best hike at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

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

hiking
11 months ago

Definitely an easier than moderate trail with minimal elevation change. Access the trail head by the Saltpeter cave sign across the street from the gift shop/welcome center parking lot. The middle bridge, Raven must be accessed by going about .1 mile off the TBT, the other two are directly on the trail. Smokey Bridge is the first if you clockwise and probably the most impressive. You can follow the red trail blazed to decent down to it. Lastly is Fern bridge going clock wise, which is pretty impressive as well. Lots of smaller caves along the trail as well as lots of rock formations. Over all, not much going on between the bridges, but the river can be seen when the trees don't have their leaves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beautiful!

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Gorgeous rock formations and caves

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.

hiking
Sunday, April 02, 2017

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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The scenery on this trail always inspires me no matter how often I hike it. The rock formations are awesome. The trail itself is moderately difficult. A lot of elevation changes and you should watch your footing due to the roots and rocks throughout. Great trail. One of my favorites.

hiking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Brought my dog with me. Very peaceful, only one on the trail

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Three bridges will always satisfy the wilderness seeking individual.
Have fun!

on Three Bridges Trail

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Great trail, with alot of "bang for your buck" sights. Great trail for all levels of hikers.

on Three Bridges Trail

hiking
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Loved it. Beautiful views.

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

I took my dog on this trail this morning and it was very pretty. Fern bridge was beautiful. Carter Caves has a lot of parking and the employees at the welcome center were very friendly.

What a site to see three natural bridge's.

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

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

hiking
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Absolutely gorgeous. Raven bridge is a bit disappointing, but the other two will not disappoint. Took our chocolate lab for the hike and he had a great time

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Great hike!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Loooong!

hiking
Thursday, April 21, 2016

This trail captures the full essence of CC's.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

This trail is not what I'd refer to as Easy. Some truly daunting areas and the Fern bridge is in disrepair. The difficulty makes it the almost perfect trail. Beginning is a bit boring but once you get through it the rest is worth the wait.

hiking
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We did this as a family hike and it was great! We are introducing hiking to the kids as a family activity. This was a great trail because there was so much to see. It was a bit much for our 5 year old, so he rode in his lilebaby carryon for about 1/3 of the trail to rest his legs. Be prepared for lots of hills and like the previous reviewer said, pack a lunch. It took us about 4 hours with lots of stops and lunch. This trail is way too pretty to chug through without stopping to enjoy the scenery. The trail was very well marked and east to follow.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Absolutely breathtaking scenery, and some moderately difficult bits. Deviating from the trail to climb the muddy hillside for an up close view of Raven Bridge was worthwhile. We got a little confused and thought we missed Smoky Bridge somehow (it is verging on impossible to miss) so we backtracked a quarter mile or so and extended our hike. Very rewarding and worthwhile trail, and it is well-marked.

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