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

hiking
10 days ago

Easy hike, runs along the river with a nice little rock to sit and enjoy the water about 1/2 way through.

hiking
12 days ago

This was a great hike, not too strenuous. I took my dog and she loved it. There are a few great spots along the river to walk on the riverbank. There are some trees down in a few areas and make it a little difficult to follow the trail, but as long as you follow the blazes you should be find.

hiking
18 days ago

One of the best in-and-out trails in the country. Other people have correctly described it as magical. From a river, golden eagles, exotic mushroom species, fish, caves, solitude, rock formations, and plenty of shade, this trail has it all.

We hiked on a Monday and literally did not see anyone on the trail or the trail road. The final road to the trailhead is gravel. The trailhead itself is immediately north of the river not south. Don’t be fooled by the trailhead opening south of the river, that’s not the trailhead.

I am 59, ten pounds overweight and in fair condition. We went on a pretty hot day. No question I got warm, but the trail is not super strenuous; its moderate rating is accurate. There are areas of caution, including steep grades and slippery rocks, but with a modicum of caution, it’s fairly safe and a lot of fun.

There is no cell phone service, and the system of roads in are just a little complicated. Downloading the area on a GPS App such as Maps With Me will eliminate the problem of getting in and out. We hiked to the Cumberland River, which makes it 2.5 miles out (in and out 5 miles). The number of streams and waterfall, plus previous high-water points, means this would not be a good area to get caught in during a red-cell thunderstorm. Lastly children under 10 and individuals with physical difficulties probably would find this trail very challenging.

Beautiful scenery 5 stars, trail needs A LOT of work. Lots of debris and trees across the trail, numerous poorly marked sections of the trail and multiple reroute signs. Took a map and used Alltrails and was still hard to find the actual trail in spots. Strenuous hike but fun.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail. Great scenery beautiful landscapes from start to finish. Hike it in the summer and winter (wet) months for different views. Little waterfalls pop up throughout the trail....and if you like Paw Paws there’s a little grove close to where Bark Creek intersects with the Cumberland River....Nice little snack to enjoy before either heading back to the trailhead or onto the Sheltowee Trace.

Fun trail with great views.

hiking
2 months ago

Started at the visitors center parking lot and started on trail1. Was re routed to 12 due to a tree across the trail 1 trail. Then connected with trail 7 then back to trail 1. Confusing to say the least but never felt “lost”. Continued on to Dog slaughter falls, roundtrip with reroute was 8.5 miles. Hopefully the trail 1 will be back on line soon to save a few steps. I didn’t find the trail difficult as far as ups and downs, just be sure footed as you navigate the lose rocks and roots in the trail. We did not see anyone else on the trails, but it was Wednesday and mid may so the weekends could be a bit more busy.
The scenery was lovely but you had to constantly watch you’re footing or take a tumble. The fish were jumping in the river and all the falls were flowing fully.Many shrubs getting ready to bloom as well as trees. 1 small snake and several squirrels were along the path.
The map($1) was helpful and will pass it on to someone when we leave. All in all a great trail, beautiful and easy to hike. Moderate is the rating, maybe so. Try to work in going to the Dog slaughter falls as your turn around point, a-little more difficult trail to walk but worth the extra effort and time. Pack a lunch and enjoy! No ticks yet:)

Nice trail with a view of Cumberland falls and eagle falls

hiking
2 months ago

nice trail with decent scenery.

I really loved this hike. I loved that it’s near the creek and the waterfalls were running. My tracker said it was farther than the all trails app does, I think that is true. The cascades were beautiful and every bit of three miles out. The Cumberland river was up and visible from just past the cascades, .03 on the sheltowee trace trail. This trail was well maintained and had some difficult areas. The first two waterfalls would be easy. After that it’s long. Coming back is difficult because of some fatigue. Trail head was just before you cross the bridge. Clearly marked after 20 or so feet. Enjoy. Well worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

good trail, lots of rock formations down by the river.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail has everything- well marked path, scenic river to follow, & breathtaking cascades in the end. This is an all time favorite of mine since childhood! It is the perfect length for a few hours of day hiking. The scenery will keep you in awe for the hike’s entirety.

hiking
6 months ago

Okay for a short family outing. Really not a lot of scenery. The river followed the trail the first half and that was cool. Really not a lot of places for camping.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the local favorites. Especially in the summertime. The trail head is hard to find if your not familiar with it. A lot of high walls, rock formations and water scenery on this trail. Especially in the winter time. A lot of icicles and frozen water falls, in the colder weather, make for some very cool pics. But the end is the true reward. Awesome tiered waterfalls with wading pools on each level. Great family outing trail.

one of my favorites!

Great hiking trail. A few difficult areas made the hike fun. Parked at laurel lake dam and walked in. Great scenery as most of the hike is along Cumberland river. A lot of hills for the first 1.5 miles then the trail elevation evens out for most of the walk. Only made it in to bark creek and turned back. Great views of a waterfall on the creek made the entire trip worth it. Make sure not to miss out on this view. Took about 6 hours complete this hike which was, I would guess, 7 miles one way.

on Blue Bend Trail

trail running
7 months ago

Really nice trail.

hiking
9 months ago

nice hike,seen one copperhead and ALOT of ticks.Didn't run into any other hikers till we got onto trail 1 then the trail was pretty busy up to the falls.

hiking
10 months ago

Get hike! Maybe a little too strenuous for children but overall a gorgeous area.

11 months ago

love this trail. But also it is very hard. We always do this trail when we come to Cumberland falls. Takes a long time. 2 half to 3 hours one way. Expect a all day hike. That's what I go for. Not many people on the trail. A few water falls and walk with the river most of the time.

Wonderful hike along a creek with plenty to look at.

This was a pretty hike. A lot of up and down parts where your knees can bother you for days after the fact but a beautiful hike.

Best advice for any of these trails I can give is to buy a trail map at the gift shop (they are only $1.00). This is a Difficult trail; these trails are not for those with limited mobility or poor physical health. You start on the moonbow trail (trail 1) next to Cumberland Falls and follow the river.From where trail 2 starts, which you pass the first time to get to dog slaughter falls, its pretty rough terrain, but worth the trip. There were times I had to take my rucksack off and crawl over some boulders or drop my rucksack down a sharp drop, especially right before getting to Dog Slaughter falls. Once there, you can swim beneath the falls and there is a fire pit there you camp down at. Going up trail 2 is steep and from there, you can decide which path you want to take to get back to Cumberland Falls. For this trail, you take the path the sign directs you too, getting on trail 11 (then 7 then 12 which leads back to your starting point).

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Nice way to see Cumberland Falls if you are staying at the park lodge and don't want to drive there. Trail #6 goes straight to the falls, while Trail #4 takes a longer route through the Cliffside Picnic Area. I prefer Trail #4 for its rock shelters and CCC-built stone steps. Fairly secluded except for the falls area, which of course is super crowded.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Easy trail with a view of river

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

great hike today. beautiful.

Always beautiful

backpacking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

This trail was very pretty. A couple small waterfalls that you're able to see from the trail. One you actually go behind it and can put your head in to cool off if you want. We actually camped off the trail for 2 nights and during our trip went to dog slaughter falls and we absolutely loved that. Definitely a must (dog slaughter falls) if you're in the area.

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

This is a great trail. There are no vistas but the opportunity to walk behind two waterfalls is just as good. They weren't large falls but still nice to see. Pretty well maintained but there are a few downed trees you have to negotiate over or under. I had to barrel roll over one.

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