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

Worth the time

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail for families with small children. Not too long and goes along a river/creek so also gives the kids plenty of areas to explore.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very easy hike it took me and my husband less than two hours to hike it and we stopped a lot to enjoy the neat insects we found. It registered on our gps as only 3.2 Miles that’s with starting at parking lot going out on judge branch and coming back on part of ol mac. We even did the interpretive loop. very pretty home we would definitely do it again. There is a camp sight just off the trail we’re considering camping at soon too.

hiking
2 months ago

It was perfect for young kids and a puppy. Wide trails. No drops. They could play in several stops along the river and even at the fall.

hiking
3 months ago

Continuing past DeBord, it’s an easy, steady climb (about an additional mile) to the next fall on Emory Gap trail. Muddy and rocky but not difficult. Only complaint is that the fall isn’t impressive and rock climbing is necessary to get the best view.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail for bird mountain was really well maintained and clearly marked. The switchbacks were also well made. The elevation gain in the first ~2 miles was tough, but the switchbacks definitely helped. The only bummer was the lack of a view at the top/throughout the trail. Views would probably be possible and would be better during fall or winter. Either way, it was a really nice trail!

We left from the Old Mac trail head parking lot at 1:00 pm and made it to the Tubs Spring campsite around 3:30 pm. We were suppose to stay at the Panther Gap Rockhouse campsite but it was way to muddy. Tub Springs camp is very nice especially with the actual spring being so close, maybe 100 yards. From there it's an easy mile hike to and from the watch tower. We left Tubs Springs in the morning around 10:00 am and made it back by 11:30. We took the North Old Mac trail home which was easy being mostly down hill the entire way.

Either trail you take in (South Old Mac or North Old Mac) its going to be a difficult hike its up hill the entire way. But you are rewarded on the hike back with a gradual down hill for miles. I highly recommend this trail for a fun and short backpacking trip or a long day hike just make sure to bring the water. The water sources were drying up along the trail you so you can only fill up at the begging or end at Tubs Spring.

trail running
6 months ago

Horribly maintained trail. Basically bushwhacking. Not marked well at all. If the trail was cleared it would be a great trail.

hiking
6 months ago

This was an enjoyable hike. I agree with most of the others. I don’t think the last third could be called easy:) Of course I’m 71 and far from the fittest hiker on the trail!

Beautiful area and not very populated! We did North Old Mac then The Fire Tower then South Old Mac back to the car. Directions are correct for parking. We will be back to hike the other trails one day! Saw a coyote on the way out too.

Oh, and no martinis allowed on the trails.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail lots of water after a rain event. Second half of trail was like walking in a creek! Looking forward to the next visit.

Easy from trailhead to Debord Falls, some areas rocky so watch your step. To continue onto Emory Gap Falls is doable but defiantly closer to the moderate range. You are going up hill more and there are a lot more rocks and tree roots.
( I did see and older man fall, he was not injured). If the the first Falls (Debord) do not have plenty of water flowing you may want to wait to do the second leg another day.

hiking
7 months ago

Love this trail! Not sure I would say easy especially the very end of trail but can be done!

hiking
7 months ago

NOT EASY. This is definitely a moderate hike—especially closer to the falls. They were beautiful and well worth the effort. The Debord Falls are on the same trail, so stop and see them on your way.

Loop hike joining Ross Gap, Cumberland &Bird Mt trails. Hard on both trail and washed out rocky roads.Well marked. Begin in nice wooded section w stream xings. Then long mod ascent on old forest rd w sections of wash ,rocky footing, & deadfall. Ross Gap @ 2.5mi. Turn right following white blazes to Castle Rock. At Castle Rock, 4.5mi., join Bird Mt Tr and begin descent through switchbacks & exit woods @ Big Cove Campground. Aprrox 1.5mi back to beginning using walking path and park rd. A nice circuit with pretty streams, rocky features & some wintertime views from the upper ridgeline.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is beautiful. We went after some heavy rain and the waterfalls were amazing! We ended up filling a few side trails to explore also and hiked about 4 miles. It was moderate in difficulty. Not bad. I did it with an 18 month old on my back and didn’t struggle. I recommend this hike a million times!!

hiking
7 months ago

Short easy spur off Panther Branch Tr. Rocky footing. Pretty waterfall after a rain. 3mi roundtrip up Panther Br. to access. This is on old roadbed & adds Debord Falls & pretty stream side hike.

Easy on well marked & maintained trail. This is actually a loop combining North & South Old Mac Trails. South is steeper than North & has rocky sections at the top with tougher footing than North. Not much to see but a nice hike through hardwood forest with the occasional small stream xing &waterfall. Go see the Panther rockhouse & lookout tower. I added Panther Br Tr & Emory Gap Tr. This was 12mi & added nice waterfalls & a pretty stream. Panther Br is moderate as the top section is steep with sections of poor footing, washed out trail & deadfall on trail. All in all a nice hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Easy. Well maintained & marked. Footing solid even after a rain. Nice walk along a pretty stream. Falls at the end. Will get your feet wet when crossing the branch at the end. Return via South Mac Tr to vary the scenery.

GPS had the loop at 8-miles including the extra mile up to the tower. Beautiful crisp hike up the north trail and back on the south trail. A light dusting of snow from the previous day but some awesome icicles hanging from the rocks in most of the streams. Elevation gain is very gradual with no steep inclines, Good family hike

very nice trail enjoyable hike

hiking
11 months ago

easy hike, beautiful foliage in October. wish there was more water in the streams. Should be awesome in the springtime.

hiking
11 months ago

Easy trail, beautiful foliage. Waterfalls would be nice if there was more water . They were barely dribbling.
But i thoroughly enjoyed the walk.

hiking
11 months ago

You want to wait after a good rain if you want to be impressed by the falls. But it was very pretty, even the drive there. Lots of rocks so you have to pay attention. Uphill whole way.

hiking
Saturday, September 30, 2017

North Old Mac was a delight today. Good single track tread with plenty of quiet woods. The tower had good views. Coming back down South Old Mac is a lot different—more rocks, more roots, more toe-biters and ankle-grabbers. Tub Spring Campsite is a great place to string up a hammock and rest a bit before heading back down.

camping
Thursday, September 21, 2017

took the panther branch trail to Mac, upto the lookout total mileage was 8.4 .pretty much uphill the whole way. was not bad though at all. amazing scenery.worth every step,to top out frozen head.

backpacking
Sunday, September 10, 2017

This review is for the overweight and even obese people who may lurk on this app.

I'll begin this by saying I am not a small woman. In fact, just this year I crossed back from being morbidly obese to the higher end of the overweight category.

I read everyone else's reviews, packed my gear, and headed out on a trip for 3 days, and 2 nights.

It wasn't as easy as the reviews say. Not by a long shot. It took me and my boyfriend (also overweight) over 4 hours just to get UP the north trail. Please don't take this as a complaint. Just keep in mind that a majority of the people reviewing this trail are in shape and in hiking condition.

We made it though. We camped two nights at the Panther Gap Rockhouse, wandered around on day two exploring other campsites, including Tubb Springs, and we made it up to the firewatch tower (which was swarming with wasps). It was totally worth it.

On our initial ascent, we huffed, we puffed, but we did it. We didn't see many other people on the trail, but it was layer in the day, raining due to the remnants of hurricane Harvey. There weren't views, but along the way many small creeks, tiny waterfalls, and giant rock formations. To me, it's a journey worth taking just for those things.

The descent took us just less than half of the time it took us to get up. It was super hard on my knees despite using trekking poles. I spent the entire next day at work limping, with leg pain and weakness like the after effects of a hard leg day at the gym.

We plan to lose 30 more pounds by spring and try the trip again. And again.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

my little one enjoyed swimming in debored falls and we loved the tree swing on the way up to Emory falls! I wish we would have brought swim trunks and swim shoes though. great kid friendly hike! spent 3 hours on it round trip.

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Great trail for beginners. Went with my daughter and the grade and difficulty of the trail were well suited for a child, she's 7. There are a number of flat back-county sites for camping and hammocks if that how you roll that aren't too far up the trail. Its easy enough that we are going to use it as a conditioning hike trail. Definitely worth the doing

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This is a great trail for families. I took my 4 and 6 year old and they absolutely loved it. We hiked up to Debord Falls and then to Emory Falls. There were wildflowers and butterflies everywhere, much to the delight of my daughter. Trail was easily followed and well trod.

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