hiking
14 days ago

Fun trail that you can combine with several others in the park. Very steep climb at the end, but fun and pretty the entire way.

Well maintained trail that helped avoid the crowds.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Gorgeous views, rather steep uphills and the trail to the lodge is covered in loose shale and rocks. The day we went, the Cottonwood Trail was pretty muddy. Well worth the climb. As someone else stated, make sure to continue on past the bench. The ledge is a short walk past it

hiking
fee
1 month ago

Had to get a parking pass for like 7 dollars but it was beautiful!

We typically like hikes with some hills and a rewarding view. The lower trails in this park meander along the river and are pretty flat (too easy), so we keyed on this trail combination because it looked liked it had what we were looking for. Parked in the horse trailer lot because the cabin campground was closed, darn COVID. Took the Culler trail and road to link up with the connector trail at the cabins. We were pleasantly surprised by a series of well groomed, wide, and very well marked trails. Easy to trek along with no deadfall, rocky footing, or mud pits. We were also greeted with some nice views of the river valley and the mountains along the Red Ridge Trail with benches to rest on. Early spring so the blooms were just coming out and you could see straight through the trees. I would say its Easy to Moderate depending on your fitness level. Enough hills to get the heart pumping but with easy, well maintained, smooth trails. Perfect trails for an afternoon of hiking/biking/jogging.

Decent hike, not too much in the way of views until about the 5 mile mark or so. Decently shady even without the leaves on. The dogs liked it. Good horse and bike trail too.

Great hike, good loop, not too much elevation gain or loss. Easy to follow, and you can start at multiple places.

Very good signage. The hard part is immediately after the midpoint of the hike. If you want to avoid that, you can just sit on some rocks & enjoy the view.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

This was a lovely, peaceful trail. The parking was a little tricky. You are able to park on the west side of the road, not the East. Otherwise you will have to park on the other side of the river and cross the bridge.

Easy loop to follow, with just one good viewpoint above Hogback Overlook. I parked at the CCC Camp between Mathew’s Arm and Rattlesnake Overlook, and started on the Piney Branch Trail.

I'd definitely rate this as Easy, rather than moderate. It was a nice winter hike in early February. Parking was across the road from the trailhead. Note: cell reception, and therefore GPS signal, is unreliable on this stretch of Skyline Drive. I accidentally drove past the parking lot and had to turn around at an overlook. My 12 y/o terrier was running this trail. We only saw a few other people along the way. The trail forks and we did both arms, each .2 miles. One fork is declines to a captivating fragmented boulder that makes you wonder how nature produces such geometry. This fork is the greater physical challenge of the two, a bit steep and wet/slippery. The way back up from this rock feature was the hardest part of the whole hike. The other fork has wider trail, and gains a bit of elevation to a nice panoramic viewpoint. Overall a quick and easy hike but much of a challenge.

hiking
3 months ago

Relatively easy and pretty hike.

Pretty easy trail, takes about 20-30 min to get to the top going at an easy pace. It does get pretty rocky though, was a little hard for my older pup I took with me but we made it to the lookout. Didn’t go to the left trail, just to the lookout for sunrise. The views pretty great, just a little off for seeing the actual sunrise but still was pretty and quiet.

Easy beautiful stroll along the river and open fields (once was farmland). Great place for the dog! Roiver access and fishing spots along the way. Borders some low hills that offer additional hiking trails. Can be accessed from either end.

Bit of a shame this portion isn't closer without having to hike down Bluff Trail, but is definitely worth the side hike down the hill. Given the name, I was expecting some long steep rock staircase, but was pleased to find that was not the case and was easy trail down to where the views begin (was closer to end of long loop already). Didn't go all the way down since others mentioned there isn't much to see past the views, but definitely like the view and the way the trail went along the edge. Also made for nice change of scenery when continuing on the loop of Bluff Trail and Mt Marshall Road.

Trail is pretty easy with the switchbacks (though a little rocky), but would agree with other reviewers to skip the south overlook and just go to the north one.

Hiked this with my sister last Saturday morning. When you get to the trail intersection, the view from the right path is beautiful! We also ran into a possum on the path here. The path going left wasn’t really worth it and was slippery going down at parts.

Hiked this trail with our 3 kids (10, 8 and 5 yrs old) today and everyone enjoyed it! We loved the observing the columnar joints down the left trail and then going back down the other trail to the right to see Compton peak view.

Nice trail, it wasn’t difficult at all! The west overlook is amaaaaaaaaazing, we stoped there for an hour to eat our sandwiches. But the east overlook wasn’t really worth it!

I would definitely rate this as moderate as opposed to easy. I completed this in a bit over 2 hours, even with a tired boyfriend in tow. many reviewers complained that it was boring. I thought it was a beautiful hike. in the potion that is close to the road, you actually hike past several overlooks. at those overlooks, you are a ways above the road and actually getting an even better view than people pulling over to see. I think that's worth mentioning. I parked at rattlesnake overlook and started on the Appalachian trail portion. if you're not going to record your hike, screenshot your map and remember that you are going from Appalachian trail to piney branch to sugar loaf, and you shouldn't have any problem with directions. I really liked this trail. good elevation gain and a great work out.

Good hike, right view is better than the other.

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