Big South Fork‎ > ‎

Hiking

Charit Creek Hiking Trail This is a very short route to the lodge. Turn left out of Spruce Creek Acres on to Rt 297 (Leatherwood Ford Road).  Follow Hwy. 297 to the TN 154 intersection. Turn right onto Hwy. 154. Follow Hwy. 154 to Divide Road turn right. Turn right on Fork Ridge Road then pass by Sawmill Trailhead; continue along the ridge top until the road ends at Charit Creek Hiking Trailhead and parking area. The trail is a quick 0.8 mile down. First, you descend stairs to the base of a bluff beside a wet-weather fall, cross the swinging bridge and hike down.

Hazard Cave  This is a very short hike, to a cool “rock house” cave.   Once there, you can continue on and

loop back to the parking area (which is on Picket Park Highway 154, about a mile or so past Wildwood B&B, on the left).   The entire loop covers about 3 miles, and if you take the upper trail, there’s a natural arch bridge to see, and a nice pond and rock bridge.
Twin Arches Loop Trail This is the most popular trail to the lodge. Enter the park on Divide Road. Follow Divide Road for almost 3 miles before turning right onto the 2.4 mile access road to Twin Arches Trailhead.The trail to the base of the North Arch is only 0.7 mile. After taking time to explore both arches, you might prefer the shorter 1-mile portion of Twin Arches Loop Trail down to Charit Creek Lodge. However, the more adventuresome will want to proceed underneath the North Arch and follow the longer 3-mile portion of the loop to Jake's Place, and then down the valley. The trails converge at the bottom of the loop. There you'll cross a wooden bridge over Charit Creek to Charit Creek Lodge.

Sawmill Trailhead to Slave Falls Trail (You'll find directions to Sawmill Trailhead under the Charit Creek Trail heading.) Slave Falls Trail is 4.7 miles and features Slave Falls and Needle Arch before it joins Twin Arches Loop Trail near Jake's Place and continues to the lodge.

Bandy Creek Campground Trailhead  From Spruce Creek Acres, turn right on Rt 297 and go down to the bandy Creek Campground entrance of BSF.  Bandy Creek Campground and Trailhead will be on your left in a short distance. Since there isn't a continuous hiking trail to Charit Creek from Bandy Creek Campground Trailhead, you'll have to weigh the hazards of walking on horse trails against the rewards of hiking along the Laurel Fork Branch of Station Camp Creek. If the weather has been relatively dry, the 11-mile Laurel Fork Loop from Jack's Ridge Trailhead is well worth the extra effort.

To reach Jack's Ridge Trailhead from Bandy Creek Campground Trailhead, begin by hiking northwestwardly along Bandy Creek Campground Road, then turning right onto the first road past the Clara Sue Blevin's Farmhouse. Turn left at each intersection thereafter until you reach the trailhead. Descend the steep, rocky road from Jack's Ridge and cross the branch to join a 4-mile stretch of trail going downstream along Laurel Fork. Near the confluence of Laurel Fork Branch and Station Camp Creek, you'll see a bridge that crosses Laurel Fork; do not cross it. Instead, continue straight ahead approximately 70 yards. Follow the trail to the left, marked by a sign saying, 'Charit Creek Hostel: 3.6 miles.' This trail will take you back to Fork Ridge Road, where you turn right and go a few yards to the Charit Creek Trailhead and Parking Area. From the parking area it is a quick 0.8 mile down Charit Creek Trail to the lodge. 

Trails

Mileage

Difficulty

Features

Access

 

Angel Falls Trail

2.0 Miles

One Way

Easy

River views, bluffs, rapids, wildflowers

Leatherwood Ford on Hwy.  297

 

Angel FallsOverlook

2.8 Miles

One Way

Moderate to Strenuous

River views, bluffs, overlooks, rapids

Leatherwood Ford on Hwy. 297

 

Grand Gap Loop

6.8 Mile Loop 5.6 Mile to loop

12.4 Miles Total

Moderate to Strenuous

Numerous river views, hardwood forest

Leatherwood Ford on Hwy. 297

Bandy  Creek Campground Loop

1.3 Mile Loop

Easy

Upland forest

Bandy Creek Visitor Center

 

Oscar Blevins Loop

3.2 Mile Loop

Easy

Mature forest, historic farm, rock shelters, waterfalls

Bandy Creek Campground Trailhead

 

John Litton General Slaven Loop

5.9 Mile Loop

Moderate

Old farmstead, small waterfalls, rock bluffs

Bandy Creek Campground Trailhead

 

Middle Creek Loop

3.5 Mile Loop

Easy

Forest, rockshelters, bluffs

Turn right off Hwy.  154 onto Fork Ridge Road, continue .7 miles to Middle Creek Trailhead

 

Slave FallsLoop

3.2 Mile Loop

Easy

Waterfalls, bluffs, rockshelters, Slave Falls, Needle Arch

Turn right off Hwy.  154 onto Fork Ridge Road, continue 3  miles to Sawmill Trailhead

 

Twin Arches     

0.7 Miles        One way

Moderate to Strenuous with steps

Natural arches, overlooks, bluffs

Turn right off Hwy.  154 onto Fork Ridge Road, turn left onto Divide Road for 3.5 miles, turn right on Twin Arches Road and drive 2 miles to Trailhead

Twin Arches Loop

6.0 Mile Loop

 

Historic farm, Charit Creek Lodge

 

Burnt Mill Bridge Loop

4.3 Mile Loop

Moderate

Clear Fork River, bluffs, wildflowers

Take Hwy.  27 south 11 miles, turn right onto Mountain View Road and follow signs for 5.3 miles to Burnt Mill Fork Bridge Trailhead

 

Honey Creek Loop

5.0 Mile Loop

Strenuous

Overlooks, waterfalls, rock formations, wildflowers, Big South Fork River

Continue as above for Burnt Mill Bridge Loop, cross bridge and continue 3.5 miles, turn right to Honey Creek Trailhead

 

Gentlemen's Swimming Hole

0.4 Mile

One way

Moderate

Clear Fork River, wildflowers, historic cemetery, interesting cliffs and boulders

Take Hwy.  27 south to Rt. 52, follow Rt. 52 west for 7 miles to Rugby.  Turn right at sign for Laurel Dale Cemetery, trailhead is at cemetery on the left.


Comments