GO Big Healthy Hikes will be offered for all participants who want to enjoy the trail with a ranger as their guide. Dates, times, and trail descriptions are listed below.
April 21May 5
Yahoo Falls Wildflower Hike
Difficulty: Easy (but with a set of steep stairs)
Distance: 1.2 - 2.5 miles
Join park rangers from the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Daniel Boone National Forest on a two to three hour guided hike to Kentucky’s tallest waterfall, Yahoo Falls. The hike begins at 10:30 a.m. (ET) at the Yahoo Falls parking area located on Yahoo Falls Road, off of Highway 700 near Whitley City, Kentucky. Yahoo Falls is 113 feet tall and flows into the Big South Fork River. Starting from the Yahoo Falls parking area, the trail descends a series of steps to actually pass behind the falls under one of the largest rock shelters in the area. Looping around, it crosses the creek at the top of the falls where there are gorgeous views from the towering sandstone cliffs above the rock shelter. This ranger-led hike is free of charge. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear and bring plenty of water.
Honey Creek Loop Trail
Distance: 5.6 miles
Join a Ranger at the Honey Creek Trailhead at 9:00 a.m. (ET) for an all-day strenuous hike. Honey Creek Loop holds some of Big South Forks most rugged terrain and it will take your breath away with its beauty. Enjoy large magnificent rock formations, refreshing waterfalls, and the unique feeling of being engulfed by the forest. You will be using your hands and knees to maneuver through parts of this trail as it meanders through the creek so you may get wet. Bring water, snacks, lunch, and wear appropriate shoes and clothing for a safe and comfortable adventure!
Blue Heron Decoration Day: Dick Gap Overlook Trail
Join in a day of fun during Blue Heron Decoration Day! Enjoy music, food, demonstrations, and activities designed for a Blue Heron reunion. Meet a Ranger on the depot at 12:00 p.m. (ET) for a moderate 3.7 mile roundtrip hike to Dick’s Gap Overlook. Relax and enjoy the stunning view of the old abandoned coal mining community that once thrived along the Big South Fork River and visit the grave of an early settler of the Blue Heron Community.
Dark Trails: Middle Creek Nature Loop
Distance: 3.5 Miles
Join a Ranger at the Middle Creek Trailhead located off the Divide Road at 9:00 p.m. (ET) for an easy to moderate 3.5 mile hike. Divide Road is located on Hwy 154 just south of the Pickett State Park Boundary. Experience the fascinating beauty of this loop from a different perspective as we hike along this classic Big South Fork trail under the night sky. The Middle Creek Nature Loop trail is rich in sandstone rock formations that provides the perfect habitat for insects and nocturnal critters. Don’t forget your flashlight, bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes! Children are required to have the direct supervision of an adult at all times.
Slave Falls Trail
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Join a Ranger at the Sawmill trailhead off Fork Ridge Road at 10:00 a.m. (ET) for an easy to moderate 3.2 mile hike. This trail is packed with interesting natural resources like Indian Rock Shelter, Needle Arch, and Slave Falls. Bring water, snacks, bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes.
Dark Trails: Fall Branch Waterfall
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 4 Miles
Join a Ranger at the Bandy Creek Swimming Pool parking lot at 9:00 p.m. (ET) for an easy to moderate 4 mile hike along Fall Branch. Experience the perspective of the trails after the sun goes down and all the night creatures come alive! Don’t forget your flashlight,bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes! Children are required to have the direct supervision of an adult at all times.
O & W Trail
Distance: 4.6 Miles
Join a ranger at Leatherwood Ford parking lot at 10 a.m. ET for a moderate 4.5 mile hike. Enjoy this diverse trail that meanders along the free flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and under a canopy of a variety of trees. The trail also offers a nice view of the O & W Bridge before hiking over it. Bring water, snacks, and lunch to enjoy at the bridge.
Dark Trails: Oscar Blevins Farm Loop
Join a anger at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at 9 p.m. ET for an easy 3.7 mile hike. Oscar Blevins Loop is the perfect trail to experience after the sun goes down. Beautiful rock formations and rock shelters are the perfect habitat for night creatures. We’ll visit the Oscar Blevins Farm where you’ll listen to ghost stories about the settlers that once inhabited the farm. Don’t forget your flashlight, bug spray, and wear sturdy shoes. Children are required to have the direct supervision of an adult at all times.
Burnt Mill Bridge Loop Trail
Distance: 4.3 Miles
Join a Ranger at the Burnt Mill Bridge Parking Lot at 10 a.m. ET for a moderate 4.3 mile hike. The Burnt Mill Loop is one of the more scenic shorter loops in the Big South Fork. Enjoy the sound of the wide rushing Clear Fork River as you explore beautiful rock formations, waterfalls, and so much more! Please wear weather appropriate clothing and bring water and snacks. Don’t forget to bring that well-behaved dog; however, leashes are required.
Angel Falls Rapids Trail
Meet a ranger at Leatherwood Ford parking lot at 10 a.m. ET for an easy 4 mile hike to the most dangerous rapid on the Big South Fork River. View Angel Falls Rapid, a class IV rapid, and learn about the geology of Big South Fork along the way.
No Business & Maude's Crack Loop
Distance: 6.5 miles
Join a ranger at Terry Cemetery Trail Head at 10 a.m. ET for a 6.5 mile strenuous hike. Go back in time as we travel down the historical No Business trail and listen to the stories of the outlaw Jerome Boyatt while we visit the Boyatt home place and cemetery. Then we will make our way along the John Muhr trail to Maude’s Crack. Experience the climb up through the 4 foot wide crack in the cliff side. A beautiful overlook of No Business awaits you at the top! Bring water and lunch and wear appropriate clothing and shoes for a safe and comfortable adventure!
Angel Falls Overlook Trail
Distance: 6 miles
Join a ranger at Leatherwood Ford parking lot at 10 a.m. ET for a moderate to strenuous 6 mile hike. Enjoy this diverse trail that meanders along the free flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River before is ascends up to the breath taking overlook of Angel Falls Rapid. Bask in the splendor of the autumn colors from the overlook as you enjoy your lunch.
COMPLETED HEALTHY HIKES
GO BIG 2018 Challenge Kick-Off Healthy Hike: Middle Creek Loop
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 3.5 miles
GO Big 2018 Challenge healthy hike kick-off along Middle Creek Nature Loop trail at 10:00 AM (ET). Join a park ranger at Middle Creek Trailhead, located off Divide Road. Divide Road is located on Hwy 154 just south of the Pickett State Park Boundary. Experience the beauty of winter as you hike along this classic Big South Fork trail. The Middle Creek Nature Loop trail is rich in sandstone rock formations and also provides hikers direct access to many of the rock shelters in the park. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing. Hikers may also bring their well-behaved dogs, however leashes are required. Bring your Go Big 2018 Challenge booklets to earn your points located at Charit Creek Lodge. Challenge books will also be available for those wishing to participate but haven’t picked up their books yet.
Twin Arches Loop
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Distance: 5.5 miles
Meet park ranger at the Twin Arches Loop trailhead at 10 AM (ET). This fabulous loop is rich in fascinating geological features like the largest natural arches east of the Mississippi River and some of the largest rock houses in the park. Twin Arches Loop is also home to the oldest, standing, usable lodge in national parks, Charit Creek Lodge. March is a great time to opt outside and enjoy what’s left of winter and the early arrival of spring. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring water, snacks, and lunch. GO Big 2018 Challenge booklets will be available for those wishing to participate.
John Litton Farm Loop Trail
Distance: 6.3 miles
Meet a Ranger at the Bandy Creek Swimming Pool parking lot at 10:00 am (ET) for a beautiful hike along the John Litton Farm Loop. Discover the beauty of Falls Branch waterfall, which flows 10 feet from a deeply undercut rock shelf. We will continue our journey to the John Litton Farm where we will stop for lunch. Don't miss this opportunity to feel the isolation of the early settlers who inhabited the hollows and reek valleys of the Big South Fork.
Rock Creek Loop Trail
Distance: 7.1 miles
This all day hike passes along the gently flowing Massey Branch and Rock Creek with rock houses and Massey Branch Waterfall. This is one of the only places in the Big South Fork Area where the original railroad ties from the Stearns Kentucky & Tennessee Railroad remain. Bring water, snakes and lunch too. Well-behaved dogs are welcome as well, however, leashes are required.
Last updated: April 20, 2018