More than 25 miles of hiking trails lace the park, varying from easy to difficult. Most are less than one mile long, but interconnected trails offer the more ambitious hiker a good choice of routes over varying terrain. Maps with descriptions of each trail are available at the Visitor Center. Trail names give clues to the outstanding physical features of each: Cold Spring, Geological, Grassy Creek, Grassy Overlook, Lake, Loop, Overlook, Prospectors' Ridge, River, Towers, and Tower Tunnel. Both the Ridge and Geological trails are self-guided, with booklets available at the Visitor Center that detail points and notes of interest. But if you would prefer, guided hikes are scheduled throughout the summer. Additionally, if you call ahead, our Visitor Center staff will be happy to plan a guided hike to meet your family’s or group’s schedule.
Elevations measured many years ago show heights varying from 870 feet at the Russell Fork River in the canyon bottom to 1,978 feet at Clinchfield Overlook (where the Overlook Trail begins.) The advent of modern GPS units shows the elevations to be higher. Surfaces are hard-packed dirt and rock, and are well maintained with steps and handrails where needed. All are marked with colored blazes, with no intersecting trails having the same color. Cautions: Pets must be leashed and we ask that visitors stay away from exposed overlooks during thunderstorms. Bicycles are permitted only on the Mountain Bike Trail.
The extraordinary range and variety of trails offered the hiker in our park is significant. Below we offer detail on each to help you choose your path. And enjoy every step!
Click here for trail descriptions.
Biking (Mountain Bike Trail)
The Mountain Bike Trail offers breathtaking scenery. The trail is a stack loop trail system offering up to nearly 12 miles of riding, from moderate to difficult. Depending on the route chosen, bikers may plan rides of varying length, with the possibilities of good climbs and long downhill runs. Positive reviews for this trail are posted regularly on the websites for hiking enthusiasts.