Blue Heron Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,098' 335 m
Descent: -1,115' -340 m
High: 1,324' 403 m
Low: 803' 245 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
Popular hikes nearby
Yahoo Falls Loop
1.1 mi 1.7 km • Loop • 176 ft Ascent 53.5 m Ascent
Sheltowee Trace NRT: Big South Fork NRA
49.2 mi 79.1 km • Point to Point • 4,831 ft Ascent 1472.36 m Ascent
2019 NB100 Training Camp: Day 1
21.6 mi 34.8 km • Loop • 2,391 ft Ascent 728.74 m Ascent
Angel Falls Overlook to Grand Gap Loop
12.0 mi 19.3 km • Loop • 1,145 ft Ascent 348.93 m Ascent
Natural Bridge Loop
1.2 mi 2.0 km • Loop • 200 ft Ascent 60.86 m Ascent
John Muir Trail: Big South Fork NRA
49.9 mi 80.3 km • Point to Point • 6,267 ft Ascent 1910.14 m Ascent
“This loop has something for everyone. It is best to travel in a clockwise direction, starting at the outdoor museum.”— Kathy Smith
Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views
Blue Heron Community.
The beginning of the hike has a lot of climbing! There are a lot of stairs both rock and wood. This was the hardest part of the hike.
The first spur is the Blue Heron Overlook Trail. It's a short distance and well worth the extra mileage. The view is spectacular.
Back on the Loop trail the climb is over and the hiking levels off. There are two more overlooks. Each one has beautiful views!
The trail starts to head back down towards the river. On the way, you'll see many huge rocks. There are a few overhangs that you can eat lunch under. Before the last set of stairs down, you'll come across a large vein of coal. You can see the entrances to some old mines. The trail then winds is way along the river back to the parking lot.
If you have time, there is an old railroad bridge that connects the tipple to the trail on the other side of the river. It's been converted into a pedestrian bridge and is quite sturdy.
Land Manager: NPS - Big South Fork Nat. River and Rec. Area Office