Hiking Project Logo

black Honey Creek Loop

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 631' 192 m
Descent: -651' -199 m
High: 1,590' 484 m
Low: 1,114' 340 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 52% (27°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Max Willner

One of the most popular loops in the park, with waterfalls, overlooks, and awesome rock formations.

Max Willner

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Big South Fork is always open.

Need to Know

Permits must be acquired to stay at the campsites and backcountry campsites, which can be found here:
nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/….

Description

The trailhead can be found about an hour south from Bandy Creek Visitor Center. It is off of the Mt. Helen Rd. to the west or Mountain View Rd. to the east.

Honey Creek Loop is considered a bit more challenging of a hike compared to the Burnt Mill Bridge Loop of Big South Fork, due to some steep areas and stream crossings. This trail can at times have steep water crossings and difficult boulder scrambles, so it would not be an ideal trail for small children or dogs. The loop is enjoyable to hike in both directions, but the description for this trail will follow it counterclockwise.

Right off the bat is a set of steps hikers can take up to follow the ridge before eventually dipping down into a thicker part of the woods. About 1.5 miles into the trail is a location known as Echo Rock, a large cliff face. Continuing on the loop, hikers will descend again towards Honey Creek and follow a portion of the Big South Fork River.

Heading south, hikers will come across a slot canyon, a rare geological formation in this region of the United States. The striations along the canyon are very similar to that of those found in the American southwest. A little under 3.5 miles into the loop, hikers will find the Boulder House Falls.

Around 4 mies into the loop, there's a small side trail on the left that leads to the Honey Creek Falls. Otherwise, hikers can continue along the trail and back towards the trailhead/parking area.

Flora & Fauna

This is a great area to see the wildflowers in spring and early summer, such as hepatica, trout lily, trillium, and toothwort. White pine and rhododendron are also prominent here. The National Park Service distinguishes the vegetation zones within Big South Fork into two categories: the area within the gorge, and the higher elevation area surrounding it. More information on the wide variety of plants can be found here.

Big South Fork is known to have over 60 species of fish, along with a wide variety of mammals such as black bear, white-tailed deer, elk, raccoons, bobcats, and gray foxes. There are also over 160 species of birds to be found in Big South Fork in varying times of the year.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

Mar 22, 2019
Justin Harmon
Oct 28, 2018
PJ Scott
Loved this hike, lots of great caves and places to explore. Some amazing overlooks as well! 4.1mi
Sep 30, 2018
Kathy Smith
Beautiful waterfalls today. 7mi
Sep 3, 2018
Heather Reinke
Beautiful hike, but accidentally ended up on the Indian trail loop and then back tracking for a minute when it reconnected to the main trail, as no… 6.5mi
Jul 7, 2018
Michael Davenport
Jun 16, 2018
James S.
6mi
Jun 14, 2018
Ben Davis
Nov 29, 2017
Laurie Dodson
5.7mi

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 21 votes

#41

Overall
  4.9 from 21 votes
5 Star
90%
4 Star
5%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#1

in Tennessee

#41

Overall
137 Views Last Month
6,648 Since Nov 19, 2015
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
0%
44%
50%
6%
The rangers or who ever is in charge of the trail REALLY needs to go in there and update the trail signs. It’s a guessing game on where to go. Particularly after the steep stairway if you’re going counter clockwise. Would be much more enjoyable if I knew where I was going, and safer. moments ago Oct 14, 2017

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking