River/Creek · Wildlife
Backcountry camping requires a permit in the Clifty Wilderness area.
This loop traverses part of the 7 mile Swift Camp Creek Trail #219
to its connection with Wildcat Trail #228
at mile 3. Enjoy the rhododendron shaded forest as it descends to Sons Branch Creek. Watch for the points where the trail becomes very thin with the steep ridge drop-offs.
Need to Know
There is a creek crossing at 1.5 miles. The trail runs on the ledge, so be careful where you step!
From the Rough Trail/ Swift Camp Creek Trailhead, cross KY 715 and enter the forest. The trail is easy for a bit, as it descends the ridge to Sons Branch Creek. The trail then turns sharply so you can head up to the other side of the creek.
You'll then go over a number of rollers, and you'll traverse the ridge line next to the creek. Watch where you step, as the trail gets thin in places. You'll traverse a series of rollers as you follow the Swift Camp Creek. You'll also get to see a nice boulder garden along the way.
At mile 3, Swift Camp Creek Trail #219
meets up with Wildcat Trail #228
, where you can either continue on Swift Camp Creek Trail #219
or make the loop on Wildcat Trail #228
back up to KY 715.
Wildcat Trail #228
follows under some rock shelters as it climbs to the top of the ridgeline. The trail levels off about 0.3 miles from the junction with Swift Camp Creek Trail #219
, as you've reached the top of the ridge. You can work your way all the way to the Wildcat Trail #228
trailhead and parking lot or, like us, use the Forest Service road to loop back up to KY 715 and take the pavement back to the start point.
Shared By: April French