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A 36 mile backpacking loop with backcountry camps along the way and some of the best views in Ohio.

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1,258' 384 m


616' 188 m


6,136' 1,870 m


6,142' 1,872 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Permit required, available at trailheads and state park office, no fee required. Camping only in permitted areas.

NOTE: As of 12/20/20 Trailhead Parking has been moved down the road to due to construction. It is now by the pond/closer to the lodge.

Need to Know

Orange blazes mark the backpacking loop, blue blazes mark the day hiking trails, and white blazes mark the side trails.


This backpacking trail offers some spectacular views (looking out near camp 5 is one of the best), lots of hills and enough challenge to make for a introduction to the wilderness experience. There are seven backcountry campsites (and one special permitted area) that allow for camping in an otherwise protected area.

The DNR hauls water seasonally (don't expect it in winter if the roads are bad) along the intersections of FSR6 just before camp1, at FSR14 near camp 2, Rt 125 near camp 3, FSR1 near camp 4, at Camp 5, at the side trail (white blazes) off camp 7 near Upper Twin Creek - Rocky Fork Rd. While there is no water at 6, bring your own filter as there is always water in the nearby East Fork Creek.

While on this trail you'll see some of the finest DNR managed lands in the state, the hardwoods are maturing, and the stands of pine are lovely to see. The trails are fairly well maintained during summer and mostly wide singletrack, they take you through what is called the "Little Smokies of Ohio". With a good bit of fire in your belly you can knock this trail out in 3 days but most take 5 or more. For those of us who can't spend an entire week in the woods, you can knock off the north loop or the south loop in a couple days each.

Expect a little bit of everything here, water crossings, steep ascents, ridge top flats and enough peace and quiet to reconnect you to the Earth.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, Squirrel, Woodpeckers, Turkey and if you are really lucky, a black bear.


Shared By:

Chris Davis with improvements by Samuel Hartman

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 16 votes


  4.2 from 16 votes
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in Ohio


22 Views Last Month
5,024 Since May 10, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Over looking the gorge. This is one of the few open views, since the trail is a "green tunnel".
Aug 1, 2018 near West Po…, OH


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Nov 7, 2021
Phil Birnie
Completed Northern route and stayed at camp 2. Great site and nice foliage color on trail. Watch out for trail detour at State Route Forest Road 14. 19.9mi — 9h 30m
Aug 21, 2020
Falcon Rai
Hard 6.2mi
Jun 8, 2019
Jason Lawrence
Aug 18, 2018
Geoff Shoupp
northern loop 18mi
Aug 17, 2018
Geoff Shoupp
Jun 19, 2018
nick harrington
did north loop 18mi
Oct 20, 2017
Ron Stohler
Left Camp 4 and took short cut to Bridal Trail then bushwacked to get to road. Not recommended by my group was bushwhacked from the monster day before 5mi
Oct 19, 2017
Ron Stohler
Tough day on South Loop from Camp 7 to Camp 4. Poorly marked trail on service road 1/2 mile from Camp 5 13mi

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