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Red Leaves Loop



24.5 mile 39.5 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,334' 711 m
Descent: -2,352' -717 m
High: 675' 206 m
Low: 485' 148 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


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Trail shared by Jeffery Karafa


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An overnight trail that meanders through pine and deciduous forest and follows the shore of three lakes.

Jeffery Karafa

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Deer Trail has been permanently closed.


An intermediate overnight trail with moderate elevation changes. There are stretches of pine forest as well as deciduous forest. Hikers will notice plentiful flora and fauna. Many low-lying areas will get boggy if wet weather is encountered. The trail can be tough on feet due to equestrian trespassers making footing treacherous.

Need to Know

Bring extra socks to avoid blisters after traversing boggy areas.


The trail is well-worn from the park office to the Cub Lake Trail. No equestrian trespassers on this section. Hikers will encounter several clear-running streams.

The Cub Lake Trail portion is well worn and well-marked (white/orange blazes). This portion is moderately traveled and its accessibility means you may see families and pets. The western portion goes through bridges and cabins and should be avoided by backpackers seeking complete solitude. Both the western and eastern portions of the trail have boggy areas that will make travel difficult in wet conditions.

The southern portion of the trail is not well-traveled, making it difficult to find in deciduous stretches, but it is well-marked (white blazes) and can be traversed without a compass. Newer sections of the trail are often on the hillside, which can hurt your feet due to increased friction from sliding down the hill. Equestrian trespassers make the boggy areas and hillside portions treacherous and the footing perilous at times.

There is a shelter and campsite on Pin Oak Lake, but the surrounding area is pine forest that can be utilized for camping. If approaching from the eastern portion of the trail (as shown), follow the trail west past the shelter until the trail begins to head back east before setting up camp to avoid the noise coming from the campground across the lake.

Flora & Fauna

Birds: pileated woodpecker, red-tailed hawk, northern cardinal, mockingbird, great blue heron, crow, turkey vulture
Mammals: white-tailed deer, gray squirrel
Reptiles: salamanders, blue-tailed skink, box turtle
Crustacean: crayfish

History & Background

Trail winds through Natchez Trace State Park and State Forest.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed


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Nov 17, 2017
Gerald Malley

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in Tennessee


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1,550 Since Apr 17, 2017



A hiker crosses the bog near Cub Lake.
Apr 22, 2017 near Parsons, TN
Sunset on Pinoak Lake.
Apr 22, 2017 near Lexington, TN
Ferns along the Cub Creek Trail.
Apr 22, 2017 near Parsons, TN

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