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The Archer's Fork Loop Trail is the heart of Southeastern Ohio backcountry, connecting several other trails in the area.

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1,147' 350 m


726' 221 m


1,759' 536 m


1,794' 547 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Requires a Wayne NF Trail Permit to ride. Trails are closed from December 16th-April 14th.


While many prefer to hike the loop counterclockwise, either direction is a pleasure. The trail is well-maintained, but the terrain is rugged and scenic. So allow extra time to complete the loop. The trail passes many rock outcroppings, a couple caves, and is highlighted by the Irish Run Natural Bridge.

There is a short dirt access road on the southwest portion of the loop which makes for a welcome sight after the sustained climb that leads up to it. If you do not like doubletrack, do not let this deter you from hiking this loop if you are looking for a challenging singletrack. There are plenty of climbs, rock gardens, and switchbacks to keep you on your toes.

Archer's Fork Loop Trail is one of the easier trails to hike in the area. It gets more traffic than some of the others, giving it a harder packed trail tread. As soon as you enter Archer's Fork Loop from another trail, you can feel that the trail is firmer from increased use. There are typically fewer leaves on this trail as well. Nonetheless, it is still a black diamond level trail for distance and elevation.

The loop is well-marked with wooden signs at intersections and yellow blazes along the trail. It's actually easy to follow compared to other trails in large forests like this one.

Stop at the sign indicating the natural bridge. You cannot see the bridge from Archer's Fork Trail, but it is a very short distance down the spur trail to the bridge. The hill is quite steep, but it is well worth seeing the natural bridge that typically only exists out west (they call them arches in Utah).


Shared By:

Jeff Carter with improvements by William Richardson

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 21 votes


  4.2 from 21 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Ohio


19 Views Last Month
4,145 Since Nov 14, 2017



Cave on Archers Fork
Jul 12, 2018 near New Mat…, OH
Nice campsite in a small pine grove
Jan 19, 2021 near New Mat…, OH
Sweet campsite midway around loop
Jul 12, 2018 near New Mat…, OH
Be sure to say hello to the camp gnome.
Jan 19, 2021 near New Mat…, OH
Natural Bridge
Jan 19, 2021 near New Mat…, OH


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 52 days ago
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Jul 28, 2023
Rob Major
Mileage from St Patrick's Cemetery with an overnight 1/2 way through. Conditions were wet with rain which kept the temps down. 16mi — 8h 00m
Jun 6, 2023
Ryan Harrigle
Overnight camp at around mile 14. Parked car away and added mileage through buckeye trail. Amazing first backpack 21.6mi
Jun 6, 2023
Nathan F
Oct 24, 2022
Phil Birnie
Trail was in good condition. Most water sources were low or dry. Some people left behind water jugs but otherwise little litter or vandalism 12.9mi — 7h 00m
Apr 10, 2021
Dawson Hobbs
Well kept trail with camp sights all over. I would go again. 12mi — 32h 00m
Mar 21, 2021
Keith Morris
Oct 24, 2020
Adam Stone
Overnight 10/24-10/25. Trail in good condition, even with recent rains. Easy to follow. GPX file was right on track. Challenging, but not impossible 14.2mi — 13h 00m
Apr 24, 2020
Laxman Panthi