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Archer's Fork Loop Trail

Difficult
 4.0 (14)

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


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Map Key

12.4

Miles

19.9

KM

Loop

1,147' 350 m

High

726' 221 m

Low

1,759' 536 m

Up

1,794' 547 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

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

Description

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).

Contacts

Shared By:

Jeff Carter with improvements by William Richardson

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 14 votes

#7182

Overall
  4.0 from 14 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#135

in Ohio

#7,182

Overall
62 Views Last Month
2,826 Since Nov 14, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
15%
8%
77%
0%

Photos

Cave on Archers Fork
Jul 12, 2018 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
Nice Campsite in a small pine grove
Jan 19, 2021 near New Mat…, OH

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 19 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

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
Feb 22, 2020
Jim McFarland
14mi — 6h 15m
Feb 20, 2020
Art Smith
Hard 18.8mi
Sep 14, 2019
Călin Solomon
Aug 31, 2019
William Richardson
Apr 27, 2019
Lee Arnold
Hiked overnight which is much better than a day hike. Trails were in good shape and clear. Great overnighter! 15.2mi — 7h 10m
Nov 23, 2018
Steve Bassett
Start - 12:40pm, Finish - 5:50pm in the dark. 13.7mi