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Park Trail Descriptions

Canyon Rim Trail - Length .7 mile one-way. Blaze: blue. Beginning near the employee parking area at the Canyon Rim Center, this steep trail descends 500 feet to Heritage Point, a massive sandstone outcropping. The overlook offers an excellent view of the Bluestone River Gorge and Mountain Creek Lodge.

Cottage Trail - Length: .2 mile one-way. Blaze: white. This easy trail begins at the park road behind Cottage #1 and travels down to Long Branch Lake where it joins the Lake Shore Trail.

County Line Trail - Length: 1.9 miles one-way. Blaze: red. This steep, somewhat rugged trail begins at the Nature Center parking lot, comes through the edge of the yard, and then travels a short distance towards the stables on a horseback trail. It then descends into the woods, crosses two knobs, passes Indian Branch Falls (1.2 miles) and ends at the River Trail.

Den Tree - Trail Length: .6 mile one-way. Blaze: red. A non-game wildlife trail that begins on the edge of the arboretum, crosses the Law Hollow Trail, and ends at the wildlife viewing area on the dam at Long Branch Lake.

Dogwood - Trail Length: .6 mile one-way. Blaze: blue. A relatively easy walking trail begins beside the pond at the Nature Center, passes through an oak-hickory forest, along the park road and loops back to the Nature Center.

Farley Loop Trail - Length: 3 miles. Blaze: white. The most rugged trail in the park, it begins behind the Mountain Creek Lodge. After a quarter mile of steep switchbacks, a short spur takes you to Raven Rock overlook and a tremendous view of the gorge. Another .5 mile of steep, rocky switchbacks delivers you through a pine thicket to the patrol cabin. Above the cabin, the trail turns sharply to the right and passes two cemeteries in the next mile before descending another one mile to the Bluestone River. To return to Mountain Creek Lodge turn right (upstream) and follow the River Trail.

Lake Shore Trail - Length: 2.2 miles one-way. Blaze: blue. A relatively level shoreline and woodland trail completely encircling Long Branch Lake. May be reached via Law Hollow Trail, Den Tree, Long Branch, Cottage, Turkey Spur, South Side or Lake View Trails.

Lake View Trail - Length: .4 mile one-way. Blaze: white. Beginning along the park road between the Recreation Center and the Nature Center this trail follows an old roadbed through mostly open habitat to its junction with the Lake Shore Trail near Long Branch Lake.

Law Hollow Trail - Length: .5 mile one-way. Blaze: white. From the far end of the McKeever Lodge parking lot, walk .3 mile towards the cottage area, follow park road toward True Road. The trail head is on the right side of the road. The trail follows an old logging road down to the Lake Shore Trail just below the spillway for the dam.

Lick Hollow Trail - Length: 1.6 miles one-way. Blaze: white. Trail begins at the parking area for the Mountain Creek Lodge guests at the Canyon Rim Center. It descends into Lick Hollow, and then back up to the rim of the hollow where there is a beautiful view of the Bluestone Canyon. The trail then loops near the Par 3 Golf Course, and returns into the parking area.

Long Branch Trail - Length: .3 mile one-way. Blaze: blue. Starting from the park road across from the McKeever Lodge and beside the arboretum this short, but steep, paved trail offers easy access to Long Branch Lake. Trail also serves as a service road (authorized vehicles only).

North Side Trail - Length: .5 mile one-way. Blaze: red. This .5 mile loop trail begins at the Park Headquarters parking area, passes down into the woods and returns to the large field behind the building.

Pipestem Knob Trail - Length: .2 mile one-way. Blaze: blue. A rather steep paved trail leading to an observation tower atop Pipestem Knob (elevation: 3,000 feet).

River Trail - Length: 5.25 miles. Blaze: orange  The trail begins behind McKeever Lodge. After about a quarter mile of steep descent, the trail becomes relatively level. One and a half miles from the lodge it crosses the Canyon Rim Trail. After passing under the aerial tram, the trail meets the County Line Trail about 2.25 miles from McKeever Lodge. The trail goes through a series of switchbacks for 1.25 miles to the Bluestone River. After wading the river it is an easy .75 mile walk to Mountain Creek Lodge. The trail then continues downstream for another mile where it ends at the junction of the Farley Loop Trail and the Bluestone Turnpike Trail. The Bluestone Turnpike Trail travels 8.5 miles through the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area to Bluestone State Park. River level may vary due to heavy rainfall. Contact ext. 395 to check level. A fee is charged to ride the aerial tram.

South Side Trail  Blaze: yellow. Trail begins along park road .1 mile down the hill from Park Headquarters. Trail travels through mixed forest .6 mile to its junction with the Lake Shore Trail. Look for split rail fences, rock piles, and other signs of early settlers.

Turkey Spur Trail - Blaze: red. Trail begins along park road between Park Headquarters and Cottage #1, with a .3 mile unnamed trail to Turkey Spur. Turkey Spur connects Cottage and Lake Shore trails. It is .4 mile down to where it joins with Lake Shore Trail.

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