Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Hiking & Laughing the Honey Creek Loop


Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Saturday April 27, 2023

This Hike, already one of my favorites, was even better this time around with our Friends. Myself, my wife Mary Ellen and our friends Jessie and Lee Cutshaw hiked, laughed, and powered through this fun and sometimes difficult trail. 

Honey Creek Loop is in the Southeast section of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on the Tennessee side close to the town of Oneida. The “Loop” varies in length as there is an “add on” section that takes the hiker through a creek bed that will extend the length of the hike but adds adventure. My AllTrails navigation put us at 6.4 miles with the extension. There is not much elevation gain at one time, but there are a lot of ups and downs. One will be hiking through creek beds, squeezing through rock holes, scrambling over rocks, short repels, crawling, and all kinds of fun stuff.

About halfway through one can climb a series of ladders to get to an overlook of the Cumberland River. You can actually drive to this overlook by why would you if you can hike there? After a short break we pushed on to the fun section of trail through a creek bed and over rocks. Here the creek runs through a rock outcropping and on and right after a rainy day you can see a small waterfall from inside the outcropping. It was just a trickle on this hike. You can also hop off the trail and follow the creek upstream for another beautiful little waterfall. 

After some more creek fun the hike turns back to the forest until you hit a sandstone section that gives one a feeling of being on a deserted beach island. Some of the sandstone has turned into sand and there are openings in the tree line that let sunshine come through. The trail again turns back to the forest and there is one last rope “repel” that leads to the final section of the hike. It always feels that this last little section goes on forever and I tend to think it is because there are no more natural obstacles hitting you one right after the other anymore. 

This is truly a fantastic hike that I would recommend. Just remember it will take you longer than a normal hike with all the rock scrambles, obstacles, and scenery so allow yourself plenty of time. As always, my friends, Hike On and stay Safe! 

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