After a short shuttle provided by the park we will trek from the high elevations above down into a beautiful gorge that was created by Tygart Creek. After hiking through an old homestead that was inhabited by a well-known moonshiner we must cross Tygart Creek by foot. Then off to a swinging bridge over the cascading tail waters of Smoky Lake through the old Johnson home place and over another swinging bridge crossing the scenic Smoky Creek. But that’s not all we continue on the trail that leads us through four Natural Bridges found around Carter Caves to our final destination the Park’s Welcome Center.
This is approximately a 9-mile excursion on moderately difficult terrain. Required equipment includes a sack lunch, good hiking boots, footwear for crossing the creek, several bottles of water and a backpack to carry your equipment in. Some optional equipment items you may want are sunscreen, camera, sunglasses, binoculars, trekking poles or a hiking stick.
There is a $12 fee for this hike. Preregistration required. Call the park at 1-800-325-0059 for more information and to make reservations. Registered participants can meet at the Carter Caves Welcome Center at 9:30am.