Carter Caves Park Trails
4Cs Carter Caves Cross Country Trail
One of our longer hiking trails that visits the park’s backcountry. Two suspension bridges are found on this 8.3-mile trail. Johnson Home place is a backcountry campsite that requires a permit. A short portion of this trail is within Tygart State Forest and allows equestrian and mountain bike use. Avoid this section of the trail or wear blaze orange during designated hunting seasons. Orange blazes mark the trail.
Box Canyon Trail
One of our most scenic trails and passes unusual geologic features in the park, including the Cascade natural bridge, the Box Canyon and the wind tunnel. This 0.8-mile trail is hilly and fairly difficult. Orange blazes mark trail.
Cave Branch Trail
Multi use trail within Tygart State Forest that explores the picturesque valley of the stream less Cave Branch Creek which is flowing underground through Bat Cave before it resurfaces near the park entrance. Avoid this trail or wear blaze orange during designated hunting seasons. Blue blazes mark trail. Distance 2.5 miles.
Collings Passage Trail
This short multi-use trail connects the Carter Caves Trail System to the Olive Hill Trail Town System. From the end of this 0.8-mile trail, there is an 8 mile trail via paved roads that will lead you to the Depot, which is the heart of the Olive Hill Trail Town System. This trail has very, steep terrain and a short creek crossing. Green blazes mark the trail.
Horn Hollow Trail
This hilly, but scenic 1.5-mile trail takes you from the ridges into the streamless valley of Horn Hollow, where you see multiple cave entrances. This trail is especially rewarding during the spring wildflower season from April – May. Green blazes mark trail.
Kiser Hollow Trail
Multi-use trail that passes the mature hardwood of Tygart State Forest, the scenic Smoky Creek valley and old home places in Kiser Hollow. This 8.6-mile trail is steep and rocky in places. Avoid the Tygart State Forest section of this trail or wear blaze orange during designated hunting seasons. Yellow blazes mark trail.
Natural Bridge Trail
Impressive limestone natural bridge is one of the landmarks of the area and may be considered unique in Kentucky; it is the only natural bridge in Kentucky that supports a paved highway. White Blazes mark the 0.5-mile trail.
Raven Bridge Trail
This trail is the most direct and easiest route to the delicately balanced sandstone arch, Raven Bridge. This ridgetop 0.6-mile trail is fairly level and can be combined with the three bridges trail to make a loop trail from the lodge. Blue blazes mark trail.
Multi use ridgetop trail within Tygart State Forest follows the border around a hardwood tree reforestation project. During the warm season users need to be prepared for tick and poison ivy encounters. The trail provides some great overlooks, especially during the fall and winter months. Avoid this 3.6-mile trail or wear blaze orange during designated hunting seasons. Orange blazes mark trail.
Short connector trail between Three Bridges Trail and Raven Bridge trails. The 0.1-mile trail takes you alongside some striking sandstone cliff faces. Yellow blazes mark trail.
Three Bridges Trail
This popular trail highlights three of the parks natural bridges including Smoky Bridge (the park’s largest), Raven Bridge and Fern Bridge. The 3.6-mile trail overlooks many vistas of Smoky Valley Lake and travels alongside many impressive sandstone cliffs. Red blazes mark trail.
Perfect for either walking or bicycling, this 2.2-mile trail is paved and located along what used to be the park golf course. Now this trail provides great habitat for all kinds of wildlife and is almost sure to allow a glimpse of deer and a variety of birds. The terrain is a bit hilly but relatively hilly. This is a walking and bicycling trail only no horseback riding is allowed. Located across from the lodge.