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Blue Heron Loop Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

6.4 mile 10.3 kilometer loop
87% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,098' 335 m
Descent: -1,115' -340 m
High: 1,324' 403 m
Low: 803' 245 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)

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Trail shared by Kathy Smith

This loop has something for everyone. It is best to travel in a clockwise direction, starting at the outdoor museum.

Kathy Smith

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Description

The outdoor museum consists of several open air buildings, each with their own theme in this mining community. For more information, check out the Guide to the
Blue Heron Community
.

The beginning of the run has a lot of climbing! There are a lot of stairs both rock and wood. This was the hardest part of the run.

The first spur is the Blue Heron Overlook Trail. It's a short distance and well worth the extra mileage. The view is spectacular.

Back on the Loop trail the climb is over and the running levels off. There are two more overlooks. Each one has beautiful views!

The trail starts to head back down towards the river. On the way, you'll see many huge rocks. There are a few overhangs that you can eat lunch under. Before the last set of stairs down, you'll come across a large vein of coal. You can see the entrances to some old mines. The trail then winds is way along the river back to the parking lot.

If you have time, there is an old railroad bridge that connects the tipple to the trail on the other side of the river. It's been converted into a pedestrian bridge and is quite sturdy.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

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Check-Ins

Aug 3, 2019
Justin Harden
Amazing! 6.4mi — 12h 12m
Feb 26, 2016
Dannette Cook

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 7 votes

#5308

Overall
  4.4 from 7 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
57%
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Trail Rankings

#52

in Tennessee

#5,308

Overall
26 Views Last Month
1,609 Since Oct 31, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Spectacular view from one of the overlooks.
Oct 31, 2018 near Stearns, KY
View of the river towards the end of the hike.
Oct 31, 2018 near Stearns, KY
Crack in the Rock
Oct 31, 2018 near Stearns, KY
Devil's Jump Overlook on the Blue Heron Loop Trail looks west towards Devil's Jump Rapids on the Big South Fork Cumberland River.
Dec 29, 2016 near Stearns, KY
Blue Heron Overlook bursts into color at dusk when looking downriver towards Tennessee. Blue Heron Outdoor Museum is just north and below the overlook.
Dec 29, 2016 near Stearns, KY
Steps along the Blue Heron Loop Trail lead to the rock climbing area at Crack-in-the-Rocks.
Dec 29, 2016 near Stearns, KY

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