“One of the most popular loops in the park, with waterfalls, overlooks, and awesome rock formations.”
— Max Willner
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Big South Fork is always open.
Need to Know
The trailhead can be found about an hour south from Bandy Creek Visitor Center. It is off of the Mt. Helen Rd. to the west or Mountain View Rd. to the east.
Honey Creek Loop is considered a bit more challenging of a run compared to the Burnt Mill Bridge Loop
of Big South Fork, due to some steep areas and stream crossings. This trail can at times have steep water crossings and difficult boulder scrambles, so it would not be an ideal trail for small children or dogs. The loop is enjoyable to run in both directions, but the description for this trail will follow it counterclockwise.
Right off the bat is a set of steps runners can take up to follow the ridge before eventually dipping down into a thicker part of the woods. About 1.5 miles into the trail is a location known as Echo Rock, a large cliff face. Continuing on the loop, runners will descend again towards Honey Creek and follow a portion of the Big South Fork River.
Heading south, runners will come across a slot canyon, a rare geological formation in this region of the United States. The striations along the canyon are very similar to that of those found in the American southwest. A little under 3.5 miles into the loop, runners will find the Boulder House Falls.
Around 4 mies into the loop, there's a small side trail on the left that leads to the Honey Creek Falls. Otherwise, runners can continue along the trail and back towards the trailhead/parking area.
Flora & Fauna
This is a great area to see the wildflowers in spring and early summer, such as hepatica, trout lily, trillium, and toothwort. White pine and rhododendron are also prominent here. The National Park Service distinguishes the vegetation zones within Big South Fork into two categories: the area within the gorge, and the higher elevation area surrounding it. More information on the wide variety of plants can be found here
Big South Fork is known to have over 60 species of fish, along with a wide variety of mammals such as black bear, white-tailed deer, elk, raccoons, bobcats, and gray foxes. There are also over 160 species of birds to be found in Big South Fork in varying times of the year.