“A fairly easy trail along the Big South Fork River leading to a steep climb to the overlook.”
— Charles Pulse
Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers
From the Leatherwood Ford parking area, cross the Big South Fork River via the vehicle and pedestrian bridge. After crossing the river, a sharp turn around the bridge structure leads to a stairs downward to the Angel Falls Overlook Trail
Follow the John Muir Trail blazes, as these two trails are one and the same, as it meanders alongside the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. In the spring, the trail is surrounded by wildflowers to give a colorful journey with some great views of this beautiful river. Follow the river for about 2 miles.
After crossing the bridge over the Fall Branch, the trail starts its interesting climb of the bluff overlooking the river. The rocky trail leads up and past rock houses (caves or openings in the rock) and sheer rock walls. At one point the trail follows a ledge of a rock wall. A cable support has been installed to help with safely passing through that section. After .8 miles, the top of the bluff is reached and the trail dead ends into the Grand Gap Loop Trail
Go right on the Grand Gap Loop and in about 350 yards you'll arrive at the Angel Falls Overlook. This overlook provides awesome views of the river in two directions.
Flora & Fauna
Hardwood Forrest, mountain laurel, rhododendron, hemlock, and lots of wildflowers can be found on this trail. Bears and other animals are in the Big South Fork Recreation area so proper precautions should be taken by over nighters with respect to food protection.