Elk River Trail
ElevationAscent: 316' 96 m
Descent: -332' -101 m
High: 911' 278 m
Low: 818' 249 m
GradeAvg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 5% (3°)
“Gorgeous lake views, limestone walls, and dense hardwood forests await you on the Elk Lake Trail.”— Hunter R
Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
If you're looking to tackle the entire thing, it's recommended that you leave a shuttle vehicle at the opposite end, or bring backpacking gear and camp at the Elk City State Park on the eastern end of the trail.
Starting at the western end in a parking lot off US 160, the trail immediately dives into the forest, meandering through a veil of broad deciduous trees. While this thin strip of forest is sandwiched between a river and numerous plots of agricultural land, you're sure to forget about your pastoral surroundings as you pick up the river and follow its pleasant, calming water. The trail zig-zags along the river for roughly ten miles before you reach the lakeshore of Elk City Lake. Continuing along the lakeshore for another 4 miles give or take, be sure to take opportunities to stop and soak in your surroundings. Be sure to have your smartphone camera at the ready to snap pictures of the waterfowl that occasionally can be found bobbing on the water's surface.