“Awesome Loop for some great Cranberry Wilderness scenery!
— Jamie Singleton
Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Great run to enjoy some spectacular scenery at the Scenic Highway and as you drop into the Cranberry River basin. The Cranberry River offers some remote fishing experiences and beautiful waterfalls and creek side stops. The Cranberry River area does have some picnic tables and a shelter every few miles for those weary travelers.
Need to Know
The trails are mostly dry trail with a few washed out areas that you'll need to monitor your GPS for. However, the trail is well-marked in all areas.
This is a great run starting on the North-South Trail #688
at the Scenic Highway. From the parking area, the trail is fairly level to where North Fork Trail #272
splits off to the south. Take North Fork Trail #272
as it gradually drops down to the Cranberry River. There is a camping shelter just south of the intersection of the river. Follow the trail west as it winds along paralleling the river to its end on Cranberry Road.
Run down Cranberry Road a couple miles and take the Tumbling Rock Trail #214
as it climbs back up to the North-South Trail #688
along the creek. It is only about 2.5 miles uphill, but it feels more like five miles uphill. The trail is an old railroad grade from the turn of the century and offers a great historical experience as some of the railroad timbers are still on the trail. At the intersection with the North-South Trail #688
, turn right to head east back to the trailhead at the parking area at the Scenic Highway.
If you're backpacking, there are tons of camping spots along the way!
Flora & Fauna
Bear, Deer, Squirrels, Turkey, Trout, and Crawfish
History & Background
Cranberry Wilderness is a bear sanctuary and served the timber market at the turn of the century before being transformed into a National Forest.