Hiking in the Big South Fork

The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, the 123,000-acre national park bordering Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat, is a paradise for hikers. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails lead hikers and explorers by stunning rock formations and scenic landscapes.

Waterfalls, wildlife (including whitetail deer, wild turkey and black bear), natural arches, rock houses and cave-like structures are among the features in the Big South Fork backcountry. Trails range from short, easy hikes to long-distance hikes. Leatherwood Ford, located on S.R. 297 just east of Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat, is the southern terminus for the Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail, which travels through Big South Fork NRRA and the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is also the southern terminus for the John Muir Trail, another long-distance trail that travels through Big South Fork and Pickett State Forest.


Hiking Trailhead Map