Trails at Cloudland Canyon


Overlook Trail

1 Mile Roundtrip | Easy
Offering impressive views of the state park’s rugged canyons and dense woodland, the easy Overlook Trail meanders along the rim of Cloudland Canyon for approximately ½ mile. Be sure and hike down to the Main Overlook, arguably the best viewpoint in the park. At Overlook #2, turn around and retrace your steps for a one-mile roundtrip walk.

West Rim Loop Trail

5 Miles Roundtrip | Moderately Strenuous
This popular trail was formerly rated by Backpacker Magazine as one of the top 10 hikes in the United States! It offers several scenic viewpoints of Cloudland Canyon as well as more distant terrain. The rocky, rooty trail is most easily accessed from the Main Trailhead. The West Rim Loop Trail is a lollipop-style hike; the first and last mile cover the same section of trail, and there is a three-mile loop in the middle of the hike.


Waterfalls Trail

2 Miles Roundtrip | Strenuous
The strenuous Waterfalls Trail begins at the Main Trailhead and drops quickly down into the canyon depths to two sizable waterfalls, Cherokee and Hemlock Falls. It is approximately ½ mile to Cherokee Falls, and a much steeper ½ mile further down to Hemlock Falls including 600 stairsteps. The flow of water over the falls varies significantly from week to week and from month to month, but in general, winter and early spring offer the strongest and most constant flow.

Sitton's Gulch Trail

6 miles Roundtrip | Strenuous
Beginning at the Main Trailhead, Sitton’s Gulch Trail follows the Waterfalls Trail down deep into the canyon, then continues all the way down to the canyon mouth in Trenton. The trail follows Daniel Creek through open, green hemlock groves and overlooks numerous small waterfalls cascading through limestone crevices. Retrace your steps back up for a strenuous climb. Wildflowers abound in March and early April.

Two Mile Backcountry Loop

2 Miles Roundtrip | Moderate
The Backcountry Loop features secluded camping sites situated within pristine hemlock and oak groves. The trail passes through open woods, progressing down a moderate grade into a hollow. On the far end of the loop, a moderate climb brings hikers out of the hemlocks, back to level trail among oaks and hickories, and eventually back to the parking area.

Meadowlands Trail

1 Mile Roundtrip | Moderate
Beginning up by the disc golf course, the short Meadowlands Trail meanders down to the meadow and fishing pond area of the park, a former homestead and farm site. Guests are encouraged to stroll around the perimeter of the meadow, enjoying the uniqueness of this environment. In late June and early July, thousands of wild blackberries are ripe for picking.

5 Points Recreation Area and the Cloudland Connector Trail

These newest and outlier sites to Cloudland Canyon State Park are especially popular amongst mountain bikers, trail runners, and long distance hikers. The 14-mile long Cloudland Connector Trail, or CCT, may also be explored by horseback. The 5 Points Recreation Area was a former coal mining site that now hosts miles of singletrack mountain bike trails ranging in skill levels from easy to strenuous and technical.

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