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Big South Fork, 3 Day Backpacking Trip: 21 miles
A three day hike of approx 21 miles, primarily along Laurel Fork Creek Trail, Sheltowee Trace and Twin Arches Loop. Many creek crossings (shin to knee depth), so bring water shoes and a camp towel. Trail difficulty: Moderate. Hike Plan: FRIDAY: Meet at Florence KY Walmart about 5:30 pm. Drive to BSF (Oneida TN about 3.5 hours/210 miles). Leave Cincinnati area when you can – exchange car pool info on Meetup messaging area. We will be staying in Bandy Creek Campground Loop A – have reserved sites A3, A4 and A5. Campsites only permit 2 cars and 6 people. After setting up camp you may have to move your car to the nearest campground bath house. Look for “Cincinnati Backpackers” signs on campsite address posts. SATURDAY: Break camp by 9am. Drive cars across road to the Bandy Creek amphitheater to park for the weekend – rangers recommended parking here. We’ll be returning here on Monday. Take the connector trail to Sheltowee Trace milepost 298, then hike to milepost 295. Head east on the Laurel Fork Creek Trail and hike toward the intersection with Sheltowee Trace at about milepost 289. We will camp at one or both of the backcountry campsites near the intersection with Sheltowee Trace. Camping at intersection of creeks so water available for filtering, no privy. Total Mileage Saturday: approx. 8.0 SUNDAY Break camp by 9am. Take connector trail to Sheltowee Trace. Hike west on Sheltowee from about milepost 289 to 292.5 We’ll take a short break here at the Charit Lodge, a backcountry hostel. Soft drinks, chips, candy bars available for purchase. Potable water, restrooms. Hike counterclockwise on the Twin Arches Loop. We’ll spend about an hour at the arches, very scenic fun to explore, lunch break Continue on the Twin Arches Loop to Jake’s Place backcountry campsite. Camping between two creeks so water available for filtering, no privy. Total Mileage Sunday: approx. 7.0 MONDAY: Break camp by 9am. Complete the Twin Arches Loop and take connector trail to Sheltowee Trace. Head south on Sheltowee from milepost 293 to milepost 298 (back to Bandy Creek and the parked cars) Total Mileage Monday: approx. 6.0 The cost of this trip will be the cost of 3 campsites for Friday ($22 each site) plus the cost of the backcountry permit ($15). So I think our total cost will end up being about $5 or $6 each depending on our final hiker count. I’ll pass the hat around the campfire Friday night. Optional - Stop in Oneida TN at Preston’s Steakhouse for late lunch/early dinner Expected arrival back in Cincinnati area around 8pm or so. Participants on this trip should have all of their own backpacking gear and food (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches/snacks, and 2 or 3 dinners (dinner Friday depending on how early you arrive at Bandy Creek Campground). If you are newer to backpacking and have any questions about what you need to bring, you can email me using Meetup, or call me at[masked]. Carpool arrangements and determining who can drive will be determined the week before we leave. * Cost: $5 to $6 per person plus the cost of gas shared with your driver * Difficulty level: Moderate. * Distance: Probably around 21 miles total. * Pace: Moderate. * Travel time: About 4 hours driving time from Cincinnati * Event rules: Leave No Trace. Pack It In - Pack It Out. * The trip limit and RSVP deadline can change without notice. * By signing up and/or participating in this event, you fully accept our liability waiver. https://www.meetup.com/CincinnatiBackpackers/pages/1036870/Cincinnati_Area_Backpackers_Meetup_Waiver/ Questions? ...contact Terry [masked]

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

4564 Leatherwood Road · Oneida, TN

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What we're about

Three things we got tired of hearing from folks:

1. “None of my friends are into backpacking! So I have nobody to go with.”

2. “None of my backpacking friends are available to go when I’m free!”

3. “I love the outdoors, but I don’t know anybody who can help me get into backpacking!”

Assuming that the above is true (and not due to bad breath, personal hygiene issues, or offensive personality traits) all you really need is some new friends who backpack! ;-) You have come to the right place! Relax and take a deep breath!

Backpacking is what we do! Check out our Message Board and Calendar. Look at our trip photos. We have some awesome, experienced trip leaders and instructors. We have several events per month. Come out and take a hike!

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