Back country Campground and Hiking
The back country campground is located one mile from the Wilderness Station and is accessible only by walking. Approved groups such as scouts, church youth groups, and college organized clubs are allowed to camp without a staff member. To qualify as an approved group, a Wilderness Awareness workshop and a leader’s orientation must be completed.
The 275 acre back country area boasts approximately 5 miles of hiking trails. Beginning from the Wilderness Station, the paved portion of the trail cuts through a hardwood forest that rises above limestone outcrops. This eventually leads to the River Overlook and Back country Campground. Here the trail turns into a dirt path that skirts along the West Fork of the Stones River. This begins the Marshall Knob trail with red-blazes along the trees. Climbing higher towards the peak, there are limestone sinks and a long stone fence that is thought to be civil war related. The Valley View trail is accessible from this point of Marshall Knob and has blue trail blazes. This 1 mile loop passes several crevasse-like sinks. Both ends of the Rocky Path Trail are passed as the Marshall Knob trail continues back towards the Wilderness Station. The Rocky Path trail is also a 1 mile loop with white tree blazes. Wildlife viewing is a favorite among hikers who report sightings of Barred owls, deer, turkeys, or an occasional snake, bobcat, or coyote. NO BIKING OR SKATING OF ANY KIND IS ALLOWED ON THESE TRAILS.
A TreeMendous Tree Trail runs along the first 0.7 mile of the paved trail. Twelve stations are featured and are marked by a number. The Tree Trail map is available at the Wilderness Station, along with a Tree Trail Guide.
Contact the Wilderness Station for more information.