Day Trippin in The Big South Fork NRRA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by KYwoodsrider, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    It's been a while since I have been to the Big South Fork. I used to do some back packing and mountain biking there a few years ago.
    My wife and I took our travel trailer down there a few weeks ago. After some hiking and exploring in the truck I decided a dual sport exploration day was necessary.
    I made a spur of the moment decision on Tuesday to head down there.
    It's about a 3 hr drive from my house which is about my limit for a day trip.
    Here is some info on the Big South Fork
    https://www.nps.gov/biso/index.htm

    I used this map for my basic planning.

    https://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/upload/BISO Brochure 2009 map Reduced.pdf
    My basic plan was to park at Bandy Creek Visitors center. Ride to Divide Road off of hwy 154 near Picket State Park. Then ride to Yamacraw bridge and back on different routes


    I made a quick stop at the overlook on the way in
    DSC01613.JPG

    The Visitor Center at Bandy Creek
    DSC01558.JPG
    There is a large campground here for both tent camping and RVs. Also a large group camping area. Big South Fork is very popular for horse back riding. BSF is to horse riding like the Cherahala Sky Way is to motorcycles.
    Since horses are not allowed in the campground there is a nice stable area where horses are boarded.
    Trails are classified for horses, hiking, mountain bikes and multi use.
    DSC01559.JPG

    Not many folks here on a Tuesday morning, only retired dual sport guys

    DSC01561.JPG
    Headed out around 10:00 am. After a short gravel section called Bandy Loop and a few miles of black top I arrived at the start of Divide Road

    DSC01562.JPG
    This is an easy ride that can be done on any dual sport or adventure bike in dry weather. The road starts out fairly wide. It has a number of different turn offs to various trail heads, campsites, overlooks, ect..
    Some of the more popular places are Twin Arches (2 natural stone arches) and Chariot Creek Lodge (a back country lodge which requires hiking into).
    www.ccl-bsf.com/


    DSC01563.JPG

    After a few miles the road becomes less traveled and more narrow.
    DSC01574.JPG

    I took a number of different side trips.
    DSC01566.JPG
    Several places I seen signs for multi use trails. These trails were very interesting and I rode some of them for a short distance. They didn't show up on my map or GPS so I decided to save them for the next trip.
    DSC01575.JPG
    Here are my tracks

    Attached Files:

    #1
    Amphib likes this.
  2. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    Continuing on I came across a number of different side trips that had me already planning the next trip
    DSC01580.JPG
    DSC01581.JPG
    Finally I made it down to the Rock Creek River just above the Big South Fork River
    DSC01583.JPG
    Just down the road was Yamacraw Bridge where it crosses the Big South Fork.
    DSC01586.JPG
    DSC01587.JPG

    Part of my route followed the KAT (Kentucky Adventure Trail). From here the KAT goes across the bridge and heads east.
    At this point it was 1:30 pm and I had ridden about 40 miles
    Heading back towards Bandy Creek I decided to follow the KAT back towards the west
    After a short distance on a 2 lane hwy the tracks turn off on Rock Creek Road. This was a really nice section headed back towards Bell Farm Horse Camp.

    DSC01590.JPG
    Nice campsites along the way
    DSC01595.JPG
    with a rope swing and swimming hole
    DSC01594.JPG
    After 10 -12 miles I reached Bell Farm Horse Camp. Surprisingly no one here.
    DSC01598.JPG
    It's a really nice setting
    DSC01597.JPG
    #2
    Amphib and Ginger Beard like this.
  3. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    Now it's 2:30 and I still wanted to check out Hemlock Grove Picnic area and Great Meadows Camp Ground
    It was about 3 miles to Hemlock Grove.
    A great place for a place for a cook out and a dual sport gathering
    DSC01600.JPG
    DSC01601.JPG

    There was not enough time for me to continue on to Great Meadows. I'll have to wait until next time.
    The last section of road turned out to be much nicer than I expected. There were 3 overlooks along the way This was the nicest one.
    DSC01607.JPG
    DSC01606.JPG

    At this point its going on 4:00 pm so I need to get back to the truck.
    Overall BSF is a nice place to ride. It's not difficult or challenging but a great place to explore and combine riding, hiking, and site seeing.
    I'm hoping to make it back 1 more time before winter
    91 Total trip miles

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,316
    great review, if I get down that way, will be on my list.
    #4
    KYwoodsrider likes this.
  5. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    472
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Did you haul that in the back of your Tacoma, or on a hitch hauler?
    #5
  6. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    I use a hitch hauler.
    When I first got the 450L I hauled in my truck but I have a hard bed cover and it was a pain to remove and install.
    The hitch hauler is a lot more convenient.
    #6
  7. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,316
    One of those is on my list, especially with the light 450L.
    #7
    KYwoodsrider likes this.
  8. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    I made another trip back down to Big South Fork yesterday to continue with the exploring I started a few weeks ago.
    There were not a lot of folks there so I decided to ride some of the roads close to Bandy Creek Campground.
    DSC01673.JPG

    Some of them are fairly long but most dead end at Trail Heads. Looks like some good single track. To bad they are not open for motorcycles
    DSC01672.JPG

    There is a Multi Use Trail that takes you out to the Bandy Loop Road
    DSC01674.JPG

    I also rode another Multi Use Trail that was off of Divide road. It was really nice but was also a dead end. DSC01677.JPG

    I headed over Peter's Mt Road and checked out the Great Meadows Campgroud
    It's a really nice area
    One loop was open with several folks camping with tents and RVs
    The other loop was closed.

    DSC01679.JPG

    There are several sites right on the creek
    DSC01680.JPG

    The road continues on for several miles along the creek
    DSC01687.JPG
    DSC01684.JPG
    #8
    Ginger Beard and Amphib like this.
  9. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,316
    Great exploring!
    #9
  10. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Tennessee
    IMG_2545.JPG IMG_2558.JPG IMG_2631.JPG IMG_2648.JPG IMG_2703.JPG IMG_2723.JPG IMG_3055.JPG IMG_3104.JPG IMG_3124.JPG I was at Pickett State Park a few weeks ago. My plan was to do a lot of riding, but I didn't realize how many natural wonders there were to see in the area until I got there. Ended up only riding one day because I spent the rest of my time exploring the natural bridges and arches. Definitely a place to enjoy hiking as well as riding. Even a little canoeing.
    #10
  11. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    3,765
    Location:
    Wnc
    There's quite a bit of hidden treasure there. These pictures remind me that I have to get back!
    #11
  12. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    Great pictures.
    I plan on camping down at Pickett next year
    and hiking those areas as well.
    It's also a lot closer the the areas I've been riding.
    I also see they have cabins.
    If we have some nice days over the winter I thought about renting one.
    #12
  13. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Tennessee
    IMG_2593.JPG
    They have been remodeling the cabins. I didn't get to peek inside, but if they are doing to the inside what they are doing to the outside, they should be amazing!
    #13
    Ginger Beard and KYwoodsrider like this.
  14. KYwoodsrider

    KYwoodsrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    613
    Location:
    central KY
    Here are the tracks from the Day 2 ride. About 90 miles

    Attached Files:

    #14
  15. F150

    F150 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    Nashville
    Copper downspout connected to black PE pipe. Proverbial turd in the punchbowl.

    Rode mountain bikes all over that place in the late '80s. No Business Creek aptly named (got no business taking a MTB into that hollow). Good times.
    #15
  16. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Yeah, they could have trimmed that a little closer to the ground, but they were still working on that cabin so hopefully they finish out the details.

    If you have ever been in a state park bath house you will see all kinds of creative plumbing. LOL!
    #16
  17. F150

    F150 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    Nashville
    That's one of the Civilian Conservation Corps-constructed cabins from the 1930's, right?
    #17
  18. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Yes.
    #18