Charit Creek Trail

  • Highlights: Rock formations, swinging bridge
  • Distance: 2.8 miles out and back 
  • Elevation Change 545 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with some rocks 
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Trailhead Parking: Fork Ridge Road, Big South Fork National Recreation Area, Oneida, TN
  • Trail Markings: Green blazes, signs at junctions
  • Website: Chart Creek Lodge and National Park Service 
  • Beer Pairings: Charit Creek Lodge—Green Man ESB & Einstök Toasted Porter

Trail Map:

The Hike:

The Charit Creek Trail is a short section of the Sheltowee Trace, a 319-mile National Recreation Trail that spans the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. The trail also leads to Charit Creek Lodge, a rustic and historic wilderness hike-in lodge located in a valley in the heart of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The hike to the lodge is largely downhill. Not surprisingly, the return hike is mostly uphill.

The trail is well marked and well maintained. From the parking area, follow signs for Charit Creek Lodge. Pass through the gate and continue along the gravel road. Bear right at the fork following the hiking trail. A 12’ ladder descends down the sandstone rim and a series of switchbacks pass by bluffs, large beech trees, and wildflowers. A swinging footbridge crosses Station Camp Creek and then joins the Twin Arches Loop Trail. Turn right to reach Charit Creek Lodge.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Charit Creek Lodge provides rustic, hike-in lodging and meals to overnight guests. The cabins and main lodge are among the oldest in the National Park System. The Lodge concessioner, Greg, is a craft beer aficionado and always has a nice selection of cold craft beer in cans. Pete enjoyed Einstök Toasted Porter (6.0% ABV), brewed in Iceland with Bavarian Northern Brewer hops and  Icelandic roasted coffee. The coffee and toasted malts produce an excellent porter with notes of chocolate, toffee, and licorice. Green Man Brewery in Asheville NC has long been one of our favorites and Kathy was elated to see Green Man ESB (5% ABV) on the beer menu. Our go to beers in England are always the extra special bitters. ESB is brewed with British malts and hops and has a nutty aroma, full body, and sweet finish.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.