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Knoxville, TN: Middle Creek to Twin Arches

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Distance: 7.8 miles


Hike underneath massive rock overhangs and trailside waterfalls on a 7.8-mile shuttle hike to photo-worthy Twin Arches in Big South Fork National Recreation Area.
  • Inside a Rock House
  • Middle Creek Trailhead
  • Nature Loop Junction
  • Horse Path Trail
  • Middle Creek Nature Trail Junction
  • Plank Bridge
  • Rock Overhangs
  • Boulder Tree
  • Trail Junction
  • Trail Junction
  • Ridge Fork Road Trail Signs
  • Creek Bridge
  • Slave Falls Junction
  • Slave Falls/Needle Arch Junction.
  • Slave Falls
  • Main Trail
  • Creek View
  • Mill Creek
  • Plank Bridges
  • Bridge
  • Twin Arches Loop Junction
  • Jake's Place
  • Andy Creek Crossing
  • Trailside Waterfall
  • Approaching North Arch
  • Under North Arch
  • North or South Arch
  • Approaching South Arch
  • Stairway to Trailhead
  • Twin Restrooms

This creek-side approach to Twin Arches through Big South Fork National Recreation Area is a logistically simple alternative to the popular Twin Arches Loop. After stashing a car at the Twin Arches Trailhead, drive 5 miles back to the Middle Creek Trailhead and head straight at the first trail junction to pick up the Middle Creek Nature Loop Trail.

From here, you'll hike along massive cliff walls and underneath rock overhangs en route to an awe-inspiring “rock house” 1.3 miles in. Test your echo and enjoy just one of many trailside waterfalls before continuing. Nearly 3 miles east, you’ll reach another cliff-overhang exploration area at Slave Falls. Continue from here by navigating through the falls to a trail marker directing you to Charit Creek. The trail descends gradually as it parallels Mill Creek, then picks up on the final approach climb to Twin Arches just after the Mill/Middle Creek junction at mile 5.7. Explore the signature rock arches near the end of the trail before following the well-signed trail up to the Twin Arches Trailhead.

-Mapped by Kelly Stewart, Nashville Hiking Meetup

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