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An easy loop on the eastern side of the Beech Creek National Scenic and Botanical area, this 4.3-miler has only one gradual climb and skirts a couple great campsites, making it perfect for families or first-time overnighters, too. Begin heading south from the trailhead along an unnamed tributary of Beech Creek. Stick to the trail across several logging roads and minor creek crossings before swinging east to a more substantial, sometimes wet, creek crossing at mile 1.6.
After the creek, follow white blazes—not the old road bed—to the left. In 0.2 mile, turn left onto the old road (the Beech Creek Trail). Meandering uphill through the woods, the trail skirts an old dump and crosses another creek before picking up the north side of the Turkey Snout Trail. Cross Turkey Snout Creek at mile 3.5, the route’s high point, then find a campsite in the wide, open, and flat stretch of forest. If it’s been dry you might have to carry water from Turkey Snout, or from your cache at the trailhead parking lot just 1 mile south.
-Mapped by Charlie Williams
- Distance: 7.0
Location: 34.596394, -94.499522
The Turkey Snout Loop begins at this main trailhead and parking area for the Beech Creek National Scenic and Botanical Areas. Begin by heading south on the Turkey Snout Trail on the lot’s east side.
Location: 34.584838, -94.504861
Stick to the trail leading up to this small, easy creek crossing; there is private property flanking its east side. It’s nearly level for the next 0.7 mile to Beech Creek.
Location: 34.586572, -94.49621
Turkey Snout Creek connects to Beech creek just a few hundred yards north of this crossing. If it’s rained recently, you may want to remove your shoes.
Location: 34.585384, -94.492946
Pass a sign marking the Beech Creek Trail. Turn left to follow it for the next 0.9 mile as it climbs gently beneath the curve of Round Mountain and across several small creek crossings.
Location: 34.587206, -94.489894
The Beech Creek Trail is an old road and this open area was once a parking area and a de facto dump that has since been cleaned up by the park service.
Location: 34.590199, -94.489991
Continue straight along the abandoned road at this 3-way junction near mile 2.3. The Walnut Creek Trail heads up the mountain to your right.
Location: 34.595157, -94.491587
Continue straight at this 3-way junction with the Turkey Snout Trail’s northern half. Turkey Snout Creek is just ahead, but navigation on this first stretch can be difficult if it’s overgrown. The road leading left connects with the trailhead just 0.4 mile west of here offering an easy bail-out option for emergencies.
Location: 34.603714, -94.493542
A reliable water source for the campsites up ahead, this easy crossing at Turkey Snout Creek comes just before the high point of the trail.
Location: 34.6014219, -94.4983864
About 0.2 miles downhill from the creek, the forest flattens and opens to some great campsites. At this point you’re nearly 0.5 mile north of the trailhead.