Hiking the John Muir Trail to Honey Creek Loop

First forged by John Muir himself while making his way from Florida to Kentucky, the John Muir Trail is still adventurous in the modern day. Originally the JMT didn’t connect to Honey Creek Loop, but after it was extended in 2014, it made the route complete and hikers can now make their way across both (which are technically part of the larger Sheltowee National Recreation Trail).

What Makes It Great

Not far from Stearns, Kentucky in the heart of Daniel Boone National Forest is where you’ll find your way to this trail that eventually traverses into Tennessee and connects with Honey Creek Loop. Honey Creek Loop is where the real challenge comes in, as well as a lot of the beauty—you’re sure to see wildflowers galore if you go in the spring. Waterfall are numerous. Stretching across 5.7 miles and looping back, Honey Creek Loop is a good challenge for hikers—it’s considered to be the toughest in the Big South Fork area.

It’s easy to get lost since since the blazes are inconsistent, so you’ll really have to have your wits about you. But if you love a challenge and gorgeous nature to accompany it, you’ll fall in love with this trail combo pretty fast. In addition, you’ll have to scramble over rocks at several places where packing light will come in handy.

Opting for camping and splitting this combo up is really the best way to approach it because it makes for an excellent two day excursion that allows you to go slower and take everything in.

Who is Going to Love It

History loving hiking buffs will enjoy this route that John Muir undertook himself. If you’ve dreamt of undertaking an epic and historic trail, starting off along the JMT and taking it into Tennessee towards Honey Creek is a beautiful way to kick off a southbound adventure. The trail isn’t for novices, but anyone with an appetite for hardy adventure will enjoy immersing themselves in the deep wilderness the JMT offers.

Directions, Parking & Regulations

Stearns, KY is located along the Wilburn K. Ross Highway, otherwise known as KY-92.

Written by Cinnamon Janzer for RootsRated.