“The Archer's Fork Loop Trail is the heart of Southeastern Ohio backcountry, connecting several other trails in the area.”
— Jeff Carter
Trails are closed from December 16th-April 14th.
While many prefer to ride the loop counterclockwise, either direction is a pleasure. The trail is well-maintained, but the terrain is rugged and scenic. So allow extra time to complete the loop. The trail passes many rock outcroppings, a couple caves, and is highlighted by the Irish Run Natural Bridge.
There is a short dirt access road on the southwest portion of the loop which makes for a welcome sight after the sustained climb that leads up to it. If you do not like doubletrack, do not let this deter you from riding this loop if you are looking for a challenging trail. There are plenty of climbs, rock gardens, and switchbacks to hold the interest of adventure seekers.
Archer's Fork Loop Trail is one of the easier trails to ride in the area. It gets more traffic than some of the others, giving it a more hard packed trail tread. As soon as you enter Archer's Fork Loop from another trail, you can feel the rolling resistance lessen. There are typically less leaves on this trail as well. Nonetheless, it is still a black diamond level trail.
The loop is well-marked with wooden signs at intersections and yellow blazes along the trail. It's actually easy to follow compared to other trails in large forests like this one.
Stop at the sign indicating the natural bridge. You cannot see the bridge from Archer's Fork Trail, but it is a very short distance down the spur trail to the bridge. It's best to leave your bike on the Archer's Fork Trail and walk down, as the hill is quite steep. It's not worth pushing your bike back up after already riding most of the loop. It is, however, well worth seeing the natural bridge that typically only exists out west (they call them arches in Utah).