Rowland Falls to Jerry's Creek
ElevationAscent: 2,025' 617 m
Descent: -2,028' -618 m
High: 4,201' 1,280 m
Low: 2,643' 806 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)
Current trail conditions
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“Jefferson National Forest at its finest!”— Allan Lee
This loop starts out pretty smooth on Rowland Creek Trail #164. The trail itself is quite narrow and grassy to begin with before beginning a brutal climb. Note there are some potentially muddy sections to contend with here as there are a few minor stream crossings to contend with and since this trail is often frequented by horses.
Around a mile in, stop and view a beautiful 100-foot cascade with an awesome swimming hole. This section is particularly narrow. Strap in to continue climbing. The climb is a steep relentless pull straight up with no switchbacks or curves to ease the pain. Rowland Creek Trail #164 ends at a barrier at the top of this climb. Turn right here to join a wide grassy path.
Just before the trail appears to head straight on a forest service road which itself bears to the right, look out for the signpost. It does have an arrow designating that Old 84 Trail is off to your right but the marking is on the reverse of the signpost so can easily be missed. Old 84 Trail is actually a grassy narrow trail off to your right and not particularly obvious. In fact, the only real indication that it is a bona fide trail is that you'll see some orange blazes on the trees by its start. These can be found along the whole of the trail but are ad hoc in frequency.
Old 84 Trail widens out to a grassy and stony old fire road. It winds in and out following the curve of the mountain side for about 4.5 miles. There are glimpses of views. There are some slight inclines along the route but the ride should be easygoing. The last of the winding sections meets Jerry's Creek #165 at another barrier to your right.
Jerry's Creek #165 is a rowdy descent with a steep drop-off to a creek bed on one side. The path is not just narrow but falls away to a sharp drop. This short but highly technical descent is one of the best in Jefferson National Forest. After crossing the creek, continue to climb for a short while. After the creek, the trail actually widens out to more of a old fire road that is similar to Old 84 Trail in that it skirts around the mountain side. The terrain is more pleasant as the vegetation is less thick so there is more natural light. The climb also rewards with more glimpses of views. After the climb, enjoy a smooth descent back to the Forest Service road where you began.
Land Manager: USFS - George Washington & Jefferson National Forests