Mark Branch Trail #635

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Mark Branch Trail #635

Mark Branch Trail #635, located on Stearns Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, begins by following Forest Service Road 6105 for the first mile before entering the woods. A trailhead sign to the right of the road marks the trail. The trail will go from ridgetop to streamside, through laurel thickets and beside rock cliffs. After hiking 1.3 miles from the road, you will reach Mark Branch and the connection to the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail.

Mark Branch Trail Guide and Map

Trail Surface: Dirt

Connections: Sheltowee Trace Section 37 (2.25 miles), Gobblers Arch Trail # 636 (3 miles)

Trailhead: Forest Service Road 6105

At a Glance

Fees None
Permit Info: A Special Use Permit is required for commercial activities (for example: fishing tournaments, boat rentals, trail rides, outfitter guides, races, etc). A permit is also required for all noncommercial group uses involving more than 75 people.
Open Season: Open all year
Usage: Light
Restrictions: This trail is developed for hiking only. Closed to motorized vehicles.
  • Food Storage Restrictions are in effect to reduce odors that attract bears. In the backcountry, hang food and garbage at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from any tree or post used for suspension. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Alcohol use prohibited: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. KRS 222.202; (Order DB-02-15)
  • No camping in rock shelters. Camping and campfires are prohibited within 100 feet from the base of any cliff or rock shelter. (Order DB-02-15)
  • Graffiti is prohibited. Do not chisel, carve or spray paint. Damaging, altering or defacing any archaeological resource or natural feature is prohibited under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and 36 CFR 296.4 and 261.9.
  • Campfire must be DEAD OUT before leaving. (36 CFR 261.5) You will be held liable for suppression costs if your campfire starts a wildfire.
  • Prohibited: Possessing or operating a motor vehicle on roads, trails and areas not designated for that purpose on Motorized Vehicle Use Maps. 36 CFR 261.13.
  • Shortcutting a switchback on trails is prohibited. (Order DB-08-15)
  • PROHIBITED: Camping or maintaining a campsite for more than 14 consecutive days in a dispersed or non-fee area without having terminated Forest occupancy for a minimum of 10 days within a 31-day time frame (§261.58(a)); (Order DB-02-15)
Closest Towns: Whitley City, KY
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toilets are available at Hemlock Grove Picnic Area.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Stearns Ranger District
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653 

General Information


To Hemlock Grove trailhead: From the Stearns Ranger District office, take US 27 south for 4.7 miles to KY 92. Turn right on KY 92 at the traffic light. Go 6.3 miles to KY 1363, turn left and go 11.4 miles to the end of the blacktop. Turn right on Forest Service Road 564. Go 1.2 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 137. Go 2.6 miles to the picnic area on the left.

To Forest Service Road 6105: From US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 92 west. After crossing the Yamacraw Bridge over the Big South Fork River, turn south (left) on 1363. Follow the signs for Great Meadow Campground. At the intersection of Forest Service Road 562 and 139, go left, following 139 to Forest Service Road 569. Turn right onto 569. Go about 0.5-mile to Forest Service Road 6105 on the right.

General Notes:

Loop Trail Opportunity: Mark Branch Trail, Gobblers Arch Trail, and Section 37 of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail form a 5-mile loop. Begin at Forest Service Road 6105 and follow Gobbler's Arch Trail until it intersects with the Sheltowee Trace. Follow the signs for the Sheltowee Trace that point toward Peters Mountain. You will hike through an old field that is now a wildlife opening. Follow the Sheltowee Trace until it intersects with Mark Branch Trail, which will be on your right. Follow Mark Branch Trail to Forest Service Road 6105. Turn left and follow 6105 to Forest Service Road 569.


Parking is available at the trailhead on Forest Service Road 6105. 


This trail is not accessible.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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