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Archers Fork Trail is one of the most scenic trails on the Forest, yet also one of the most challenging.

Part of the North Country Trail, this trail also provides a loop which can be used by day hikers. The 9.5-mile trail traverses the most scenic parts of the Irish and Jackson Run areas. This area is among the most rugged and unique in the Forest. Hikers will see numerous rock shelters and outcroppings as wel as vintage oil and gas wells, representing the area's historic role in the petroleum industry.

The most significant point of interest ont his trail is the Irish Run Natural Bridge. Located on the upper slope of a steep hollow, erosion and natural weathering have created a hole beneath a massive sandstone rock. Natural bridges are uncommon in Ohio; the bridge at Irish Run is one of only 7 in Ohio. The trail takes the hikers over the arch which is 51 feet long, 16 feet thick, and 39 feet above the ground.

Mountain bikes are permitted on the trail. Trail users should note that Wayne National Forest is a participant in the pilot project to charge fees for certain recreation uses of federal land. Fees have been implemented for off-road vehicles, horseback riders and mountain bikers. Seasonal, 3-day and day use tags are available from a number of local outdoor merchants, several area national drug store chains, and offices of the Wayne National Forest. Individuals 16 years and older are required to have a permit. Permits are valid April 15 through December 15. Trails are closed December 16 through April 14.

Directions: From Newport, OH, Travel east about 6 miles on Route 7. Turn left (north) onto County Road 14. Travel about 5 miles to County Road 38. Bear right to reach Archers Fork.

Elevation: 1,200 feet

Elevation Gain: 350 feet

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Wayne National Forest, Ohio

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.