The Independent Herald’s Twenty Week Hiking Challenge continues with a 4.6-mile hike from Leatherwood Ford to the O&W Bridge and back, along the John Muir Trail in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.
The trail features 100 ft. of elevation gain and is rated moderate.
The newspaper features a hike each week as part of the challenge. The John Muir Trail is the ninth of the 20 planned hikes. Previous hikes can be found here.
According to the Independent Herald, “The hike to the historic railroad bridge from Leatherwood Ford is not difficult. Instead, this trail garners its moderate rating from its length. At almost five miles, round-trip, it is the longest of the hikes that have been featured through the first nine weeks of the hiking challenge. But the trail itself is mostly level, with the exception of a short climb a little less than halfway between Leatherwood and O&W.”
The trail features the river, a waterfall, and the historic O&W Bridge, as well as wildflowers and cliff views. It begins at the Leatherwood Ford parking lot.