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Author Topic: Martin's Fork Trail  (Read 2378 times)

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chris

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Martin's Fork Trail
« on: July 22, 2009, 12:02:52 PM »

I'm interested in trying to find some longer ways to hike through the gorge.  I'm interested in being able to follow the rough trail to route 77 and then continuing on at the Martin's Fork Trailhead to the Auxier Ridge area.

My questions are:  What is this trail like and is it hard to follow?  Where does it leave the Martin's Fork parking lot?  Does it leave the back of the parking lot?

Thanks for any info.

Chris
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genes

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 04:17:10 PM »

Well, getting to Rt 77 is super easy.  When you get to the spot on Rough Trail and King's Branch where the trail just starts up hill to Gray's Arch, don't follow the trail but continue to follow King's Branch downstream.  In about 1/2 mile, you will get to Rt. 77.  This is a shortcut into the Rough Trail area and people do this so often, that there is a small trail. 

Once you cross 77, just continue in a north west direction up the next ridge.  From the top of this ridge, you can see Courthouse Rock (in the Fall).  I don't know if you can see Court House Rock in the summer with all the foliage.   
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Gene

copper creek

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 04:57:22 PM »

There is an obvious unofficial trail leading off the backside of the Martin's Fork parking area.  In the book "Hinterlands" this is referred to as the raven rock overlook trail.  The trail winds its way up to the top of the ridge west of 77, with a couple of scrambles up and over short rock slopes along the way.  Once on top there are paths leading north toward raven rock.  I've not been to tunnel ridge road from the top of the ridge, but instead of traveling north, you could follow the ridge as it bends to the left (southwest) where it will eventually end on tunnel ridge road, not too far from the Auxier Ridge parking area (look at a topo map).  There may be an unofficial trail connecting to TRR.  There is one marked on an Outragis map that I have.  Once on TRR you could travel on out Auxier Ridge or you could loop back by walking TRR to pitchemtight-buck-koomer-rough trails.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 08:18:00 AM by copper creek »
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chris

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 01:20:52 PM »

Thanks for the info.

I forgot to mention that I had the Outragis map and the Hinterlands book and that is where I'd seen the trail.  I mostly just wanted to know the condition of the trail.

Thanks,

Chris
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Longstreet

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2009, 07:56:51 AM »

Hey there Chris, not sure if you knew this or not, but in Hinterlands, "Tunnel Ridge Trail Q" is the TRR side of the the trail your looking at

on Outragis.  That might answer part of your question.
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Trekker Forrest

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 07:41:29 PM »

The trail is not maintained so its condition is not good.  If you're experienced you can navigate it but expect some downed trees and branches and some stretches where the trail fades out and you have to work your way across to where it picks up again.  Don Fig really wanted this trail developed into a continuation of Rough Trail and did have a volunteer crew lined up to do it but the arrangement fell through. 
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Tula1953r

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 02:37:56 PM »

I have hiked Martins Fork up to Grays Arch. Be ready for a whole lot of creek crossings and mud if it has rained recently for the first mile or so. It follows Martins Fork back about a mile or so and then turns to the left to go up to the ridge that Grays Arch is a part of,and you will be very close to Tunnel Ridge Rd. If you take the branch to the right,you will eventually wind up at Daniel Boone Hut. The trail going up to Grays Arch is great,sometimes steep,and winds through some very nice forest and there are several great overlooks to rest at along the way.The trail feels a whole lot more remote than it is,and does not appear to be traveled very much. I think most of the cars that you usually see at the trailhead are climbers that are usuing the side trails to access Military Wall and Left Flank.There are some nice areas for back country camping back there,and of course some major party sites near the trailhead. I think that this would be a great trail to link into other trails for a great big loop.

I also have plans to creekwalk up Martins Fork this fall or next spring. You can hear alot of waterfalls while you are on the way up to the top of the ridge that Grays Arch is on. ;) I am interested to see what feeds Martins Fork,as it seems to flow pretty good all year and the waterfalls below the trail sound impressive.
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mrhughes1982

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 08:44:30 PM »

I walked from Rock Bridge to Martins fork in three days of rain.  It was awesome and the small waterfalls made it great.  I love the rain!
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Mitch

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Re: Martin's Fork Trail
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2017, 02:44:38 PM »

I know this thread is now 8 year old, but I thought I'd add that Guardian Arch is up there on that ridge, just west of 77 as Copper Creek described in his/her post.  Proceed up the hill from the MF parking area, then turn right (north)at the ridgetop. I've never actually been to Guardian Arch but my pursuit of it is what landed me here at this thread in the first place.  With Tunnel Ridge now temporarily closed due to rain to protect the gravel road, I was seeking an alternate route and I am so glad to hear that there is one!
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