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1.5 miles

Elevation Gain

164 ft

Route Type



Added by Lucas Bremer

A special playground of creeks, bluffs, waterfalls, and a natural bridge.

Four separate trails make up the 8 miles of available hikes in the Bell Smith Springs National Natural Landmark. The dirt trails can be moderate to difficult in some areas. Please, stay on designated trails. The trails pass under large shelter bluffs and various rock formations while offering views and overlooks of Bay Creek.

Discover the Sentry Bluff Trail, marked with blue diamonds, and travel along the cliffs above the canyon giving the hiker a spectacular view of the gully below. Stop at Boulder Falls to view one of the area’s most scenic waterfalls.

The General Area Trails, marked with white diamonds, provide 1.5 miles of hiking with highlights such as Devil’s Backbone.

Explore the 1.5 mile Natural Bridge Trail marked with yellow diamonds to get a view of Bell Smith Springs from the highest natural bridge in Shawnee National Forest. This natural bridge spans 125 feet and arches 30 feet over the canyon.

Experience Mill Branch Trail by following the red diamonds. This trail covers 2 miles and follows either side of Mill Branch Creek. Stop for a bit of history at Old Grist Mill Dam, the last standing structure of the ghost town of Hartsville. For long hikes, take water, food, and first aid as the trails can be quite remote. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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