• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    10 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    200 Feet

Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

A relatively easy hike with little to no elevation, Cliatt Creek Loop to Rock Dam Trail is a long beginners hike. 

Mistletoe State park encompasses 15 miles of hiking trails that lead both along Clarks Hill Lake and the river adjacent to it. Although not a necessarily strenuous hike, the 3.75-mile Cliatt Creek Nature Loop (white blaze) begins at the park’s nature center and features some amazing wildlife as it loops it way from the park entrance, to the creek, and back around the nature center with multiple wildlife observation areas along the way! 

I’ve personally viewed a large family of deer in the area, along with some gorgeous birds and tons of rabbits. If you choose not to take the full loop, cross at the river over onto the park's most famous trail: the Rock Dam Trail (blue blaze) which features a 6.25-mile hike, crossing 4 streams and climbing 200ft in elevation. This trail features the highest point of the park which is a lake view at 465 feet. You can cut the trail short by taking the Rock Dam Return Loop trail (red and blue blaze) which is around 1 mile, and cuts across the middle of the Rock Dam Trail. Hikers are usually rewarded for going the whole distance by viewing some amazing river and forest wildlife along the way. 

The entire hike is around 10 miles long, but can be cut short by either skipping Rock Dam Trail altogether and just doing Cliatt Creek Loop, or by taking the shortcut trail (Return Loop Trail). It's a fun hike for those who enjoy just seeing nature and don't want to have to worry about climbing rocks or steep hills. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Hiking boots/Running Shoes
  • Water
  • Camera 
  • $5 cash for parking
  • Swimsuit 
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Matt Van Swol Storyteller

Matt Van Swol is a self-taught landscape photographer, writer, and nuclear scientist for the US Department of Energy. After personally struggling with depression for many years, he is passionate about showing others the beauty of world around them.

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