Path on John Litton Farm Loop Trail, Big South Fork, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Path on John Litton Farm Loop Trail, Big South Fork, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
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Embark on a scenic trail that leads to one of the most significant historic sites in Big South Fork NRRA. The John Litton Farm Loop Trail winds through the forest past some amazing rock formations, several waterfalls and finally arrives at the Litton-Slaven Historic Farmstead. With moderate difficulty, the trail is worth the adventure if you have the time to explore some of Big South Fork’s natural beauty.

Table of Contents

Things to See

Rockhouses

Rock house on John Litton Farm Loop Trail, Big South Fork, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Rock house on John Litton Farm Loop Trail, Big South Fork, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

There are several rock houses you will pass by on this loop. The rockhouses are huge cave-like cliffs of rock that create amazing formations (and are great photo ops!). See the layers of rock and years of moss growth that covers the aged surface of the formations. Oftentimes, water will trickle down the sides of the rock to create small water streams.

Waterfalls

The trail does pass over several streams along the loop which allows for visibility of small waterfalls. These waterfalls may be seasonal if there has not been a lot of rain. Each of these small falls make for a great spot to stop and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Fall Branch Falls, Big South Fork NRRA, Tennessee
Fall Branch Falls, Big South Fork NRRA, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

The largest waterfall that can be seen on the hike is Fall Branch Falls. This cascade is absolutely beautiful as it is tucked away amongst the mountain laurel and towering trees. There is an upper and lower overlook to see the falls. Do take caution as it can be slippery. Near the upper part of the falls is a backcountry camping site. The site has a small rock circle that can be used as a firepit and space for a tent to be set up. Backcountry camping in Big South Fork requires a permit.

Read more about camping in Big South Fork here.

Litton-Slaven Historic Farmstead

Barn at the Litton-Slaven Historic Farmstead, Big South Fork NRRA, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
Barn at the Litton-Slaven Historic Farmstead, Big South Fork NRRA, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

Founded around 1900, the historic farmstead was once been the home of two significant families in the Big South Fork region. The farm tells the story of successful subsistence farming and how the families expanded the farm with over half-century of work. It is said that the Litton-Slaven Farmstead is one of the best representations of an early Cumberland Plateau homestead. The farm still has some outbuildings including a barn, the main house and a manmade pond with a dam. While the park does not allow visitors to go inside the buildings, it is interesting to see the historic structures in the small valley.

Plan Your Visit

The trailhead for the John Litton Farm Loop Trail is located near the Bandy Creek Pool. The trail is moderately difficult and is about 6.3-miles total. If you are camping at Bandy Creek, you can easily walk to the trailhead from your campsite.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have traversed the hiking trail before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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