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Cotton Patch Loop, Bear Creek Scenic Area, Big South Fork

July 9: Located in the Bear Creek Scenic Area of the Big South Fork NRRA, the Cotton Patch Loop connects with Bear Creek Loop to make about 23 miles of unique, scenic solitude. These are mostly horse trails, but mountain bikers also can brave the tricky, steep ascents out of the Big South Fork valley and the many minor tributary dips. Above, the trail is very fast. This connects to the Sheltowee Trace via a trail south to Big Island Ford and then the John Muir Trail. The trail accesses a low-water ford of Big South Fork. Except on cool and holiday weekends, the area is mostly vacant. Split Bow Arch is great.