The Archers Fork loop is an attainable day hike for fit hikers; it would require 4 to 6 hours of time to complete. Because the trail crosses several gravel roads, it is possible to create your own loop hikes of shorter distance. An easy out--andĖback hike of approximately 1.5 miles is all that is required to visit the Irish Run Natural Bridge. Visiting the natural bridge is what brings most visitors to Archers Fork, but most donít venture too far past it. For a little longer hike of just under 4.0 miles, continue past the natural bridge to the crossing of an old road, actually the same old road walked for a short distance at the start of the hike. In the Trail Notes and Mileage section for the Archers Fork Trail, this crossing will be at the 0.9-mile point. Instead of following the trail across the road, turn left here and follow this old road downhill for 0.3 mile until in intersects with Irish Run Road. Turn left and walk Irish Run Road for 1.0 mile until you rejoin the main trail at the 8.2-mile mark, passing McCormick Hill Road on the left in the process. Finish up the hike on the last 1.6 miles of the main trail.
Given the excellent trail conditions and smartly designed switchbacks, the SRT/RLT loop can be completed as a day hike by many hikers. Starting from the SRTís southern trailhead on State Route 7, the total distance for a loop hike is 9.3 mile. Add 2.0 miles if you visit the SRTís northern trailhead on County Nine Road. Starting from the SRTís northern trailhead, completing the SRT/RLT loop totals 10.6 miles. Also starting from the parking area at the SRTís northern trailhead on, consider hiking the NCT connector to the Archers Fork Trail and back for a very pleasant hike totaling 5.2 miles.