The trails at Harbison can be tricky to navigate with interspersed signage and trail markings. This loop links a handful of the best trails into a complete loop for a solid day hike option.
As all trails at Harbison can be traveled in either direction, this track can be adapted to accommodate groups of varying abilities or time constraints (e.g. skip the Midlands Mountain Trail
and take the Eagle Trail
back to the parking lot for a ~5-mile hike).
Open to mountain bikes, closed to horses.
This longer loop is a great way to experience the highlights of Harbison State Forest for first-time visitors or an easy way to almost double the mileage of the popular Firebreak Trail
From Broad River Road (176), look for the Harbison State Forest sign and head north on the forest road, passing the initial parking area and restroom. Follow signs for the State Forest/Education Center entrance onto the gravel roadway through the gate. Continuing toward the Eagle Trail
From the parking area, head west on the Firebreak Trail
to the Firebreak Connector Trail
and turn right (north) on this winding, gradual descent to warm up. Stay on the Firebreak Connector Trail
until the Stewardship Trail
and turn left to continue north across the Service Road
Follow the Stewardship Trail
along the western boundary of the forest through the dense trees passing nearby to some private residences off Lost Creek Dr to the west. Please respect the private property and stay on the marked trail. The trail curves to the right (east) near the northern boundary of the forest, heading toward the Broad River, with a viewpoint around 3.15 miles.
Stay on the Stewardship Trail
until the 4-mile mark, looking for a lefthand turn onto the Stewardship Connector
toward the Eagle Trail
and Midlands Mountain Trail
. To cut this loop short, take the Eagle Trail
back to the starting point/parking area. To continue on this loop, head east onto the Midlands Mountain Trail
, taking the loop in the clockwise direction, staying straight at the first intersection to head toward the river.
This loop, as with most of the trails at Harbison, is popular with mountain bikers, especially the Midlands Mountain Trail Bypass
. The Bluff Trail
also provides an additional short loop in the southeast corner for more exploration. At the 6.6-mile mark, the Midlands Mountain Trail
joins the Firebreak Trail
. Turn right (north) for the final 1.5 miles on the Firebreak Trail
loop, crossing the service road and passing the Eagle Trail
back to the starting point.