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North Fork Smith-Kentucky Falls Bike and Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Two damaged bridges where replaced in Spring 2018 (kaltbluter)
North Fork Smith River, along the trail (kaltbluter)
Topo Map (kaltbluter)
  • Start point: North Fork Smith TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: North Fork Smith Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 17 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3200 feet
  • High Point: 2450 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Only on the Kentucky Falls Trail section



8.5-10 miles of this hike is done on foot. The remaining distance is a return trip on bicycle.

Begin by stashing a bicycle near Kentucky Falls Trailhead or about here on road 919 if you'd like to avoid riding up hill.

After concealing a bike in the trees drive to North Fork Smith Trailhead.

Follow the trail North through old growth forest with large Douglas Fir, Cedar and Big Leaf Maple.

At 1.6 miles, you'll cross the Smith River on a new bridge.

At 3.7 miles, you'll come to the second bridge crossing of the Smith River (The two bridges, installed in 2018, replace older ones damaged by flooding).

The trail passes a few campsites as it continues another 3.5 miles to the junction with Kentucky Falls Trail sometimes travelling near the creek and other times far above it.

Stop and enjoy the scenery at North Fork Falls and Lower Kentucky Falls before hiking 1.3 miles to Upper Kentucky Falls.

Another .75 miles and you'll arrive at Kentucky Falls Trailhead. From here, the paved road is up hill for a little less than 2 miles. Retrieve your bike and ride back to North Fork Smith Trailhead on roads 919 and 23.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fee


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon: Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Cascades, Eastern Oregon, Wallowas by Douglas Lorain

More Links

Forest Service, Trail #1376 Forest Service, Trail #1351

Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.