Welcome to the Four-C Trail! This website is meant to consolidate information on the 4-C Trail into one location and to provide additional details about hiking the trail (caching water, camping, preparations, etc…). You will find several maps including an overview map, a topo map, suggestions for caching water, as well as hot spots linked to photographs along the trail.
The Four C National Recreational Trail (aka 4-C Trail) is an easy to moderate 20 miles through the piney woods of East Texas. Moderate only in terms of distance and that you must carry all of your water; otherwise it is an easy to navigate and a relatively level trail. The name of the trail comes from a logging company, the Central Coal and Coke Co., that operated a sawmill at present day Ratcliff Lake in the early 1920’s. The southern trailhead is located at Ratcliff Lake Recreational Area and travels through pine and hardwood forest, it passes along old logging tramways and ponds, crosses several Forest Service roads, treks through the Big Slough Wilderness Area, and ends at Neches Bluff Overlook (northern trailhead).
There are two established primitive campsites along the trail; Walnut Creek Camp (11 miles NB) and Pond Camp (13 miles NB). Although you pass several old logging ponds and cross many creeks, the Forest Service states the water is not safe to drink (presumably from heavy metal contaminates). However, caching water along the trail is made easy with access to several Forest Service roads (see the Water page for details).