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Ruby Junction (032)

Ruby Junction (032) spurs in about a 4 mile loop to both the North and South around a one mile segment of the River to River Trail.  From East Trigg Trailhead, bypass both the Cove Hollow Trail (001T) and the Jackson Falls Trail (049), staying on the River to River Trail for approximately 2 miles.  After passing the last turn off for the Jackson Falls (049), the River to River Trail will pass beside Millstone Lake/Bay Lake.  Shortly after passing the lake on the River to River Trail (001), you will reach Ruby Junction (032).  If you follow Ruby Junction to the North, you'll be rewarded with views of the lake and Bay Creek as the trail hugs these landmarks for about a mile before looping back into the River to River Trail (001) further to the East.  

Millstone Lake/Bay Lake is a hidden gem.  It is fed by the cool, clean waters of Bay Creek Spring.  The lake is home to  Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, Crappie, and Warmouth.  If your horse will tolerate packing a fishing rod, it may be worth your time.  When the water is low, the emergency spillway for the lake has dramatic slot canyons and rock formations but is not safely accessed on horseback. Use caution even when hiking this area on foot.

Continuing Northeast on Ruby Junction (032), just before returning to the Eastern River to River trail (001) junction, trail 030 spurs to the Northeast.  Trail 030 will take you to Maxwell Ford and continue on to Sand Cave before returning to the River to River Trail (001).   If you chose this option, after visiting Sand Cave (030), follow the River to River Trail (001) back to the West about 1 mile and you'll be able to continue South on the Ruby Falls Junction trail (032).  Adding Sand Cave (030) will add just shy of 3 miles to your ride from Ruby Junction but is well worth the time and effort as long as daylight and equine endurance are holding strong.

From the Rudy Falls Junction (032) at the River to River Trail (001) continue to the South to continue the approximately 4 mile Ruby Junction trail loop.  The southern portion of Ruby Junction trail primarily highlights forest with some sloping landscapes before returning to the western turnoff of 032 from the River to River Trail (001) before pursuing the same 2 mile out and back portion of the River to River trail (001) to return to the parking at East Trigg Trailhead.

From the East Trigg Trailhead public day parking, it is approximately an 8 mile ride to reach and complete the Rudy Junction (032) loop.  It can be shortened by about one mile by cutting the 032 Ruby Junction loop in half by using the River to River trail (001) to return to the parking at East Trigg Trailhead.  If Sand Cave (030) is added to the complete Ruby Junction  (032) loop the trail distance approaches 12 miles from the East Trigg Trailhead.

Bay Creek Ranch is located at the southernmost portion of the Ruby Junction loop (032).  If 8 miles is too long, we strongly recommend that you pay the ~$2 per rider and use the day parking at Bay Creek Ranch.  Ruby Junction loop (032) can be accessed directly from Bay Creek Ranch cutting the minimum mileage down to just the 4 mile loop.  

Open Dates

Year-round, conditions permitting.

Distance and Terrain
4.0 miles

Natural surfaces.  Some portions are rocky.  Some portions will be muddy when wet.

Camping
Yes.

Equestrian camping is available at the privately owned Bay Creek Ranch.

Parking

Ruby Junction and Ruby Falls Junction (032) is a loop trail off of the River to River Trail (#001).  There is not parking at Ruby Junction or Ruby Falls Junction.  

Designated public horse trailer parking is available a 2 mile ride to the West on the River to River Trail at  East Trigg Trailhead on the River to River trail.

Alternatively, the Ruby Junction loop can be reached directly out of the privately owned Bay Creek Ranch.  Day parking is $2/day/rider at Bay Creek.  Contact Bay Creek Ranch for more info on daily parking or equestrian camping.

Directions

Ruby Junction (032) and Ruby Falls Junction (032) can be reached  by riding 2 miles East from the East Trigg Trailhead on the River to River trail or by riding directly out of the privately owned Bay Creek Ranch.  

Trail Map

Friends of the Shawnee National Forest Equestrian and Trail Map - West Side. Bonus, proceeds from the sale of the map go to a not-for profit that helps to protect the Shawnee Forest and establish further recreation opportunities!

Bay Creek Ranch is run by knowledgeable equestrians and will provide regional Shawnee trail maps if their day parking facility is used.

The online River to River Society's free online trail guide and their downloadable GPS map app is another great resource for navigating the Shawnee.

Contact Info