MBB--The route you mention is the one I had in mind. As for the alternative one you mention (not known to me), my suggestion would be to wait until late fall (after the leaves are down) and maybe try a bushwhacking expedition if you are good with a GPS and comfortable in such approaches. I'll try to ask my brother, Don, who has hiked every maintained trail in the Park and a lot which aren't maintained, about this. He may have some thoughts, and if so, I'll post them.
P. S. Your decision on Raven Fork is an eminently sensible one.