Half Moon Arch (unmarked)

Half Moon Arch

SUMMARY: An easy walk to an unmarked arch with great views.

RATING:  Easy Walk (about 0.6 miles)  Restrooms are available at trailhead.  While this is a very easy walk we call it a hike because it follows unmarked trails.

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO WALK: Early spring when flowers are blooming or autumn when you can catch the fall colors.  The USDA Forest Office is located in Winchester, Kentucky about an hour from Red River Gorge. For up to date information either stop in the Ranger District Office, visit their website or telephone: (859) 745-3100

AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED: Allow a half of an hour (less than 1 hour) to enjoy this walk.

Unmarked Parking Area for Half Moon Arch (Hike begins across the Street)

DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD:

  1. From rest area at exit #33 off of the Mountain State Parkway Turn left, and return to the Mountain State Park – West (8.0 miles)
  2. Take Exit 40 for for KY-15/KY-715 toward Beattyville. (0.3 miles)
  3. Turn right at KY-15 N/KY-715 N. (0.7 miles)
  4. Take the 1st right onto KY-715 N. (2.2 miles)
  5. Turn left Chimney Rock Road. (3.5 miles)
  6. Go to the end of the road and back track until you see pull off pictured in picture included. (0.3 miles) – The hike begins across the street
  7. Pull off and park on the side of the road.

Above Half Moon Arch (Trail appears to End)

DETAILS:

  1. From the pull off where you parked follow the unmarked trail on the RIGHT side of the road (opposite of the garbage cans and barricade pictured) out to Half Moon Arch (0.3 miles.)  You will pass at least 2 camp sites, and you will know you are on top of the arch when the trail appears to end.  Backtracking a few feet and scrambling down on the left side you can get below the arch.
  2. Return to Parking area on the unmarked trail(0.3 miles)

BONUS:  It is possible to continue out past Half Moon Arch to an amazing view point.  It is not recommended because of the high number of fatal accidents in the area.

This walk can easily be combined with the Chimney Top Rock Walk and Princess Arch and Little Princess Arch Walk as the leaves from a parking area 0.3 miles down the street.

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