We appreciate all of the wonderful feedback, it really keeps us motivated. We read every comment and make an effort to respond to as many of them as possible. We appreciate all types of comments and questions. While we may not always have a response today or information about something on this site yet, good questions and comments help direct our efforts as we continue to enjoy the Gorge. Recently, we were asked about waterfalls. Currently, the site does not have much information about waterfalls, but we intend to add more information on waterfalls and hopefully our readers will benefit from that information in the future. We are always looking for new places and adventures to add based on knowledge you have, please feel free to share it here.
When are maps coming?
by the end of June
Any recommendations on an easy/moderate 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip? All I see are day hikes here!
Superb RRG website with excellent information for those wishing to hike/walk about. Also, Fast Ease of Navigation makes this a must stop before anyone visits the gorge. Great work.
Great RRG website! Most of the others I looked at were lacking in various ways. This one is really well done! Thank you.
Thanks for making a great website for Gorge lovers! My friends and I will be using your recommendations on an upcoming trip and have found your site very helpful. I have one question about Friendship Arch. The directions state: “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” There is no picture of where to pull off, and although we are fairly familiar with Chimney Rock Road, I was wondering if you could clarify where to begin the hike. Thanks again, we love your site.
I had an extra line in the instructions. Thank you for the feedback. I corrected it, and will add a little more to the directions when I have some time. I also visited Cat’s Paw arch which is very close to Friendship arch. Cat’s Paw is not worth seeing by itself, but if you are in the area and like arches, it is worth stopping to check it out.
AWESOME website!!!!! Just found it today. My new years resolution was to hike all 115 hikes in the Hinterlands book this year. I’m almost at the halfway point and looking for other stuff to hike and you have put some great info on here! Thank-You!!!
I went up to Double Deer Arch and Snow Arch today and snapped some photos while I was up there (you mention on your page that you would like to have pictures which show the arches better). If you shoot me your email, I can send them to you.
Love this site! Note – folks who go to Friendship Arch and Cat’s Paw might want to also include Table Top Arch – which is just 100 yards or so beyond Cat’s Paw on your way back from Friendship Arch.
-pat curran, Louisville, KY
Wow, great blog. My wife and I just used your instructions to do the Indian Staircase. Pretty SCARY! Great views from the top, though and the rock shelter is awesome. I wonder if you could provide a better clue to the start of Cloudsplitter Arch trail. We found a rightside trail and followed it up, but it ended in a big runoff. I climbed it, but nothing much to see. I don’t think we walked far enough down 715 from the parking lot. This trail I mentioned was almost directly across from a lefthand side gravel pullover. Guess I need to get a GPS! Appreciate your blog.
The last time I was there the Forest Service was making efforts to hide the unofficial trail. You could always come in from Sheltowee Trace off of Bison Trail. Many cell phones with an app and car GPS units will function for what you need.
I would love to see something about Eagles Nest on here. I used to visit it everytime I went to the gorge back in the day. Amazing waterfall during wet times of the year, cool caves along the way that are probably closed off like many caves are these days, permanently placed ropes to climb, and a great view from the top. I tried to go there today and could not find it. Looked like there had been some damage to the area and the vegetation was heavy. Same trailhead as the Osborne Bend trail, but starting from down on the water – off of KY715. Anyway, I dig the page and I used it to find Auxier/Courthouse/Double Arch!
Thank you for creating such an amazing site with clear and detailed information. your site is the best i have found by a long shot, and has helped me a lot.
Spectacular of you to share these hikes and places. I have gone to most of them recently and really enjoyed the adventure.
By the way, the trail to Red Byrd Arch is now almost forest service worthy. I “cleaned” it up a little. No longer has route finding issues. For pics check out kentucky adventure tours on FB
I love your site!! My family and i have been doing the Indian Staircase loop past the Adena Arch, which we call “Yoda’s Hut”, and down the side to the tree roots then to the road or the parking area for about 13 years and it is my favorite hike in the gorge!! I’ve found some other hikes from your site that I would love to do. Keep up the good work!!
I backpacked here years ago and can’t for the life of me figure out which trail we did last. A mile or so from the parking lot was a huge flat rock that many people were picnicing on. About a 1/4 mile after that we had a straight up climb to the parking lot. Any clue where I was?
My name is Travis and I work for the Powell County Tourism Commission. I would like to commend you on a superb website for the gorge. I can see that a great deal of time and attention to detail have been put in here. I was wondering if it would be ok for us to link to parts of your website from ours. Spcifically, the information about the various hikes and arches. Please send me an email if this would be ok with you.
Thanks for all your hard work, your time and consideration.
We appreciate you linking your site to ours, and hope we can help your visitors enjoy the area as much as we do.
Hi there! My fiance and I are having a destination wedding to Slade, KY and would love to hike to a scenic spot to get married. We are unfamiliar with the area, but would love to get some advice. We will have a total of 12 people with us and are looking for a trail that is off the beaten path, but has an easy skill level. Can you please give us any recommendations? Ideally, we’d like to find a kind of shaded overlook if at all possible. 🙂
I think Blackburn Vista would be a perfect choice. https://toredrivergorge.com/top-10-day-hikes/indian-staircase-area/blackburn-vista-4-0-miles/ This should be manageable by almost all skill levels. Since your the leader, I would recommend a test run so you know exactly how to get there. Blackburn Vista is on unmarked trails and having gone once before should give you the comfort to take anyone else there. Blackburn Vista will be quiet and amazing, but if you need even easier or are uncomfortable on an unmarked I have seen several weddings at Gray’s Arch over the years. Gray’s Arch will not give you solitude and is an arch rather than a vista, but should certainly be easy to access and it is well marked. You can also do a direct in and out and the total distance would probably be less than 2.5 miles as opposed to the 4 mile Gray’s arch loop hike here. https://toredrivergorge.com/top-10-day-hikes/grays-arch-area/long-greys-arch-loop-4-miles/ Congratulations and enjoy!
Thank you so much! Both ideas look wonderful and I can’t wait to hike them before hand to see what they look like in person. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. 😀
When you state “From rest area at exit #33 off of the Mountain State Parkway Turn” is this also known as the Bert T Combs parkway?
Great site, appreciate the hard work and details you’ve put in here! Would like to get your input on camping atop Indian Staircase. In viewing topos it appears once upon the ridge you can go deeper into the forest by veering off not too far from the staircase, but in my visits I’ve never seen trails here. Have you ever camped up here? If so, also do you have any recommendations for turning it into a multi-day hike? Feel free to email reply.
Thanks and happy holidays!
Once on top of Indian Staircase, you are correct, there are other “trail” options. Our description talks about returning on unmarked trails via Adena Arch, but there are several other good options. Some of the routes go out to beautiful vistas. Some of the routes go to “trails” that are used for off road vehicles, that I cannot recommend. I don’t put every hike and trail on this site, because the Indian Staircase area, like many parts of the Gorge, is ripe for exploring.
Thanks, printed out some of the top 10 hikes to try when we are visiting next week.
I wanted to let you know what a helpful addition your information was to our trip to rrg. We hiked eagle point loop, Jennifers overlook, along with several other smaller hikes in three days. Starting the trip with eagle point was great. The trip allowed me to hone my GPS navigation abilities. Anyway, I wanted to.stop back and.edu thank you. Extremely helpful info. Thumbs up.
Hello! First off, thanks for putting this site together. Tons of really helpful, detailed information.
My fiancée and I are planning our first trip to RRG this Memorial Day (hoping to avoid some of the crowd by coming during the week, no Memorial Day weekend). We’re planning a 2-day, 2-night backpacking camping trek. Starting on a Monday around noon, and we’d need to leave on that Wednesday morning. I have a two-part question for you.
1.) Do you have a recommendation for the trails we should take? Ideally, we’d like to make a big loop, that starts and ends at our car, and will take us two days to hike (at a leisurely pace). We were thinking of your 7.3 mile Double Arch, Star Gap Arch, Arch of Triumph, Auxier Ridge, and Courthouse Rock Loop. Do you think that would be a good option for us?
2.) We are thinking of bringing our dogs with us (two border collies). They’re athletic dogs, and have hiked and camped with us before, but obviously are not physically suited for any heavy duty climbing. Are there trails in RRG that you would consider accessible to dogs? Or are we better off leaving them home?
I appreciate your help!
I love your idea for a camping trip. The nice part is once you follow an “unofficial” trail like the one to star gap arch, there are many good camping options that meet all of the forest service rules for camping a certain distance from trails and the road. Plan ahead, once you get up on Auxier Ridge your camping options will be extremely limited or completely impossible in order to comply with the rules. I know they enforce the rules on Auxier Ridge. A friend of mine was ticketed and fined for camping in an “illegal” spot. The other nice thing about camping near Star Gap and exploring the loop is there are a lot of “unofficial” trails in the area that are fabulous for exploring that are not on this website.
I almost always have my Labrador with me when hiking in the Gorge. Part of the reason I do not hike as much in Natural Bridge State Park is their ban on our four legged friends. I have never had an issue with climbing in the Gorge with my dog. The only climb on this hike is as you go back up to Auxier Ridge, which is pretty gentle grade and a portion of it has steps. I do pay attention to where my dog can get water on hikes, especially when it is hot. With this hike being up on ridges, water is limited. However, in the middle after passing Double Arch, you follow a beautiful stream for a while. I know some people carry water for their dogs, but I just plan the hikes so there is plenty of water along the route, and make adjustments depending on the season.
Hello. I just read your post on Ledford Arch. I have attempted to find this before, but was unsuccessful. However, your directions seem easier to follow. I do have a question, when you are referring to the overlook near the arches are you talking about hanson’s point overlook? Just making sure I was on the right unmarked trail.