Great trail following the river with really cool scenic views. FYI for inexperienced hikers to this trail, the trail forks and you want to follows the left trail leading up. Not the trail to the right that follows the river. Once you reach the top it is well worth the rough hike up. Been my favorite view from atop for the last 20 years.
There are a few really cool sights toward the beginning mile of this trail and then after that it gets pretty boring, and we got lost, like 2miles out of the way and connected with another trail. We started out later in the day so we got real worried we wouldn't make it out before dark, so the last few miles were more like a trail "jog". Good exercise I suppose! Never saw the waterfall either :(
I love this trail. It is more challenging than a lot of trails in the gorge due to the lack of maintenance and the "obstacles" that exist making the trail not overly visible. It requires scrambling over boulders and traversing ledges. Near the end, you'll come to a fork in the trail which will either continue on along the Red River or begin the climb up the hill toward the waterfall. Begin this trail in the parking lot of the Osborne trail just past the bridge.
We hiked maybe 1 mile into this, then headed off trail up hill to the bottom of the cliffs. For the most part, there was a nice path to follow along the edge of the cliffs. It made for a very enjoyable experience, as with nearly ever corner we turned seemingly taking us into a new land. Just gorgeous!
The trail head is found at the parking lot at the end of the one lane bridge on KY715. It's mostly heavily wooded scenery with fairly even ground. There is a moderately steep incline at the beginning of the trail and a steep decline with loose rocks/debris at the end of the actual trail. At the end of the trail you will come back to the KY715. Approx. 3 miles up the road (eastward direction) you will arrive back at the trail head parking lot. It's best to walk next to the road on the Red River side (going with traffic). There is enough room to walk on the side of the road with the exception of a couple of places. As long as you are aware of traffic there should be no problem. Wear reflectors/lights during low light conditions. This hike was rated 4 stars because it was a really nice hike, but with no spectacular views beyond the dense forest during the "green" seasons. As I have discovered since hiking this trail, inside of this loop is a trail to Copperas Falls. If you look at the map you can see the valley that the trail runs through. I will hike to Copperas Falls a second time to record it for future users.
This was a fun and beautiful hike, but we got lost several times due to unmarked trails and trails abruptly ending because of downed trees. We would have never figured it out if or wasn't for the tracked trek on this app.
Some tips- Start your hike either from the small unmarked path immediately right of the parking lot, that heads down the river, or keep right at the fork further up the Osborne trail. It's much easier to figure out going this direction. We couldn't find the waterfall, but we ended up taking some wacky unmarked trails. All in all, very fun, even if a bit frustrating.
Beautiful hike and the views are breathtaking!! Use extreme caution should you decide to go after a rain. The majority of the trail is located on the banks of the Red River and easily floods. Overall its a great hike that includes an arch, a cave, gushing springs and waterfalls along the way. Keep in mind that the cave is currently closed and you may get a big fine should you enter it.
Enjoy the journey!
Neeley H. on Eagle's Nest Trail
Most difficult trail I have ever hiked. It was very muddy, but well worth it. The views are remarkable and the challenge is part of the fun.
My favorite trail at the gorge! It has breathtaking views throughout. Walk along the river with amazing rock formations and swimming areas, there is a very cool cave (currently closed to the public), and the peak is as good a it gets at the gorge. This is hands down the best trail to camp at. You get all the elements of the gorge in one trail; big rocks, beautiful water, and a cliff view. Great area for experienced climbers and fast-ropers. Also, at the base of the peak is a killer waterfall so make sure to hit this trail after a rain. Only issue for first timers is this trail is unmarked so there is no sign where to turn to get to the peak. Best way to explain is to turn left at a flat camp site after you cross the creek the third time.