Ft. Hill Gorge Trail to Deer Trail is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cynthiana, Ohio that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from December until October.
These two trails are connected. Gorge Trail begins at parking lot but you have to take another trail, such as Deer Trail to get back to the beginning. There are several earth caches on these trails, for those hikers who also geocache. If you start with Gorge Trail all the sets of stairs will be going down. Be sure to take a camera. There are lots of scenic views and interesting rock outcrops. There are several natural arches, including the second largest natural arch in the state of Ohio - The Keyhole. There is also an old log cabin that makes a good spot for a rest or snack.
I actually didn't complete the Deer to Gorge Trail, but one of the shorter loops, beginning with the Buckeye Trail, which was approximately three miles. I was having difficulty with shin splints from new hiking shoes, so we cut our hike short. This was, however, still a worthwhile loop. It's first leg was a challenging incline. It leveled out for a short time, then, turned into another sharp incline. This trail is trimmed by the mounds from the ancient, Hopewell tribe, so there was also an intriguing historical element. The trail plateaued, and we could hear a distant motor. As we got closer, it grew really loud until we realized it was coming from a small pond. Our "motor" was thousands of frogs! This is a unique trail system that I will definitely come back to. Don't attempt this trail in wet weather, unless you dare. The last leg is a steep downhill trail. It is wet, even in fairly dry weather. There are also bathrooms and lots of picnic tables.
Completed Gorge to Deer Trail. Also added leg to see circle mound via the buckeye trail. Length was just under 5 miles. To get the 8.1 miles and river crossing, I assume you would need to add the Canby's Trail. Well marked (previous reviews must be out of date on signage), fun hike. Very slippery when wet! For GPS use "Fort Hill Memorial" as the destination. Limited cell service once you are with a few miles of the trail head.
Good hike to ease you into elevation changes, water crossing and ledge walking. Nothing too technical, but definitely a step above the average family walk in the park. Lots of beauty. Very secluded. Light traffic, not many people make the drive here.
nice moderate hike with multiple loops. some nice vista's. worth the trip.
Well maintained trail. The signage has greatly improved.
A friend and myself hiked this trail in November. It is a nice trail with some great scenery. Just challenging enough. Trail was will kept. We went off trail many times in the gorge just to do some exploring. Like others have said, take your trekking poles.
Great hike! with great scenery. My wife and I hiked Deer Trail and returned through the Gorge Trail. Outside of Hocking Hills (does have poor signage )this has to be one of the top trails within 1.5 hours from Cincinnati. Will be back to complete the Canopy Trail.
Also, the directions that AllTrails gave us were horrible. The original entrance it took us to was down a gravel side street with no signage and no trail.
We took Gorge Trail in and did some of the earthcaches while hiking. We picked up Deer Trail to return to the parking lot. This is one of the prettiest hikes in the area. We saw spring flowers, deer, and our first butterfly of the year on this hike. Lots of rock outcroppings and scenic views. We had a 10 & 4 year old with us and they held up very well on this hike. If you use hiking staffs, be sure to take them on this one. There are some steep areas with narrow trails in some spots.