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Trails were iced over so it was very slippery. It is a beautiful trail but I had to quit right before the waterfall because I was terrified of the iced terrain where the path was thin and a fall would have been deadly. As it was I fell 3 times. Was really disappointed to not get to the waterfall but I felt it was not safe for me to go further.

Vanhook Falls trail along Pounder Branch is one of the most incredible and scenic trails in the state. This trail allows the hiker to see numerous waterfalls and walk a mostly level and easy to moderate trail. Vanhook Falls is a beautiful destination at around two and a half miles but beautiful cascades and waterfalls are abundant. I have taken this trip a half dozen times in the past couple of years and I never grow tired of the beauty. For a great display of water go in the winter or spring or after a good summer rain.

This was during the shutdown and gates closed. Only adds 4/10’s of a mile to the hike. Took the upper left trail and came back up the lower right side. Don’t pass this one up if visiting Garden of the Gods!

16 days ago

Dog and I did 9-10 miles on the trail plus Sheltowee 100. Yesterday was sunny, 50s and beautiful. relatively dry aside from wet mud near water sources. Trail is wonderfully maintained. Thanks to all the volunteers yesterday who were keeping it so awesome.

After a rain it was very muddy, but worth it! We had to go off trail a little to get around the mud. Several creek crossings and lots of little waterfalls along the way. Even with the government shutdown, the trail was clean. I was impressed with how green everything was in January! Seemed to be more like 3 -3.5 miles in. A beautiful trail for a variety of sights and challenges.

Great outing for the family (kids ages 6 - 14). Pretty waterfall with knee deep pool for kids to play in.

This is a beautiful hike! Like others, recommend going after a good rain, but be prepared for lots of mud! Lots of waterfalls to see along the trail before getting to the main one. When you get to it, there is a bench for viewing. You can go below the stairs to reach the waterfall itself and go behind it! If you get to the bench and go to the top of the stairs, it continues along a trail and to another creek crossing. At that point I stopped and turned around, cause I did not know where that trail led and I have a terrible track record of getting lost haha. I brought my dog and saw several other people with theirs also. Trail is not clearly marked, but a path is worn down. Just make sure to keep close to it, if not, follow the creek!

Love this hike in the summer. Lots of little waterfalls and water holes. Definitely recommend going after rain.

Great hike to a beautiful waterfall. A number of stream crossings, bridges and rockcastles to enjoy.

rock climbing
27 days ago

This is an extremely tough trail. The path up is basically a runoff crease from the top. In wet conditions, the mud makes it very difficult to climb, much less a muddy slip and slide on the way down. There’s no safe way to the top. Whatever rope was there, is gone. The final climb to the summit is risky and could be climbed, but coming back down is the dangerous part with no real safe ways to get up. Bring your own 50’ rope to help you. This is also not a trail for dogs. We took our GSD, along with at retriever and there were a few places where we had to lift them onto a ledge. The dogs definitely would not be able to climb the last bit to the summit.

Definitely a must see at the gorge!

Good hike after the rain

Beautiful trail with a little bit of everything. we will definitely be back when things are in bloom.

We went after it had snowed so things were a little slick but if it was a pretty day this trail would’ve been a piece of cake. The arch and creation falls did not disappoint!

A great hike -- you get both a really cool arch (a true "bridge") and a waterfall in one hike!

Great hike, rugged terrain. A good days hike to do this and courthouse rock combined.

This is probably our favorite hike. Lots of cliff clear views, very rugged. Really shows off the terrain of the gorge.

hiking
2 months ago

I didn’t mind the gravel road. It follows a ridge line through the woods and was very pleasant. We combined this hike with Star Arch which made a 6.25 mile hike. It was easy walking with staircases for the few steep sections. Some views of Courthouse Rock and nice views from the arch.

hiking
2 months ago

great hiking trail! i want to go back and do the super loop which this is part of.

We started the trail clockwise. It is a easy hike on a stone paved walkway for a little bit then you will see the stairs to go down and squeeze thru the rock formations..then the trail is a dirt path which had a little mud because it had rained the day before. But not too bad at all! Loved to see the huge rock cliffs beside us as we hiked. It’s a easy peaceful hike only saw one other person so not too crowded!

Beautiful trail. Easy hike , enjoyed the colors of fall

Trailer was enjoyable

nice view and good hike for afternoon with the family. It's a good little hike

loved the view of the lake if you take the straight bit off the loop and then double back. rock formations were awesome. go in fall when the trees are in color - it's breathtaking!

Even on a cold and rainy day it was still worth it.

Beautiful! Recommend taking the outer trail, definitely worth it and fun to explore.

Beautiful hike - Garmin logged in at 6.7 miles (we did the loop counterclockwise - Auxier Trail to Courthouse Rock to Double Arch and the gravel road back to the parking lot).

Great trail! Beginning half of trail is on a man made rock path. Very easy to navigate. Then trail continues into rock formations producing fantastic views. Second half of loop is on an incline. Nothing too difficult. Wish trail were longer!

hiking
3 months ago

great trail with rewarding views. connect it with auxier ridge trail to get a much longer and more rewarding hike

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