dogs on leash




nature trips


wild flowers


kid friendly

trail running



dog friendly




rock climbing


super nice winter hike. cliff lines were layered with icicles, frozen waterfall, & snow covered trail added to beauty

Winding Stair is very lightly traveled, last time I was in the area, it was poorly signed as well.
The entire Rockcastle Narrows/Sheltowee loop is very isolated, and does have a creepy feel to it. I hiked towards VanHook from FR 119 last october and found quite a bit of bear scat and ripped up stumps along VanHook Branch.

Very scenic. Lots to see if you really look. The low grounds in the summer are nice. The views from the cliffs are beautiful. Not too difficult at all. Trail not marked too well for the walk back from Courthouse Rock.

9 days ago

Okay for a short family outing. Really not a lot of scenery. The river followed the trail the first half and that was cool. Really not a lot of places for camping.

9 days ago

One of the local favorites. Especially in the summertime. The trail head is hard to find if your not familiar with it. A lot of high walls, rock formations and water scenery on this trail. Especially in the winter time. A lot of icicles and frozen water falls, in the colder weather, make for some very cool pics. But the end is the true reward. Awesome tiered waterfalls with wading pools on each level. Great family outing trail.

Parking lot is a little sketchy looking, but I've never had a vehicle messed with. Cool little walk across the spillway to the trail head. Trailhead is marked pretty well. Plenty of signage since it's part of the Sheltowee. Just stay to the right of the road and you cant miss it. Trail is an easy hike with cool rock formations and some cool water scenes. Very child friendly.

Great hike! My 6 and 10 year old daughters and my 5 year old nephew had no problem keeping up and we had a blast. This is a long trail so give yourself plenty of time.

This ranked moderate but should be marked HARD. This is an unmarked trail. There are a lot of side trails to different things and camping sites. Very easy to get lost once you’re up there. Climbing the actual Indian staircase is practically bouldering. It wasn’t hard. But it wasn’t easy. Don’t take a dog. I took mine and it was a struggle. Once you get to the top follow the trail down into the cave and around to be other side. You follow that along the ridge until the trail seems like it dead ends and the only way down is to shimmy down a washed out split in the rock covered in tree roots. Be careful. I could see where people could get hurt with this trail. Or lost.

Decent hike. Follows mostly along the lake, which is great, but there’s not a lot else to see. Pretty easy hike overall, we went all the way in and out and it was 8 miles round trip. Nothing technically difficult. Trail is well marked and maintained.

its a nice hike, just not a lot to see.

one of my favorites!

14 days ago

This was a great, but difficult hike. The trail is entirely unmarked and requires several side paths to get around extended areas of downed trees as well as going over or under numerous trees along the trail. There are also a few perilous boulder crossings along the river that were especially precarious given the time of year and ice. We went counter clockwise and could not see any safe way down from the top of the cliffs along this version of the trail. We may have had better luck coming from the other direction, but we also had our dog with us and chose to backtrack and scramble down and follow the river until we came across the trail again. If you take a similar path as we did, I would still recommend going along the upper cliff for the view. The trail goes along the edge and I would not recommend this for children, and I especially note a small bend with vegetation that hides the 200 foot drop off. However, for adults, the view is worth it. Overall, fun and challenging and we look forward to returning.

14 days ago

Loved it. Sunset is amazing!

its a nice hike

it is very isolated and I agree with one pf the other reviews...creepy. Its beautiful once you get down to the river but its very isolated.

15 days ago

this is not a long hike but its beautiful when there is water running. we did it on Jan 1 and it was 16 degrees so there was an ice volcano at the bottom. Everyone needs to see this at least once.

So gorgeous! Did this yesterday and it was just us on the trail in the morning! Lot of beautiful scenery and icicles! So cool❤️

This trail should be an out and back and not a loop... sure the trail keeps going, but it’s a 3 mile hike on the paved road back to wherever you parked your car. We didn’t follow the gps maps all the way and parked the car at the official trailhead on the side of the road, so our last three miles was spent walking up the hill from the campground. The beginning of the trail however, was beautiful and fairly easy. This trail really is not well marked so follow the path on AllTrails map! The creek along the way is beautiful!

Great trail....easy to follow with a lot of places to stop and gawk at the rocks. Make sure you take the extra time to see Maker Arch. Explore the caves, and take some time at the falls. They are peaceful and inspire one to relax

27 days ago

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but gentle foot prints

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