Explore the most popular hiking trails in Daniel Boone National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day ago

Just done the loop portion of the trail. Falls was amazing as always! Didn’t go to arch as I have other destinations in store for the day.

camping
2 days ago

Hi, could anyone be able to tell me if there is dispersed camping sites on the bark camp creek along the forrest road 193 within 2 miles of the trailhead also is there good fishing in the area thanks, Doug

hiking
3 days ago

*THIS IS AN UNMARKED UNOFFICIAL TRAIL* don’t get worried if the stream is dry as it runs under ground for a little over half the hike. Could be complicated with kids and after rainfall but this gem is worth the hassle.

As of January 8, 2019, this trail along with tunnel ridge, Indian creek and rock bridge are all closed until further notice. We came to visit for the weekend and the road was blocked.

on Bark Camp Trail

hiking
5 days ago

First off this trail was above awesome! We found a camera mount base piece on the way back and left it on the trail sign post at trailhead. My wife and I stopped at the TH per AllTrails app directions and at first thought it was not there…. Trust me it is where the All Trails app says it is. The TH sign is in need of repair (it needs a sign on the post!!!) but the TH is on the N side of the road and culvert with a yellow trout fishing sign posted to it. We hiked beyond the turnaround point at the fairly new wooden bridge and we hiked 7.8 miles round trip. Now we do wander and explore quite a bit on a trail! From where we actually turned back (at the mouth of Bark Camp Creek and the Cumberland) it was 3.4 miles, no detours. It took us about 6 hours, but we took our time and lots of pictures, you will too!! The trail is pretty easy for us, but we hike a lot, mostly in hilly terrain. This trail is jammed full of picturesque sights from waterfalls right off the start to amazing rock formations and rock shelters. It links up with the Sheltowee Trail at a fairly new wooden bridge at about 3 mile mark. You will cheat yourself if you don’t continue on to the massive cascading waterfalls within a few hundred yards of the mouth of this creek. Along the way there are at least two significant water falls coming off bluffs that you can walk behind!!The trail was a little tricky on the start with ice since it was about 28 degrees, but this allowed several pictures of ice formations. Parts of the trail were a little squishy once the ice thawed and the springs opened up. The hills we climbed were not that steep and quit short in climbing, remember you are following a creek to its mouth. There were two camp sites and a huge swimming hole along the trail. We only saw three other hikers today, but it was 28 degrees and on a Friday morning. Even if you hike in warmer weather you will remain cool with the thick canopy along the trail. It had not experienced a significant rain in over a week.
We are definitely returning with our daughter ASAP and plan on camping next time. Nearby are Van Hook falls trail if you want to hike another short trail while here. You will have no cell reception here, so let someone know what your plans are and have a great hike….This is one of our favorite trails in KY thus far…..Not too long. Not too much elevation change and full of OH WOW sights….

hiking
8 days ago

Did this Sunday after it rained on Friday. Every waterfall was running great, the Cascades was running so fast the roar was almost deafening! Excellent time! It was very muddy, I recommend trek poles when this wet. Got tricky in a few spots, just take your time and it's all good. There is a pine tree down across the trail at one point. You can walk up and around it with no problem. For being January everything was so green and made it feel like early spring, kinda felt like I was in Wonderland, lol.

I started out early, hit the trail about 9:30am. Ran into a couple of guys on their way out that had camped over nite. Didn't run into anyone else until I was headed back out around 12:30 and it was getting busy, passed 7 more groups on way out.

Highly recommend this trial. I clocked the trail at 5.5 miles round-trip, but I did add some from the Cascades up the flood route to see if you could look down at the Cascades, no you can't see them.

hiking
9 days ago

I would definitely recommend skipping the loop and just going down the right side of the trail along the river and then going back the same way. The trail basically completely disappears along the top and there's tons of downed trees. If someone hadn't put some orange ties on a few trees we would have never known where to turn right to go to Eagle's Nest. The trail also kind of disappears at the bottom of the gorge near the river so if you don't come from that way it's difficult to find where to go to head back. Outside of that the trail was beautiful!

Beautiful trail and easy to access being right off the highway. Runs right along a creek and wraps around some nice rock formations too. Short trail that’s got plenty to offer.

10 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.

hiking
10 days ago

Took my dog, Lacy, hiking here. We both liked it but she wouldn’t do the stairs

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.

Pretty amazing structure and views.

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!

We did this hike yesterday, after some heavy rain the previous day. From the Bison trailhead the terrain is very muddy. Tall hiking boots and trekking poles will help from falling into the mud, although we didn’t have trekking poles. My wife did fall in once, and I nearly did too several times. Would be good to bring an extra set of clothes and shoes for the ride home, as well as bandana to wipe any mud off from a fall.

Once up the trail, the junction to go up towards to the Indian staircase is not marked at all. We relied on GPS to find it, and other visitors were telling us to go the wrong directions at the Y. From here, elevation increases quickly, first on dirt, then it turns to a stone and tree root split between large boulders where you have to scramble. There are no markings, so use GPS. Next section is a series of different levels of sandstone. There are multiple ways to get from one level to the next, so pick the easiest sure footed way up.

Next is the Indian staircase. If you have never been to the Indian staircase and do not rock climb, it is intimidating. We watched several people go up before we attempted. I wish we had rope as extra security from a misstep. The climb is potentially deadly (do some searches on red river gorge fatalities) so I would suggest not attempting if conditions are wet, snowy, or windy. Take your time and spot your hands and feet deliberately and carefully. We had overnight packs which made it considerably harder (could not lift our heads with the frame of the pack above our necks). The very top of the staircase has the last level of sandstone to get up. Use the small tree at the top to lift you up and slide your butt onto the top level. We saw various people struggle with this. My wife has a little trouble but not as much as some we saw.

Once on the ridge at the top, I thought the hike was physically easy but there are other challenges. Signage and junctions are not well marked. The cliffs are SHEAR drop offs and are everywhere. There are beautiful natural arches which are also a hazard. Watch where you are going, don’t take stupid selfies, and stay away from the cliffs. Also, be mindful of the sunset time. Most deadly accidents in the park seem to involve darkness, inexperience, drugs, and alcohol.

Overall this was one of the most rewarding hikes I’ve had in a while, highly recommended. Come prepared with GPS, battery backups if you are using your phone for navigation. We got lost several times and nearly ran out of battery %. With maps and conserving our batteries, we made it out okay. I do not suggest attempting Indian staircase with a dog or small children.

Beautiful area

hiking
12 days ago

Easy hike and absolutely beautiful!

Really easy trail. The overlook is beautiful.

Difficult somewhat but it’s a beautiful place at the top to look out and just relax. Loved going with my friend

Pretty easy trail very beautiful

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

hiking
15 days ago

Tallest waterfall in KY. Arch on the way you can stop and explore. Nice little hike, pretty easy.

hiking
15 days ago

Started at the Spillway to add some mileage to the hike. Ended up doing a little over 13 miles. Cascades are beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and climbing the cascades. This was my first longer hike and at the time, didn't have hiking boots. Wore brooks running shoes, and the trail was pretty rocky, meaning sore feet! I'd suggest hiking boots!!

Easy hike with a beautiful waterfall. We passed the overlook of the falls and went thru the woods to come down on the other side of the falls. Neat little "cave" area down there. Definitely worth checking out if you live near the area.

hiking
15 days ago

Great place to see fall colors. We did the longer hike, around 6 miles. Some uphill areas but all in all, a fairly easy hike. The arch is beautiful, really wish I'd attempted to climb to the top but wasn't sure if that was possible.

Overall is a good trail. Very slippery if is raining. Lots of tree cover. Nice rock formations

One of my favorite unmarked trails. It can be hard and confusing. Would recommend you know exactly where to go. Take a GPS. Easy to get lost. If the rivers up parts of the trail could be covered. Use caution.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful arch with a waterfall. Went a off-trail, making it a more moderate than the easy rating given by AllTrails. Lots of downed trees and slippery spots. Regardless, of the route you take, the arch and waterfall are neat to see.

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

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