Bison Way to Indian Staircase to Sheltowee Trace Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Denniston, Kentucky that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.4 miles
1,689 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips




This trail offers the best of the gorge. It has jaw-dropping overlooks, cool rock features, giant rock shelters, interesting arches, and great camping spots.

1 month ago

Really like this trail. Lots of great rock features.

3 months ago

One of the more interesting hikes I’ve done in Res River Gorge. I wouldn’t think that most people would rate it as easy, especially the first part including the Indian stairs but certainly doable. Also parts are not marked so well so the app is very handy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The description is a little off- there are lots of great rock formations and you CAN see a little waterfall going over a big rock shelter. We hiked this trail as a loop and hiked back to the Sheltowee Trace trailhead on route 715 for about 1.5 miles. This trail offers the best of the gorge. It has jaw-dropping overlooks, cool rock features, giant rock shelters, interesting arches, and great camping spots. We took a side trail to climb Cloud Splitter and climbed through the gap and into a little cave you could see out of. Once you reach the top of the ridge, you see Indian Arch. Near here, there is a short detour to see another arch called Adena Arch. We continued on the unofficial trail along the top of the ridge and camped with a stellar view of the staircase itself. We met back with the official trail, hiked into the valley under the Indian Staircase ridge, and looked up to see a huge rock shelter. To complete the loop we veered off to the Bison Way trail and back to the road. This was a great weekend backpacking trip.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The trial map shown is incorrect. The Bison Way Trail is only a .46 mile connector trail to the Sheltowee Trace Trail, which is mainly what is shown on the map. I have suggested an edit. This trail doesn't really offer much, besides a quick way to get to Indian Staircase and Council Chamber Shelter, which earns it 5 *'s!

Monday, September 07, 2015

we took this trail to get to the indian staircase and it was great. its a heck of a climb up and down, but most anyone would be able to do it. we saw a few older people and even kids as young as 8 or 10. its a rough trail, but just take your time and you will be fine

Monday, July 06, 2015

Ended up running out of daylight by the time we made it to this portion so couldn't see that well, connects to Shelltowee Trace and can be used to get to Cloud Splitter and Indian Staircase wich are worth the Trip.We take Sheltowee to those points.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A decent hike with a well manicured trail. This trail joins the Sheltowee Trace Trail that will allow for all the hiking you desire. When you hit the Sheltowee Trace, if you go left the trail is not manicured as well but leads to some great rock outcroppings. I believe you can get all the way to the Sky Bridge if I'm not mistaken. It is an in-and-out hike. Lots of great campgrounds off this trail. If you are up for tent camping this could be a great trail for you.

3 months ago

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Monday, July 04, 2016

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013