Blue Heron Loop Trail

MODERATE 26 reviews

Blue Heron Loop Trail is a 7.5 mile loop trail located near Strunk, Kentucky that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.5 miles
990 feet

dogs on leash


rock climbing



Directions from Stearns: Travel west on KY 92 approximately 1.3 miles and turn left on 1651. After driving approximately 1.1 miles turn right onto KY742 in Revelo. Drive approximately 8.2 miles to Blue Heron. After passing the entrance to the campground, turn left onto the Overlook Road. The Blue Heron Loop may be started at the first parking area or on the Overlook Road. You may also access the trail from the Blue Heron Mining Community.

1 month ago

A new favorite at Big South fork. I have procrastinated on this hike for years. Finally hiked the loop on a warm day in between two long periods of freezing weather. Due to ice on the road going down into Blue Heron, i started my hike at one of the trailheads located along the gorge overlook road.

This hike offers a variety from rock shelters, awesome rock formations, cultural history and a river walk. There is quite a bit packed in this nearly seven mile loop. My highlights on this hike would be the coal tipple, which has been converted into a bridge high across the BSF river, Crack in the Rock formation and the rock shelters that the trail hugs along the bluff line. Also, check out Devils Jump rapids-a class IV drop on the Big south fork, about a .5 before reaching the restored mining community.

Plan on closer to a 7.5 mile hike once you account for walking across the tipple bridge and hiking to the two main overlooks (Devil Jump overlook and Blue Heron overlook).

2 months ago

If you begin on the southern portion (counterclockwise, following the river), some lengthy switchbacks make the climb up from the river a bit more laid back.

The different overlooks and points-of-interest are very well spaced across the trail. Leave room for plenty of down time to enjoy them :)

4 months ago

Did this trail and completed it. Took about 4 hours or so to complete with small breaks to grab water and a get a breath in. This trail was amazing and the highlight of our trip! The river was beautiful! Beautiful views! Highly recommend and if we return to the are would def love to do this one again.

8 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails in Kentucky I think. The views are breathtaking.

9 months ago

fun trail overlooks and river views are awesome

11 months ago

part of the trail is closed currently..

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Great afternoon trail! Beautiful scenic walk that at times can provide one heck of a workout!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Great hike. Well maintained trails with a great parking area.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

great hike had to remove a lot of debris off of trail from recent storm.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great view at Devils jump overlook.

Monday, May 16, 2016

I loved the crack rocks and the overlooks were nothing short of majestic. The tipple was a disappointment in my book. 6 stars.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Excellent trail!! Recommend the trail for intermediate hikers but the trail head features a museum with restrooms and an old coal tipple. The trail has lots of beautiful views of the Cumberland River and is a great work out. If it weren't only 55 degrees when we went, we would have jumped in the river. There were several mine entrances along the trail. I would recommend this trail in the spring and fall to see the budding and foliage. It is a little bit of a challenge.

Monday, April 11, 2016

We had a great hike on a Sunday morning. Crack in the Rocks and Devil's Jump are neat features

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Very nice trail. We went left from the first parking lot to start the loop, and highly recommend doing the same if you have children or dogs with you, as descending very steep steps with dogs is much harder than ascending.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Beautiful moderate trail. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CLIMBING IN BIG SOUTH FORK, THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE. There are roughly 30-40 routes ranging (from what seems to be and what i have found on 5.10 - 5-11.b

Monday, February 10, 2014

Great trail with several different viewings of the gorge from beside the river to above it on the overlooks. There are many old coal mining openings and areas of rock houses with interesting views. At the beginning of the trail is the living museum for the Blue Heron coal mining community with exhibits and the coal tipple area for loading cars, well worth the visit.

5 months ago

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