Eagle's Nest Trail

HARD 60 reviews

Eagle's Nest Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Wellington, Kentucky that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
3.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
547 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

Trail head is found at the parking lot at the end of the one lane bridge on KY715. It's mostly heavily wooded scenery with fairly even ground. There is a moderately steep incline at the beginning of the trail and a steep decline with loose rocks/debris at the end of the actual trail. At the end of the trail you will come back to the KY715. Approx. 3 miles up the road (eastward direction) you will arrive back at the trail head parking lot. It's best to walk next to the road on the Red River side (going with traffic). There is enough room to walk on the side of the road with the exception of a couple of places. As long as you are aware of traffic there should be no problem. Wear reflectors/lights during low light conditions.

hiking
1 month ago

We thought this would be a nice afternoon hike to finish up a good day of hiking. Well, the first mile is pretty decent and on a trail. Once you leave the trail to head to the eagles nest you basically crawl through the woods running into spider webs every 2 feet. Besides being attacked by spiders we saw several bear scratch marks, foot prints and bear poop but luckily no bears. Once we got to the eagles nest there was only one mile left so we thought: well, this can only get better! If only we’d known.. we we’re running all over the place on top of the cliff trying to follow the trail map to get down to the river. After an hour of unsuccessfully walking in circles trying to find a way down we decided to backtrack and find our own way down to the river. This part got super sketchy because there was no trail but a lot of slippery and moving stones. After we found the „trail“ again and we hit the river we were able to enjoy the view. The river is actually really pretty, we didn’t care about the caves anymore. All in all I would not do this hike again and I would not recommend it to anyone.

And FIY: there is no waterfall. Just something that seemed to be one a long time ago.

4 months ago

Hard not moderate. It takes some serious guess work and a lot of wrong turns to actually find the eagles nest but once you get up there it’s awesome.

4 months ago

Hard (depending on how out of shape you are) but fun trail! Amazing views and the overlook at the top was worth it!

5 months ago

This was an awesome trail with some more challenging climbing sections. Lots of cool caves and a little arch near what I assume was the top? However, at the Ridgeline I couldn't seem to keep the trail and wound up bushwacking for a while. Still a great hike.

7 months ago

Great hike, and views. Never made it to the falls, going try it another day when I have more time!

hiking
7 months ago

This is an excellent trail. Even with snow on the ground, we were able to follow the trail easily, up until we got to the waterfall. We had trouble finding the trail after that tho. Make sure after you go around the waterfall, to take an immediate left. There is a large boulder that you ether have to climb up on the left through a crack, or go around the right side of it for an easier way up. Let me emphasize how immediately you turn left... you can see the giant rock/crack from the falls! Maybe it’s not hard to see the trail when it’s warmer, but when there is snow on the ground, it was impossible to follow any type of trail from the falls up past the rock. Once you get going up the steep climb, it’s pretty straight forward from there. Clearly the majority of people only hike to the falls and back, but it’s definitely with the climb all the way to the point.

hiking
8 months 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.

9 months ago

Great variety of things to see! Beautiful river, caves, arches, large boulders, forrestry, and lots of campsites and a waterfall with a decent view. Like many others mentioned, we walked past the part you veer to the left and make the upward incline to the falls. If you arent using the location finder and trail map, if you make it to the simba rock out cropping, go back one camp site and look for the leftward trail. Theres a bathroom at the trail head and decent amount of parking.

10 months ago

Great views! A good variety of terrain, with hills, minor rock climbing and rocky inclines, paths right next to the river, and climbing over downed trees. It is certainly a workout, but a very fun one! Amazing overlook from the cliff at the top.

backpacking
11 months ago

backpacking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fifth time to RRG and it only keeps getting better. Eagles Nest Trail was my favorite hike so far. However, it should absolutely be rated as Hard.

Not only is it difficult to figure out which path at which campsite leads up to the point, the whole trail is incredibly dangerous. The hike requires traversing large slippery boulders over creeks and along riverbank cliff sides. Climbing up and over large rocks and scaling hillside tree root systems is the norm. That is before you even get to the 30+ yard runoff / wet slipper rock scramble suspended over a 5-20 yard cliff side at a dangerously steep incline. Try not to slip, but also keep your head up! We had a gut wrenchingly close call when a frisbee sized rock dislodged by someone above came crashing into the top of my girlfriends backpack at deadly speeds, just inches from her skull.

The top is not nearly as sketchy as the hike up, except for the fact that the cliff side is a good 200-400ft above the forest floor. There is a reason this is one of the deadliest places in the gorge, do not go anywhere near the inside of the eagles nest without proper climbing gear.

The view was absolutely beyond explanation, especially as twilight lifted the dense morning fog.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nice short little hike for the family. Good variety in landscape, changed from thick shaded forest along smoke trail (which you can take to get to Eagle nest. Not too busy, good amount of wildlife. View from highest point is ok.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Definitely not moderate. Lovely views along the river, great for dogs. The fork to go up to Eagles Nest was not at all marked so we ended up walking another mile past it. Tip - it's just by the "Simba ledge." Once we'd gone a mile past and back, we were too tired to traverse the cliffs so we ended up making it an out and back hike. 24 hours later and our quads have never been more sore.

backpacking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This was an amazing hike. The views from the top were incredible. I would like to know how this trail was rated as moderate though....it was a difficult hike for me and I've been on numerous moderate trails. Most people that we ran into on this trail, knew nothing about it looping back to Osborne Bend Trail Parking lot, so we ended up making this an out and back hike. We only got lost once and that's because we missed the left turn, but we didn't go too far before figuring out we had made a mistake.

hiking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This trail isn't marked on outragis maps but it should be! When the leaves are on the ground, it is hard to see where to take a left off of the trail that follows the river. The trail climbs up to Eagle Point Buttress via a trail under the giant rock shelter with scenic waterfall. We took the rope and climbed through the rock chimney, but there is a go-around. The overlook is one of the best in the gorge. The trail loops back to Osborn Bend trail via a walk in the woods with some muddy parts.

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

I loved this trail! Follows right along the river until a steep climb up to eagles nest and was super muddy with lots of wildlife to see. There was lots of climbing over rocks and ups and downs. I would say it's more of a rugged hike.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Great trail following the river with really cool scenic views. FYI for inexperienced hikers to this trail, the trail forks and you want to follows the left trail leading up. Not the trail to the right that follows the river. Once you reach the top it is well worth the rough hike up. Been my favorite view from atop for the last 20 years.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

There are a few really cool sights toward the beginning mile of this trail and then after that it gets pretty boring, and we got lost, like 2miles out of the way and connected with another trail. We started out later in the day so we got real worried we wouldn't make it out before dark, so the last few miles were more like a trail "jog". Good exercise I suppose! Never saw the waterfall either :(

Monday, September 12, 2016

I love this trail. It is more challenging than a lot of trails in the gorge due to the lack of maintenance and the "obstacles" that exist making the trail not overly visible. It requires scrambling over boulders and traversing ledges. Near the end, you'll come to a fork in the trail which will either continue on along the Red River or begin the climb up the hill toward the waterfall. Begin this trail in the parking lot of the Osborne trail just past the bridge.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

awesome trail had so much fun got lost a few times that was half the fun beautiful views blessed to see such a beautiful place

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

The trail head is just to the right of the Osborne Bend Trail head. It starts off going straight down toward the river, and follows the river for a while. Moonshiners Arch and Cave can also be found on this trail.

hiking
Monday, September 07, 2015

This was a fun and beautiful hike, but we got lost several times due to unmarked trails and trails abruptly ending because of downed trees. We would have never figured it out if or wasn't for the tracked trek on this app.
Some tips- Start your hike either from the small unmarked path immediately right of the parking lot, that heads down the river, or keep right at the fork further up the Osborne trail. It's much easier to figure out going this direction. We couldn't find the waterfall, but we ended up taking some wacky unmarked trails. All in all, very fun, even if a bit frustrating.

hiking
Monday, March 30, 2015

Beautiful hike and the views are breathtaking!! Use extreme caution should you decide to go after a rain. The majority of the trail is located on the banks of the Red River and easily floods. Overall its a great hike that includes an arch, a cave, gushing springs and waterfalls along the way. Keep in mind that the cave is currently closed and you may get a big fine should you enter it.

Enjoy the journey!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Most difficult trail I have ever hiked. It was very muddy, but well worth it. The views are remarkable and the challenge is part of the fun.

hiking
Thursday, May 30, 2013

My favorite trail at the gorge! It has breathtaking views throughout. Walk along the river with amazing rock formations and swimming areas, there is a very cool cave (currently closed to the public), and the peak is as good a it gets at the gorge. This is hands down the best trail to camp at. You get all the elements of the gorge in one trail; big rocks, beautiful water, and a cliff view. Great area for experienced climbers and fast-ropers. Also, at the base of the peak is a killer waterfall so make sure to hit this trail after a rain. Only issue for first timers is this trail is unmarked so there is no sign where to turn to get to the peak. Best way to explain is to turn left at a flat camp site after you cross the creek the third time.

hiking
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great trail with river views, caves, trails, inclines, and of course eagles nest view.

hiking
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