Rough Trail and Gray's Arch

MODERATE 63 reviews

Rough Trail and Gray's Arch is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pine Ridge, Kentucky that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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.

7.1 miles
1,479 feet

dog friendly



nature trips




wild flowers

The Rough Trail extends through the Red River Gorge Geological Area between KY 77 and KY 715. The trail climbs from stream-side to ridge-top and back down again several times.

2 months ago

Love this trail. If you’re in for the work, then this is your trail. From passing creeks to bridges. To climbing rocks and going up inclines, this trail has it all. Good scenery and plenty of trail to keep a hiker satisfied. Hope you enjoy! Be safe, be cautious, and let’s not forget; be adventurous!

2 months ago

I ❤️ this trail!

4 months ago

This was a very pretty and diverse trail. So much to look at . However I don’t know who makes the judgement calls on how to label a trail with easy, moderate or hard . I’m a very active person and not new to hiking . Personally I believe this trail should at listed as moderate to hard .
There is a lot of steep hills all along the trail.

5 months ago

Loved this trail. It’s definitely a “rough trail”. Would do it over again!!

5 months ago

Hiked this over 2 days in early July. We parked at the Chimney Top rd parking lot and stayed to the right on the fork for day one. We camped near Gray's Arch and hiked out the other side of the loop the next day. This hike was incredible! Lots of switchbacks on day one that were certainly rough, but it lead to a great variety of stunning overlooks and neat creek crossings in the bottoms. The arch was inspiring, and thankfully day 2 was a bit shorter and flatter. Definitely be prepared to climb lots of hills, scramble over a few rocks, and cross a few streams by hopping between rocks.

7 months ago

Very nice trail with different terrain types, creeks, great views. Swift Camp Creek in the Eastern section is a fav. Recommended for a nice day hike!

9 months ago

I loved it! Went with family on this one. This was my third hike with my son. We were exhausted at the end but it was beautiful. A LOT of inclines and declines throughout. It’s tough but beautiful!

9 months ago

Trail is definitely rough, but views are worth the steep inclines and declines. Trails are very well marked which is a great plus. Almost impossible to get lost out there, especially if you have a paper map of the whole park with trails marked.

10 months ago

Great trail definitely lives up to it’s name but definitely worth all that work you’ll put in to see it

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but gentle foot prints

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trail was well marked. Took two of my sons, ages 13 and 12, and they did great!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Great hike. Some serious switchbacks but great scenery. Took the pooch along and she handled it well for her first excursion. Going back in the spring.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Great hike with some good views. Lots of elevation changes but not too difficult to do with a pack. There are plenty of places to set up camp along the trail as well.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Wonderful trail! Definitely lives up to its name. It was raining pretty good when we started the trail at Martin's Fork, which made scrambling up a rocky part of the trail near Gray's Arch a little sketchy. A lot of fun though. Campsites were a little sparse, but we managed to find a really nice spot for each night we were there. Plenty of good water sources to filter from, too

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Aptly named trail with a very beautiful and diverse landscape. the lowland part on one end is lush and tropical (I was there around Christmas too), and you climb up to a highland part that almost feels like Montana. There's a few really impressive rock formations too. Highly recommend as long as you're ready for the glute workout of your life!

Friday, June 30, 2017

This is a great trail, challenging and scenic overlooks. More difficult than moderate.
Departed from trail head at Martins Fork and took Rough trail till it intersected Pinch Em Tight. Took Pinch Em Tight back to Gray Arch picnic area then rough trail back to trail head. The trails are well marked, but many spurs so sometimes had to back track. If it were wet, this would be a very difficult trail with so many rocks you cross. It has not rained recently, so could cross streams rock to rock.

Friday, April 21, 2017

I have been training for my June 2018 Sobo on the Appalachian trail for a year and a half now. I have been on many trails.. The rough trail is by far my #1 favorite trail so far. Great views, rugged trail with some big climbs and great views. There is always good water sources and springs to filter from. Make sure you pay attention to the trail, and don't get split off on a side trail. Its fairly easy to do if not paying attention. Greys Arch was amazing to finish it off.. Great camping spots. The rock formations, cliffs, arches, and water falls are amazing. A+++ Great clean trail..

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This is a great trail, with tons of scenery and views. The Rough Trail is a 8.5-mile point to point hike, or a 17-mile out and back. We chose to do the 17 mile version which is pretty strenuous. The trail goes down into valleys and over ridges several times, our elevation gain was around 6,000 feet.
This area can be very humid in the summer, and the rhododendrons obscure the views. Early spring allows for good views along much of the trail. Later in the spring would be great for seeing the rhododendrons in bloom.
It can be hard to find good camping along this route, but Parched Corn Creek has some excellent campsites, along its banks.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Visited in early March. Parts of the trail were wet and some trail markers are hard to see. Keep your eyes open for the white diamond markers and you should be just fine. Plenty of sights all along the way. Very beautiful trail but just make sure you stay on the path and plan accordingly.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Great trail. Have done it twice and highly recommend it

Monday, December 05, 2016

Tough trail but worth the effort. Hard to find a good spot if your tent camping, but pretty easy if your in a hammock. This is not the trail for those looking for a casual walk in the woods. Awesome variation of vegetation and plenty of overlooks to observe the beautiful fall colors. But this trail can kick your butt if your not prepared for a tough hike. Also the trail markers (white diamond) are not the best and you can go a while without seeing one. But it's not too difficult to stay on trail.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Great scenery with excellent off trail camping options. Plenty of choices in case you need to shorten or extend your hike. The name of the trail says it all, a tough but rewarding hike.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lives up to it's name, for sure. But damn well worth every mile.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

the title says it all. a great scenic trail. definitely not for beginners.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Trail signage needs to patch the online maps provided by the National Forest Service. Hiked Rough Trail, Sheltowee/Pinch "em Tight, Grays Arch back to Martins Fork Trail Head. Did not hike tail end of Rough Trail. 10.3 miles total. Many trail heads are not marked on the maps. Be careful when crossing Tunnel Bridge Road. We started a few yards down the Sheltowee before realizing we had missed trail 205 somewhere. The trail head maps are not helpful as the trail heads themselves are not on the maps. We retraced and should have taken a right to Grays Arch Trail Head and got on 205 instead of taking a left to Sheltowee (trail 100). 1,767 elevation gain. Good trail and Grays Arch was a cool sight.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Enjoyable trail, with great views. A little rough at spots, but not terrible. Runs by some boulders and cliffs if you are in to climbing. A few nice backcountry camping spots as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hiked entire trail including a portgion of Sheltowee Trace turning this to a 8 miler ending at Martins fork.a very diverse trail with high cliffs , beautiful stream crossings and 5 600 ft gradual descents and climbs a Great day of Hking with a nice bald about halfway for a lunch break.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I have not hiked the entire Rough Trail to the West end, but this is an excellent trail that I have hiked several times. The section between the intersection with Swift Camp Creek at Angel Windows all the way to Koomer Ridge is a particularly great stretch of trail and one of the best in RRG in my opinion. There are difficult short up and down sections as you approach the roadways at Chimney Top Road and RT 715, but the majority of the trail meanders its way along the creek bed under the canopy for an excellent hike that makes you feel like in your in the jungle. An overall excellent hike. Not a whole lot of places to set up a tent but along the west end at the intersections with Sheltowee Trace and Koomer Ridge there are a lot of flat places with plenty of water sources.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Our first time here. We did Rough from Clifty, Sheltowee, Rough, Rush, Pinch en, Buck, Koomer Ridge. It was a mistake to go Sheltowee to jumping rock. Party central and up all night listening to parties. Headed back and picked up Rough again the next morning. Camped Buck by great stream with a nice sized trout in a small pool keeping us company. In all a good hike. Hot temps made it tougher than it is. Great lunch slots on Rush.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Great trails with some really good views. My only complaint would be the lack of signs at certain intersections for the direction to travel when wanting to continue on the Rough Trail. Had to stop and refer to the trail map more often than I would have liked, but maybe that was my error. Loved the stream part of the trail, as well as the short side-trails that led to great views and picture opportunities.

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