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Siltstone Trail is a 12.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Fairdale, Kentucky that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 12.1 mi Elevation gain 2,211 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
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Getting There

The Siltstone Trail traverses the knobs of southern Jefferson County, topping out on some of the areas highest points. The trail can be hiked from either end, and is an easy shuttle if you have a hiking buddy with wheels. Otherwise, it's an out and back hike. It doesn't take long to get warmed up on this hike. After strolling past Tom Wallace Lake, you're faced with a 300' climb from the trailhead. Once you've made the climb, the hike is mostly a ridge line hike. But this doesn't mean there's no more climbing. The trail drops down to cross 2 paved roads, with steep climbs down and up at each intersection. With over 3,000' of total climbing, this trail keeps the thighs burning and the heart pumping. Since nearly the entire hike is through heavily wooded areas, this is a great hike in the fall and when the leaves are off in the winter and early spring. Deer and wild turkey (feathered not bottled) are commonly seen along the way.

Jefferson County Memorial Forest - (502) 368-5404

The Siltstone Trail is located in Jefferson Co Memorial Forest, about 15 miles south of downtown Louisville. From I-65, turn west on the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265). Travel about 2 miles, and turn south at the Fairdale-National Turnpike exit. Turn right at the first light onto Fairdale Road. After 3/4 mi. turn right onto Manslick Road, then take an immediate left onto Mitchell Hill Road. The Welcome Center is located on your left, nearly 2 miles ahead. The trail begins across the road from the Welcome Center. The trail can also be entered on the west end of the trail off of Scott's Gap Road, which gives you the option of cutting the length in half with a shuttle hike. But as of the Fall of 2003, the parking area at the west end was unavailable due to construction. Call ahead to verify if parking is available before heading to the west end of the trail. The trail also crosses Jefferson Hill Road and Bearcamp Road, but there are no official parking areas.

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Reviews (272)
Photos (149)
Recordings (224)
Completed (474)
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Joe Young
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Hiking
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Melissa Davis
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Hiking
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Alyssa Feuerer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 26, 2020
RunningGreat!

This is a wonderful out and back trail. Lots of climbing so it’s a great workout for trail running/power hiking. I tracked at 6.25 each way, so it might be a bit longer than than 12.1 miles. Once you get over 2 miles in, there isn’t much foot traffic to deal with.

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web brewer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking

quiet. hilly at times. the trail is 6.7. I did 4 miles and back

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Michael Riney
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Hiking
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Michael Riney
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Hiking
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Evan Christman
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HikingRocky
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Vince Hamblin
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Hiking

Fun trail, in good condition. It’s not quite as steep as you might think but has some spots that’ll get you breathing a little heavier. Not a lot of views from the trail, but still very nice. Would most definitely go again!

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Alex Geller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2020
Hiking

Love this trail! Lots of great elevation gain right outside of a city! You can’t beat that!

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CJ M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2020
Hiking

The trail isn't anything pretty to look at, no nice views, but it was a nice challenging Trail for something convenient and it's a straightforward, well maintained trail. Beware some people do not keep their dogs on leashes on this Trail. I like dogs but some woman had two huge Doberman Pinschers off their leashes. Kind of dangerous for anyone else walking around with their dogs. I have also done a half marathon on this before...grueling.

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Josh Orme
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 14, 2020
Hiking

Trail is in good shape. Challenging trail out and back.

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Kayla Martorana
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 2020
Hiking

Challenging hike. The first two and last two miles you will see the most inclines and declines. Definitely the most difficult parts. The middle portion is more moderate. Great exercise and really well marked trail. No big waterfalls or big sights too see. Would do it again for sure.

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Jacqueline Hubers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 31, 2020
Running

Beautiful, well-maintained trail. Its challenging but most of it is runnable if you’re looking for that. There are a couple streams along the way for pups to rehydrate. It doesn’t have the breathtaking vistas that I love and no payoff at the turnaround point, but the nature and views on the ridge made it worth the burn. Overall wonderful day.

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Joe Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 12, 2020
RunningMuddy

This trail was awesome but lives up to it’s hard ranking. There are hardly any level sections of the trail, it’s either up, down, really up or really down. It was gorgeous and I saw very few people on my run today. The distance and the elevation listed here are incorrect. Using Nike Run Club with GPS on, from Tom Wallace to Scott’s Gap road and back was 13.5 miles (6.8 one way) and about 3200 feet of elevation gained for the whole trip. I went in mid March and it was very pretty but the trees were bare. I’m excited to come back in the summer or spring and see all of the colors are greens. A few sections of the trail were muddy but it wasn’t bad at all and they were easily avoidable.

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Tiff Howell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 11, 2020
Hiking

We did a 10 mile (5 in&back) hike this past weekend. Couldn't have asked for better weather. We started at 8:30am and it was a little chilly. Approx. 3 miles in my jacket came off and by the 5 mile point my sweatshirt was off and hair up. The incline will definitely give a good leg and rear workout! The views are very nice, the trails in really good shape. There can be quite a bit of traffic that 1st 3 miles, which I wasn't as fond of, but noone can deny it's a hike.

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Chuck Crawford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 9, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Hiked it back-to-back days. However on Saturday March 7...ran out of day light and only got 10 miles (5 out and back). I was irritated so I went back March 8 and re-hiked to the end and back. On my Adidas App, it read 13.62 total miles. I was not trying to set a speed record. Took me 4h:35m. Only saw a few people each day. Starting at the welcome center and hiking to Scott’s Gap...I felt the first 3 miles were the best bang for your buck. The “climbs”/inclines are not hard if you have ok fitness. The distance is the challenge. Trail is in wonderful condition!!! Zero trash!!! Bridges are solid and most of the fallen trees are cut up...certainly the large trees. Would HIGHLY recommend. I took 2 liters of water and a protein bar. Would suggest taking a snack for the complete round trip and at least 2 liters of water. Will hike again next time I’m in L’Ville!!!

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Joe Smith
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Hiking

Prep hike for backpacking Knobstone Trail. Started hike with backpack filled to 22lbs, including 8lbs of water and about a pound of food. Estimate pack weight was only about 13-15lbs for last few miles of hike. Conditions were sunny and cold with predominantly freeze dried trail surface. 23* at 11am start, 26* high at 1pm with fell to 19* by end of hike.

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Jackie Klassen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2019
Hiking

wonderful Trail! pristine condition! quite tough lots of uphill switch back

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Blake Bramer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2019
HikingRockyScramble

loved it

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Cody Nygard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 10, 2019
Hiking

I’ve hiked parts of this trail for years, mostly in Tom Wallace Park. I have been wanting to tackle the whole trail for a while. Finally got around to it, and I’m glad I did! The most heavily trafficked area is in Tom Wallace Park; once you get across Jefferson Hill Road, and especially after cross Bear Camp Road, you get some pretty desolate hiking in. Also, from Bear Camp Road to the end of the trail on Scott’s Gap Road, it’s mostly ridgetop hiking, less ridge climbing in this section. Some great vista views, if you can find a gap in the trees. One caveat: if you hike in Summer, douse yourself in bug spray - the ticks are horrible through this area. Overall, this is the best trail I’ve hiked in Kentuckiana!

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Tom Duffy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Running

used this trail to train for the Ragnar Appalachian black loop, and glad I did. I combined it with Scott's Gap trail to get the mileage. It was as challenging as any of the trails in WV, so not for novice. Bring plenty of liquids and take your time. Trail was in great shape. I can't wait to run it in the fall and winter, I bet the views are awesome.

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Jermaine Dutton
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Hiking

Awesome trail and a definite smoke session! The hills were pretty grueling but the sights were amazing.

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Skip Becker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2019
Hiking

It was a fun trail with a mix of steep ascents and descents that weren’t runnable due to the rain from that day. It’s not necessarily slippery when wet unless you’re moving fast. Hiking this trail wet or dry would be no problem. There are some nice rolling flats that you can jog throughout the trail. I didn’t run into much wildlife at all And this trail doesn’t really offer much to see. It’s just a great trail to get out and enjoy a nature and get some exercise. Clean air and quiet even though the trail does look like it gets quite a bit of use throughout the year. That being said, Trail conditions are a little on the overgrown side sometimes, and if the plants are wet, plan on having soaked shoes. No bikes, no horses… Foot traffic only :-) Lots of shade for the entire trail when the leaves are full. Ample parking on either side of the main road. The visitor center, as long as it’s open, has a bathroom, some items for sale including some snacks and drinks. There’s also a water fountain and a pop machine that’s available from the outside when the store is closed.

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Greg Whitt
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Hiking

What a challenge. The length is the hardest part. Both ends have some difficulty and manageable areas but having to repeat them to do the entire trail was tough as we got tired. Parked cars at each end to give ourselves an opportunity to have hydration and some snacks. I would recommend trekking poles and plan for double the water. Great trail, will be doing again.

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Tammy Rhoades
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Running

Trail ran this about a month ago. Great for running because elevation is spread out. I started from park store/ranger station so GPS said it was longer than mileage stated a above - a little over 17 miles. I could have done a few spur trails also?? Not sure, but plan on doing again next time I’m in the area.

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Leah Phillips-Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2019
Running

It’s a workout! Not for the novice. Do it to beat the trail! Out and back

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Rachel Casebier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2019
Hiking

This is a well marked and maintained trail. It offers a lot of elevation gain for a good workout. I have done this trail in sections, as well as joined it with the Purple Heart loop trail for an extra couple miles. Great trail!

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Jeff Bohnstedt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 8, 2019
Hiking

great trail if you're looking for a workout, in a couple of different places a few trails come together and are a little hard to tell what trail is what, but other then that we enjoyed it immensely. The people we came across were very friendly, and happy to say hi and chat for a bit. Looking forward to doing this trail again next weekend.

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Jasmin Nichole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2019

walked this entire trail with my dog, on the way back my hips started to give out (I'm 27) and I was in excruciating pain for the next couple days. but I dont regret it. come prepared.

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