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Ft. Hill Gorge Trail to Deer Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews

Ft. Hill Gorge Trail to Deer Trail is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cynthiana, Ohio that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from December until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.6 miles
649 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching





wild flowers


These two trails are connected. Gorge Trail begins at parking lot but you have to take another trail, such as Deer Trail to get back to the beginning. There are several earth caches on these trails, for those hikers who also geocache. If you start with Gorge Trail all the sets of stairs will be going down. Be sure to take a camera. There are lots of scenic views and interesting rock outcrops. There are several natural arches, including the second largest natural arch in the state of Ohio - The Keyhole. There is also an old log cabin that makes a good spot for a rest or snack.

Hardest trail we have done!!!

8 months ago

My favorite trail in Southern Ohio! The initial incline is a rather difficult but totally worth it. Beautiful scenery and very tranquil, but also a great workout.

10 months ago

I loved it! But I took Fort Trail to Gorge Trail, about 4.5 miles. Today was muddy, and very slick so a few moments were a bit scary near the edge of some cliffs. Challenging, but part of what I enjoyed. Beautiful scenery! Had my dogs with me so we stopped off at the creek so they could have a little swim. Will do again for sure.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The gorge is awesome. Definitely worth the effort. I would not rate this trail as moderate. Once you’re in the gorge the trail is narrow and treacherous with rocks and roots to navigate.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The start of the Deer trail is a steep uphill climb. By the time we got to the Gorge Trail, we were pretty spent. The Gorge Trail was really nice, with much more to see. I'd go 5-star, but some parts are in disrepair.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The inclines of the trail definitely wear you out but there are enough flat parts of the trail to recoop! Beautiful scenery walking by the creek and seeing all of the wild flowers! Will definitely do again!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I actually didn't complete the Deer to Gorge Trail, but one of the shorter loops, beginning with the Buckeye Trail, which was approximately three miles. I was having difficulty with shin splints from new hiking shoes, so we cut our hike short. This was, however, still a worthwhile loop. It's first leg was a challenging incline. It leveled out for a short time, then, turned into another sharp incline. This trail is trimmed by the mounds from the ancient, Hopewell tribe, so there was also an intriguing historical element. The trail plateaued, and we could hear a distant motor. As we got closer, it grew really loud until we realized it was coming from a small pond. Our "motor" was thousands of frogs! This is a unique trail system that I will definitely come back to. Don't attempt this trail in wet weather, unless you dare. The last leg is a steep downhill trail. It is wet, even in fairly dry weather. There are also bathrooms and lots of picnic tables.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Completed Gorge to Deer Trail. Also added leg to see circle mound via the buckeye trail. Length was just under 5 miles. Well marked (previous reviews must be out of date on signage), fun hike. Very slippery when wet! For GPS use "Fort Hill Memorial" as the destination. Limited cell service once you are with a few miles of the trail head.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Good hike to ease you into elevation changes, water crossing and ledge walking. Nothing too technical, but definitely a step above the average family walk in the park. Lots of beauty. Very secluded. Light traffic, not many people make the drive here.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

nice moderate hike with multiple loops. some nice vista's. worth the trip.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Well maintained trail. The signage has greatly improved.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A friend and myself hiked this trail in November. It is a nice trail with some great scenery. Just challenging enough. Trail was will kept. We went off trail many times in the gorge just to do some exploring. Like others have said, take your trekking poles.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Great hike! with great scenery. My wife and I hiked Deer Trail and returned through the Gorge Trail. Outside of Hocking Hills (does have poor signage )this has to be one of the top trails within 1.5 hours from Cincinnati. Will be back to complete the Canopy Trail. Also, the directions that AllTrails gave us were horrible. The original entrance it took us to was down a gravel side street with no signage and no trail.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

We took Gorge Trail in and did some of the earthcaches while hiking. We picked up Deer Trail to return to the parking lot. This is one of the prettiest hikes in the area. We saw spring flowers, deer, and our first butterfly of the year on this hike. Lots of rock outcroppings and scenic views. We had a 10 & 4 year old with us and they held up very well on this hike. If you use hiking staffs, be sure to take them on this one. There are some steep areas with narrow trails in some spots.

3 months ago

6 months ago

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Monday, June 05, 2017

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