Explore the most popular cave trails in Kentucky with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
4 days ago

Just done the loop portion of the trail. Falls was amazing as always! Didn’t go to arch as I have other destinations in store for the day.

12 days ago

Lovely, simple trail. Easy access. Nice small waterfalls after decent rains. Pretty muddy & slick when we went.

hiking
12 days ago

I would definitely recommend skipping the loop and just going down the right side of the trail along the river and then going back the same way. The trail basically completely disappears along the top and there's tons of downed trees. If someone hadn't put some orange ties on a few trees we would have never known where to turn right to go to Eagle's Nest. The trail also kind of disappears at the bottom of the gorge near the river so if you don't come from that way it's difficult to find where to go to head back. Outside of that the trail was beautiful!

hiking
13 days ago

Took my dog, Lacy, hiking here. We both liked it but she wouldn’t do the stairs

hiking
14 days ago

Great quick outing for families.

Beautiful area

I started out at the lodge (there's a connector trail from there). This trail will show you most of what Carter Caves SP has to offer. Rock bridges, waterfalls, rock formations, lakeside paths, suspension bridges, streams etc. It's all beautiful and will not disappoint. It rained the night before so things were pretty muddy. This trail is on the hard side of moderate; many stream crossings and a decent amount of rock hopping. I wouldn't take small kiddos out on it. Elevation-wise however, it's not bad. There's a tough crossing at the dam when the water's high so be careful. I have a photo of it on my recording. Total length was about 9 miles and you'll want to give yourself at least 6 hours to complete it. A fantastic all day hike if you take in the sights.

well marked trails. gorgeous views. highly recommended

hiking
16 days ago

Good short morning or afternoon hike. Many interesting rock formations along the way with the rock bridges at the top of the list. Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. As one of the signs along the way says, it's "Fairly Flat" but there's definitely enough ups and downs to get your heart pumping. Trailhead is across the road from the welcome center (next to the "Saltpeter Cave" entrance).

Hiked the loop. Extremely muddy at this time. Didn’t quite understand the falls portion and didn’t go to the right trail by the bridge. Will definitely come back and go see the falls next time.

hiking
18 days ago

Tallest waterfall in KY. Arch on the way you can stop and explore. Nice little hike, pretty easy.

Easy hike with a beautiful waterfall. We passed the overlook of the falls and went thru the woods to come down on the other side of the falls. Neat little "cave" area down there. Definitely worth checking out if you live near the area.

One of my favorite unmarked trails. It can be hard and confusing. Would recommend you know exactly where to go. Take a GPS. Easy to get lost. If the rivers up parts of the trail could be covered. Use caution.

Was there a few years ago.Great climb. Going again this year. Does anyone know the height ?

Couldn’t understand the “hard” rating until we finally found the leg that follows along the creek and falls. It was challenging at the very least, made more so by the recent rains and slick mud.
Overall, very much worth the effort to climb/slide down the trail to get close up to the gorgeous waterfalls.

One of my favorite trails.

rock climbing
24 days ago

This is an extremely tough trail. The path up is basically a runoff crease from the top. In wet conditions, the mud makes it very difficult to climb, much less a muddy slip and slide on the way down. There’s no safe way to the top. Whatever rope was there, is gone. The final climb to the summit is risky and could be climbed, but coming back down is the dangerous part with no real safe ways to get up. Bring your own 50’ rope to help you. This is also not a trail for dogs. We took our GSD, along with at retriever and there were a few places where we had to lift them onto a ledge. The dogs definitely would not be able to climb the last bit to the summit.

One of my favorites!! Visit after a rain so the falls will be running decently.

25 days ago

Pretty muddy this winters day but the waterfalls were worth the muck.

I hiked the loop years ago with my husband. I'd suggest to start counterclockwise if you only want to see Mantle Rock and have no interest in a long hike. It's a beautiful hike, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Last December, I took my youngest daughter and my best friend for a girls day. We took the counterclockwise route and enjoyed time at Mantle Rock without the exhausting hike.

Very enjoyable

Definitely a must see at the gorge!

Challenging hike with spectacular views of the river and palisades. Waterfalls all around! Loved every step, but had to be careful of the falling icicles above.

The trail was fairly easy; but has amazing views! I highly recommend it. Many areas to stop for a rest or just to take in the amazing energy there.

1 month ago

Ok hike. Pretty but nothing exceptional.

hiking
1 month ago

Probably the most beautiful trail I’ve done. I adore Carter Caves.

nice walk

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, short hike with little waterfall in season near the back entrance to the cave. Only downside is that a landslide has covered up most of the main entrance to cave.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Would suggest doing it clockwise in order to hit the best bridge last.

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