Explore the most popular rock climbing 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.

A simple fun hike that takes into the gorge along the creek. Parts of the trail are paved which makes the trail even easier than it already is.

A simple fun hike that takes into the gorge along the creek. Parts of the trail are paved which makes the trail even easier than it already is.

We are very disappointed. There is so much graffiti and trash in this area. It ruins the beauty. There is so much potential here but it is a wreck. So sad.

Nice walk around the lake! We were coming off illness (but needed to stretch our legs) and looking for an easy Sunday hike. Also wanted something relatively dry (no creek crossings) as it wasn't an especially warm day. This checked all the boxes. Minimal elevation changes and obstacles. Easy to follow trail (you take the road back to complete the loop). Expect to see lots of lake views, accessible beach areas, and some rock formations. Also, lots of trash. Like a lot :-(. I'm sure on a summer day it would be a different experience with lots of boat traffic as well, but the lake was fairly quiet on this March day. I had a toddler in a backpack carrier (and a baby in my belly), and an 8 year old on foot - the loop took about 2 hours with plenty of breaks to skip stones and play.

Very muddy on the trail. The drive getting to the trail head is on a steep winding one lane road.

One of my favorite trails in red river. Has all you want, climbing, waterfalls, and you see some arches

Really perfect hike — we did it backwards, starting towards double arch, and it couldn’t have been better.

Beautiful lakeside early March hike. We found a small beach to stop for a quick lunch and just to enjoy the lake with no boats and no one else around. It’s a super simple hike. You will need a map as the trail is not marked until you get right up on it. There are benches throughout the trail overlooking the lake you need a little break. We also found picnic tables and grills at the end of the trail we didn’t see when we piled up so that was a nice little surprise. Excited to come back in the summer when it warmer to float and grill! ***** There IS lots so trash

My friend Justin and I just completed this trek yesterday. A backcountry combination of several pieces of trails through the serene and beautiful deep Red River Gorge. We parked a car at the Sheltowee Suspension Bridge parking area, then drove another to the Martin's Fork trailhead and hiked back to the first car. It took us just over 4 hours to complete the 8 mile excursion. The start of the hike up Martin's Fork is one the nicest places in the Gorge and a pleasant hike. Then you'll quickly ascend to the top of Tunnel Ridge, which will definitely get you warmed up for the rest of the hike! After this you'll descend to a low saddle between Tunnel Ridge and Koomer Ridge before ascending the latter. From there you'll descend the remainder of the hike and follow Chimney Top Creek all the way down to the Red River. Most of the trail sections selected for this hike are very lightly trafficked and the sense of space and seclusion out in the middle of this section of the Gorge is superb. Great day hike. Bring lots of water, some good snacks and chocolate, and give yourself plenty of time!

Shanty Hollow after several days of heavy rain leaves plenty of mud and two spots where ankle-deep water crossing is required, but there are many rock overhangs to dry out under and the waterfall is much more lively. Definitely take the time to follow some of the side paths for great views and interesting rock formations (some very light climbing is required in a few spots). One of the best short scenic hikes in the area.

This easy hike takes you to Creation Falls and Rock Bridge Arch. This was my son’s first experience of Red River Gorge. At 4 years old he said “ Daddy, this is much better than Bernstein Forest”. I will say parking at this trail head is a nightmare.

I agree that Shanty Hollow is a beautiful trail. We've hiked it with the dog and kids. We've rappelled off of the cliffs and photographed most of it. Unfortunately, there are two things that detract from the enjoyment. We've been finding trash left--fishing supplies & related mostly. In pretty weather, the place is wall-to-wall college students. Many of them bring in nylon hammocks and hang out by the waterfall. That noted, the rocks and cliffs are beautiful. In heavy rains and in the winter, the waterfall is really pretty. There is even a small (really small) canyon just before the waterfall. I'll pick a date for the review, but we've been going there since 1987. Kentucky DFWR used to own it. Now, Western Kentucky University owns it. It isn't daily, but the WKU PD and WCSO do sometimes come out to see if everything is o.k.

A new favorite at Big South fork. I have procrastinated on this hike for years. Finally hiked the loop on a warm day in between two long periods of freezing weather. Due to ice on the road going down into Blue Heron, i started my hike at one of the trailheads located along the gorge overlook road.

This hike offers a variety from rock shelters, awesome rock formations, cultural history and a river walk. There is quite a bit packed in this nearly seven mile loop. My highlights on this hike would be the coal tipple, which has been converted into a bridge high across the BSF river, Crack in the Rock formation and the rock shelters that the trail hugs along the bluff line. Also, check out Devils Jump rapids-a class IV drop on the Big south fork, about a .5 before reaching the restored mining community.

Plan on closer to a 7.5 mile hike once you account for walking across the tipple bridge and hiking to the two main overlooks (Devil Jump overlook and Blue Heron overlook).

2 months ago

Very scenic. Lots to see if you really look. The low grounds in the summer are nice. The views from the cliffs are beautiful. Not too difficult at all. Trail not marked too well for the walk back from Courthouse Rock.

Beautiful trail with some awesome creek access.

3 months ago

If you begin on the southern portion (counterclockwise, following the river), some lengthy switchbacks make the climb up from the river a bit more laid back.

The different overlooks and points-of-interest are very well spaced across the trail. Leave room for plenty of down time to enjoy them :)

Took Auxier Ridge to Auxier Branch to Double Arch back to trailhead. Very nice with some good little side spurs. Just be careful on the spurs, especially with children. Most of them are cliffs that you better watch what you're doing.

Great trail with lots of fantastic views and varied terrain. Starts along the auxier ridge, goes to courthouse rock (climb up the thru the crack onto the top of the formation if you're daring enough!), descends along Auxier Branch trail following a beautiful stream, climbs back up to Double Arch (one of the best views in the entire gorge), then goes back to the parking lot along the ridge line road (closed to vehicles). ~8 miles, a bit strenuous, but well worth the effort!

Love it

Good for some light climbing. Great cave/lookout. Great view from the top!

5 months ago

Did this trail and completed it. Took about 4 hours or so to complete with small breaks to grab water and a get a breath in. This trail was amazing and the highlight of our trip! The river was beautiful! Beautiful views! Highly recommend and if we return to the are would def love to do this one again.

Some beautiful sites and great places to spend some time resting in nature. We had 2 of our 3 young kids and started counter clockwise going in from the end of the trail. Much better way to go with small kids. Lots of steps on both sides.

go counter clockwise w small ones. :)

5 months ago

Fun afternoon but stay on the trail!

5 months ago

Great views, the top look out was a little crowed but bad. Looks like a good place to camp over night, could tell a few people had.

Nice hike, lots of rock formations and a small waterfall. Need to wear boots and some of the trail is challenging with rocks and trees. overall great experience.

5 months ago

Great all around Adventure.

Difficult to find the head of the trail, but fun to walk! Will definitely have to come back when I don't have a kid strapped to my back

We do this every time we're in RRG! There's a waterfall and lots of areas to set up and hang out for a bit. You can also climb up the bridge pretty easily. Going across the log is kinda scary. Favorite place to go and spend a couple hours and play in the water.

Fantastic trial! Also saw 4 snakes, rate the snakes as 10/10 they didn't bite us and were very polite. (Keep a lookout!) So great we did this hike twice in the short time we were in RRG.

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