Over the last couple of months, our team has been trying to get out and hike once or twice a week to catch as much of the fall color as possible before all of the leaves fall. What better way to share those adventures than to take you all along with us?! You’ll find a brief recap of each trail below, but check out the full video to get all the details!
INDIAN FT. LOOKOUT We knew that Berea was one of the areas we wanted to visit, so we drove about 45 minutes up to the Pinnacles trailhead to climb to Indian Fort. This hike is short, but a good portion of it is very steep climbing up to the top, and the trail is pretty rocky in a few areas. The view is well worth the effort though, so wear some quality hiking boots or other athletic shoes & some water, and make the 2 mile out and back trip to the lookout. You can see rolling farms below and ridges/mountains beyond that.
NATURAL BRIDGE + LOVERS LEAP Another one of our favorite fall hikes in KY is in Red River Gorge! The Laurel Trail takes you up to Natural Bridge, and then you can continue on a short walk over to Lovers Leap for two spectacular views of the mountains and trees. We did this hike in the middle of the afternoon when it was still warm (as in shorts and t-shirts warm). There are a couple of pretty steep spots on the trail, so you’ll want good hiking shoes and plenty of water. It’s enough of a workout to get your blood pumping without being advanced. Although there are the two main stopping points at the Bridge and Lovers Leap, there are also beautiful nature views all throughout the trail with lots of shade. If you want to experience two of the best + most popular views in Kentucky, this is the hike for you!
CHAINED ROCK If you live anywhere remotely close to Pineville, KY, it’s highly likely that you’ve hiked Chained Rock before. And if you haven’t- well, you should. This is one of our original fave hikes as a team and we’ve been several times for sunrise + coffee to start our day together off right. We rate the trail as moderately easy because of the many steps at the end, as well as the scramble up to the top of rock itself. The trail is well-maintained and the short walk is an easy task for a view like the one you see from the rock! It overlooks the town of Pineville and surrounding ridges. On clear days, you can see the prominent ridge of Cumberland Mountain, which lies 12 miles to the south. Get out there and see it for yourself!
BUZZARD ROCK Buzzard Rock is like a semi-hidden gem in McCreary County. Even though it’s not too far from our home base, none of us had ever hiked it before. It’s another fairly easy walk in the woods on what is actually an old Jeep trail on top of a ridge, with only a rock scramble down to the lookout itself at the end of the trail being more difficult to navigate. The view from the rock is a stunning overlook that spies down on the Big South Fork River. It does get windy up there, so if you happen to make the trip yourself this winter, wear warm layers!
YAHOO FALLS Sitting at 113 feet, Yahoo Falls is the highest waterfall in KY, and is easily one of the most beautiful natural works of art in the state. There are a few different hikes to the falls, one of which features a loop trail that also takes hikers up to a natural arch. For sake of time, we took the shortest and steepest route down to the falls, which features several flights of stairs, both natural and metal. Not and easy one for those with weaker knees! Other than the stairs though, the shorter trail(s) is easy to use and very well-maintained. When you reach the falls itself, take the time to climb behind it to get the full scope of the place. There are also a set of rock stairs down to the bottom of the falls and the creek. Definitely climb down *carefully, it’s very slick* to the bottom if you can! You’ll get a whole ‘other view this way. Its magnitude is impressive and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the state!