Kentucky Journals

Finding Peace in the Country

An August 2005 trip to Kentucky by ramcgraw

Camping Out Photo, Kentucky, United States More Photos
Quote: Camping, hiking, scenic drives, and even a sky lift--if you like natural adventures and relaxation, you can find it all at Kentucky's Natural Bridge State Park and adjoining Red River Gorge Geologic Area.

Finding Peace in the Country

Overview

On Top of the World Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
We went to Hemlock Lodge first to pick up hiking trail guides. There are many trail distances ranging from 1/3 of a mile to 13 miles. A sky lift will take you to the top of Natural Bridge. We did a five-mile round-trip trail the first day and went back the next morning to do a round-trip on the Sky Lift. Many people choose to hike one way and ride the other. The next day, we drove through Red River Gorge Geologic Area. The loop takes just about an hour by car if you do not stop. In the middle of the loop is the Gladie Historic Site and Visitors Center. Stop in here and get information on the trails and sights to see. You can also purchase photographs taken throughout the two areas.Quick Tip...Read More
Camping Out Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Skylift and natural bridge trails are within 1-2 miles. Hemlock Lodge with a dining room and swimming pool are also within 1-2 miles. Red River Gorge Geologic Area can be reached within 10 minutes of driving. Best Things About the Resort:The tree cover was great to keep our tent cool during the 100+ degree day. The bath house was clean and easily reached.Resort Experience:The entrance to the campground was set back from the main road about 200 feet. We actually drove past it the first time. The campground has primitive sites with running water but no electricity as well as full sites with electricity and water. There is one bath house...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 5, 2005

Hood's Branch Trail

Attraction

Along the Trail Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
The beginning of the trail was slightly overgrown, but I believe this and the slightly long distance kept other hikers away. We only saw three other people the whole time we were on this trail. The coolest thing about the trail was how quiet it was. We started around 12-1pm, and you couldn't even hear bugs chirping. It was so peaceful. The first part of the trail was uphill, but the majority of the trail was flatter. We were going to skip the optional (.75) loop when we met a fellow hiker who said it was totally worth it. And it was. The cliff faces were beautiful, and you could get right up next to them. It took us almost 2 hours to get to the base of the natural bridge. Then a short trail le...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 5, 2005

Sky Bridge Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
This is one of the most popular trails to hike in Red River Gorge because it is easily accessible. There is a parking lot with primitive restrooms as well. The trail itself is not all that exciting but it does take you on top of the bridge and then down to the base of it. This offers some good views and photo opportunities. I was not as impressed with this bridge because there was a lot of graffiti. There were also a lot of other people on this trail. It didn't provide nearly as much peace and solitude as the other. Overall, the trail was okay, but I don't think I would do it again, unless I was with someone that hadn't done it.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 5, 2005

Henson's Arch Trail

Attraction

Quote:
This trail started only 50 feet from our tent site. We did it right after we had breakfast in the morning. It definitely got my heart pumping because it was uphill to start. But the duration of the trail was very short. We did the roundtrip in less than half an hour. At the end of the trail is a cave that you can climb down into via a ladder. It wasn't that impressive, but it matched the duration of the hike.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 5, 2005

Sky Lift Chairs Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
The Sky Lift is actually a ski lift which takes you from a parking lot to the top of Natural Bridge. The cost is $6 per person for roundtrip or $4 person one way. We were going to do the Sky Lift the first day we were there but didn't have a chance until 4pm. Most of the lift is in the open and we figured it would just be too hot. So instead we came back the next morning at 10am when they start the lift and did a morning roundtrip. It was wonderful because it wasn't too hot yet and we were pretty much alone both ways. I am a little scared of heights and there are some places where you are pretty high. I would not suggest taking young children because the chair bar can be easily lifted while you...Read More
Nadie Tunnel Photo, Kentucky, United States
Quote:
The Red River Gorge can be skirted by car by following a loop off Highway 15. The loop takes only an hour if you don't stop. However, you would be missing a lot of things if you didn't stop. We actually only made three stops, but I look forward to doing more the next time I visit there. The first stop was just for a photo opportunity. There is a one lane tunnel carved through the rock that you must drive through to access Red River Gorge. It is called Nadie tunnel. Be very careful and use your lights as you are passing through. The tunnel is impressive from either side but interally it is not. People have trashed the tunnel with graffiti and trash. So don't stop inside to look around. Our sec...Read More