Showing posts with label Rockcastle River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockcastle River. Show all posts

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rockcastle campground

Rockcastle Recreation Area (Daniel Boone NF)
11/17 - 11/18/17
2017 bag nights: 29

I was given permission to escape into the woods for a couple nights, but unfortunately I got stuck in a meeting on Friday afternoon and a big storm was coming though the state on Saturday and I had to be home on Sunday. On top of that the storm on Saturday was forecast to bring 20 mph winds, so no paddling. In other words, my outdoor potential was limited. I decided to leave straight from work and head to the Rockcastle campground where I took the kids last fall.

On the way out of town, I got gas and a bundle of firewood and headed south. Unfortunately, I was driving when the sun set, but I was hoping to have a clear night for some astrophotography. I got to the campsite just as it was getting dark, got set up and realized that the clouds were not going to cooperate. So, I started a fire and cooked dinner and just relaxed.

Woke up the next morning, started a fire and enjoyed my coffee before going on a short hike to check out the Scuttle Hole trails in the area.

Up the Dutch Branch trail to a cool cliff face ...

...and then up about 100 steps up through the Scuttle Hole ...

...and then a short walk along the ridge to some great views of the intersection of the Rockcastle and Cumberland Rivers (now submerged by Lake Cumberland).

I was back to my car about 11:30 and home a little after 1:00. A very short overnight trip without the photography I was hoping for, but still a nice change of pace.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rockcastle Narrows

4/20 - 4/21/17
2017 bag nights: 7
animals: 3 snakes, turtle, butterflies
Hiking song: Homegrown Tomatoes by Guy Clark

I dropped the kids off at school and headed south on I-75. I got to the Sheltowee Trace Trailhead on KY192 about 10. Within a 1/4 mile, I saw a cat walking down the trail. The minute he noticed me, he picked up the pace and I never saw him again. Kind of weird seeing a cat on the trail.

The trail goes downhill and the little trickles and creeks get bigger. There are lots of 3-6 foot waterfalls and some campsites along the creek.

Then the creek drops down into a gorge and the trail stays up high. There is a 50ish foot waterfall across the valley.

After a couple miles, we get to Van Hook Falls.

A beaver has been working

The Rockcastle River where it meets the top of Lake Cumberland. There was an obvious boater campsite with tons of garbage here. Beautiful location ruined by idiots.

Interesting rock inscription

Awesome campsite near the Rockcastle Narrows.

It was easy to climb out onto the rocks and watch the water and clouds. The day was warm enough that I thought about jumping in the river, but it was too cold, instead I splashed a bunch of water on my head. 

The next day I had an easy hike back to the car. The rain held off until I was about a mile from the car. Clean dry clothes and an easy drive home. Then accompanied the family to Keeneland for a beautiful day at the races.

Random flowers and wildlife. There were lots of wild irises.

Also lots of "fire pinks"


This snake scared the shit out of me. It was not interested in getting moved off the trail with a stick, it kept striking at the stick. Eventually, it shot off the trail about 40 feet in a couple seconds.

Saw another one (smaller) the next day. Also refused to get off the trail, kept striking at the stick.

I like this kind of wildlife more :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rockcastle Campground

11/5 - 11/6/16
2016 bag nights: 23

My youngest kid (3.5 years) has been asking when she could go camping with me, but not the rest of the family, just the two of us. I considered taking just her car camping, but decided that I might as well take all three kids. The weather was still ridiculously nice for the beginning of November, so a one night trip was in order. I had been eyeing the Rockcastle campground after someone mentioned it in relation to the Bee Rock campground and I had briefly scouted it out on our Laurel River Lake trip in October. In addition, I wanted to play with the new kayak a little bit more and the whole reason I got the one I did was in the hope that all three kids would fit for the time being.

We drove down Saturday after breakfast and got to the campground around 12. We set up camp and I went to fill up my water jug from the faucet near the bathroom, but no water was to be had. Later I ran into a couple guys in a Forest Service truck who said the water had not worked for more than a couple years. That was not a huge problem except that my breakfast (coffee and oatmeal) depended on us having a minimum of 24oz of water. I had a 1 liter nalgene and 3 8-oz water bottles so I was sort of ok.

The kids also took the opportunity to explore the area

This is the view from the large rock down below the campsite. Not a bad view.

After setting up camp, we drove to the boat ramp and got the kayak inflated and piled in to check out the Rockcastle River. The kids loved it and I was happy to see that the kayak handled better with some weight in the bow. The views from the river were great and I was happy that all the other boaters were courteous and slowed down as they passed us.

We passed a number of submerged trees with these "sacks" on them. I suspect they are fish eggs, but I'm not sure.

We had a fire for breakfast

And then went for another paddle.

My oldest decided to relax at one point, that's her waving hello to the camera

And then it was time to pack up and head home for school/work on Monday. On the way up the hill, we stopped at the overlook for one last view.

The Rockcastle Campground is very quiet, the restrooms were a little stinky, but not terrible. The biggest issue was the lack of water, but that is easy to take care of in the future. I wish there was river access from the campsites, but the boat ramp is close and makes launching a kayak really easy. I suspect we will be back.