Showing posts with label dayhike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dayhike. Show all posts

Monday, March 5, 2018

Castle and Red Byrd Arches

Dayhike with a group of people from
Trailhead: Osbourne Bend at the concrete bridge.

The weather forecast was perfect for hiking, about 35 degrees at 9am climbing to about 50 degrees for the high.

We met at the trailhead and headed up the road to find a place to cross Swift Camp Creek into the Clifty Wilderness. And then find the user trail up to Castle Arch. Josh (who organized the trip) had been there before so it wasn't a problem. The climb up was a little steep and the mud was slippery from the recent rain, but it was easy and the payoff was great.

View from under Castle Arch

Looking back at Castle Arch.

We then proceeded overland towards an old fire road and then to Red Byrd Arch.

Along the way, we passed an old homestead with the remains of a chimney and a well and a bunch of daffodils. Spring has arrived in KY.

There were a number of depressions along the way that had eggs in them, either frog or salamander, not sure which.

It was a bit of a climb down to Red Byrd, but it was worth it. Very cool to see a small waterfall enter into the arch area.

Some of the people under Red Byrd.

Red Byrd Arch from the side.

It was a lot of work climbing over and under downed trees, but the payoff was worth it. It looks like the whole area around Red Byrd Arch would be fun to explore. I'll make it back someday.

Rough Trail

Dayhike in Red River Gorge
Trailhead: Rough Trail off KY 715

Once again we had beautiful weather forecast for the middle of the week, so once again I took advantage of work flexibility and headed to the Gorge. I decided to revisit part of the Rough Trail that I had not hiked in a couple years.

Nice pour-off waterfall just off the trail.

I wandered down Parched Corn Creek, but it was too cold for me to think about wading. I'll save that for summer. I then continued on toward Chimney Top Road.

I got up the road to Chimney Top and realized that I could continue down the trail to the Sheltowee Trace, but I would not have time to go much farther. So, I decided that I would hit a couple of the short trails on 715 to fill the time.

First stop Whistling Arch

Nice View from the overlook just past Whistling Arch

Then to Angel Windows.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Star Gap Arch

Martins Fork Trailhead to Star Gap Arch

The weather forecast said sunshine and highs in the mid-70s so time for a hike. I decided that Star Gap Arch was a good destination and if I had time, maybe Jailhouse Rock. Once again, I made the climb up from the trailhead and then out the ridge to Tunnel Ridge Road. I realized that I had never done this route in shorts before, my legs got a bit scraped up from the brambles.

View from above the Martins Fork Trailhead

A short walk along Tunnel Ridge Road

Star Gap Arch

I had a little more time, so I wandered further out the ridge and ended up looking down at the Nada Tunnel Road

My legs got a little beat up on the hike from Martins Fork, so I decided to hike the road back to Grays Arch trailhead and then down the D Boone Trail. Along the way, I ran into a couple young ladies walking their dogs and the some guys with the Forest Service marking the road for the regrading. The man in charge said the road is going to be shut for a little more time, so hopefully I can get at least one more hike in solitude before it opens up again.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Dayhike 2/9/18
Sheltowee Connector Trailhead
Red River Gorge

I decided that today would be a good day to check out Cloudsplitter. I've been hiking in the gorge to long to never have even hiked past it, not to mention climbed it. So I started at the Sheltowee Connector trailhead and headed north to the swinging bridge and the Sheltowee Trace.

On my way to Cloudsplitter, I checked out the Arch Nursery trail from Hinterlands. It is a short trail with a neat rock shelter that looks like it could end up as an arch in a couple more million years.

The rock shelter is really big, this is a pano from 7 individual photos

There was a lot of water pouring out of a large crack, it was hard to capture the water, but I did get the rainbow

Then up the trail, towards Cloudsplitter. I skipped the Nowhere trail with the idea I would catch it on the way back to the car. I found the trial to Cloudsplitter and made the scramble up to the real climb and I chickened out. The 20 foot smooth sandstone did not look like a good idea, especially since I was alone. I had lunch below Cloudsplitter and then followed the user trail up towards the ridge. It ended up circling around and connecting with the Nowhere trail 

I enjoyed the view of Cloudsplitter from the Nowhere trail

When I got back to the Sheltowee Trace, I still had a couple hours to hike, so I repeated my steps back towards Cloudsplitter and then continued past to check out Adena Arch and the view. 

Huge rockface, this is a vertical pano stitched from 5 photos

Looks like sea shells

Carrying out other people's beer cans is bad enough, but spray paint cans??? Come on!!!

In the end, I hiked about 10 miles and saw some new parts of the gorge. But, I am a little disappointed that I was not able to do the Cloudsplitter climb. I think it falls in the better safe than sorry category, maybe I'll be able to complete the climb some day.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Raven Run Reflections

Dayhike at Raven Run

I needed some outdoor time, but did not have a lot of time so I spent a couple hours at Raven Run. I did not really feel like hiking, so I decided to concentrate on photography with a little hiking thrown in. I also decided that I needed more practice photographing reflections, so that was the day's assignment, a little outdoor time, a little hiking and think about reflections. I'm pretty happy with the photo results and ~4 miles of hiking was just what I needed.

And one waterfall/cascade

Friday, January 12, 2018

Berea Pinnacles

January 11, 2017

Day hike at the Berea Pinnacles
Berea KY

We had a warm front blow through and bring daytime highs into the 60s for a couple of days (very different from the week before) and I decided to take advantage of the day. The Berea Pinnacles have been on my todo list for a while and this looked like a good day to check it out. The forecast called for the rain to be done around 9am. While I was driving, a bit of rain came and went. I got to the trailhead and got out of the car to take off my fleece and it started to rain again, so I waited 5 minutes with the remainder of my coffee and the rain disappeared for the day. Perfect.

Map from the Berea website.

I first hiked up to the East Pinnacle and very much enjoyed the view. I'll bet it gets crowded on a nice weekend day, but today I had it all to myself. The sky was very interesting looking, occasionally the sun would come through the clouds enough to cast a shadow, but mostly very overcast, but neat clouds.

A pano stitched from 5 photos. I wanted to emphasize the clouds for this one.

Another pano with the valley and the clouds.

Along the trail was a huge rock with very obvious sedimentary layers, crazy to think all of Kentucky was under a sea 500 million years ago.

One last shot from the East Pinnacle.

I then headed towards the Eagle Nest. That ended up being a great place for lunch, not a bad view either.

After lunch, I looked at the map and decided to check out the end of the trail and headed out towards Robe and Basin Mountains. This was a good trail with a bit of steep ups and downs, but the best part was getting to the top of Basin Mountain.

You can see the yellow blaze on the right hand tree, the trail goes up through the crack in the rock.

A little easier to see the passage here.

After that I checked out the Rock House/Devil's Kitchen. The first photo is in the Rock House, the second is from the ridge looking down.

I ended up spending about 4 hours hiking and thoroughly enjoyed the area, but I am not sure I will be back soon. The views are great, but the Gorge is better and I suspect that this area is very crowded on nice days and since it is so much smaller than the Gorge it would likely feel crowded. With that said, if I lived in Berea or Richmond, I'd likely be here quite a bit. I'm very glad I checked it out. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Gray's Arch

Trailhead: Gray's Arch
Red River Gorge

A personal day in the Gorge. I tend to avoid the Grays Arch area when the weather in nice (especially weekends) since it is so popular, but I figured I might be safe on a weekday. I saw a total of three people on the trails, so I got my wish.

Sandstone art

I find it interesting how the tree root follows the contours of the sandstone

Grays Arch from a couple different angles

View from a classic Red River Gorge overlook

A great couple of hours in the gorge and then back to civilization to pick up my kids after school.