Bear Creek Overlook and Split Bow Arch

Hiking at Big South Fork is plentiful and diverse. Those wanting big miles can pick up the Sheltowee Trace and hike for days. But great sites in the park are accessible within a mile of the road. Blue is not a fan of the heat and humidity of August, so we decided to stick with the shorter trails. Despite my recent weight lifting, I’m not sure I could carry her out on a long hike if she were to give up.

Two short trails leave from the Bear Creek trailhead. Directions can be found in the Big South Fork Kentucky Hiking PDF. Be aware that this brochure makes the Buffalo Arch trailhead appear nearby, but it is across the river and an hour away by road. Pit toilets are located in the parking lot.

The trail to the Bear Creek Overlook leaves through a mowed field. In mid-August, some of the blooms looked past peak. I imagine the flowers would have been spectacular in late July. The trail soon enters wood and emerges at a wood platform.

The overlook is an easy, flat half mile and provides a wonderful view of the Big South Fork. Blue was not impressed.

Wandering back through the forest and field provided great encounters with flora and fauna.

Split Bow Arch is a spectacular lollipop loop trail and only .7 miles although there is a bit short descent then climb provided you veer left at the fork. This route has you climb the stairs through the arch.

These trails were excellently maintained. Although we were hiking on a Friday, we were the only ones on the trail. The woods seemed very healthy with a variety of mushrooms and plants. I would imagine the spring wildflowers would be plentiful. This is a great chance to explore what nature has to offer with very little effort.

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