Three Bridges Trail

Three Bridges Trail

Carter Caves State Resort Park is known for its geology. The Three Bridges Trail highlights some of the best bridges the area has to offer. As frequent visitors to the Red River Gorge area, we may be a little jaded when it comes to bridges and arches. Even so, we found this trail to have some spectacular features.

This trail is a loop and can be started directly from the campground, the Welcome Center, or the Lodge. As campers, we like being able to leave for a hike without having to drive anywhere. We hiked the trail in the clockwise direction. This had us heading downhill for the steepest sections and made our final climb more gradual. Those with bad knees may prefer the opposite direction. The official length of the trail is 3.5 miles, but our GPS clocked us at just under 4.

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A Camping and Hiking Bucket List

A Camping and Hiking Bucket List

We aren’t necessarily attempting to visit all the national or state parks, but it is kind of fund to track those we have visited and see how much there is still to explore. Of course this list neglects many of the state and national forests, historic sites, recreation areas, and other wonderful public lands.

⛺️- camped in the park
🥾- hiked in the park

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Dog Slaughter Falls

Dog Slaughter Falls

The Dog Slaughter Falls trail consistently ranks among the top trails in Kentucky. On our last trip to Cumberland Falls, we tried to reach Dog Slaughter from the Visitors Center – about 5 miles each way. The mid-June 90º weather was not on our side and we gave up about halfway in favor of the watermelon in the cooler and a trip to the pool.

This time, we approached from Forest Service Road 195, a thoroughly rutted and pot-holed dirt road off of KY-90. The first trailhead is .8 miles down the road, but I strongly suggest continuing another 2 miles to the second trailhead. From there, the falls are a little under 1.5 miles. Continue reading “Dog Slaughter Falls”

Rock House Trail

Rock House Trail

Sunday at Lake Vesuvius promised to see summer out in full force. As soon as we woke, the heat and humidity were oppressive. We quickly decided it would be a relaxing day – no long hike. We spent a little time driving around the region and then did one of the short hikes.

Lake Vesuvius Furnace
Iron Furnace

The Rock House Trail is only .42 miles long. It is paved and wheelchair accessible, at least in theory – roots have made much of the pavement rather rutted. Continue reading “Rock House Trail”

Lake Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail

Lake Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail

Labor Day may mark the end of the official summer season, but our trek around Lake Vesuvius was our sweatiest and most miserable exploration of the summer. Fortunately, we had amazing views and spectacular wildflowers to distract us. On more than one occasion, I leaned into the humidity, lush plant-life, and the cacophony of birds and insects and pretended I was on a jungle exploration. Fortunately, the weather was made manageable by the knowledge we would have a cold shower and air conditioning before bed.

We ended up at Lake Vesuvius because the Iron Ridge Campground had availability a month before Labor Day. The 8.25 miles of the Lakeshore Trail beckoned as a perfect way to enjoy our first day in Wayne National Forest. We set off from the boat ramp parking lot from which the Rock House Trail also departed. We were fortunate to encounter an employee at Kountry Kayak, the boat concessionaire, who offered a fantastic map of the hiking trails in Wayne National Forest. I had studied this map enough at home to be confident of finding our way by following the lake, but this was a waterproof version that covered lots of trails and will be a great addition to our map collection. Continue reading “Lake Vesuvius Lakeshore Trail”

Centennial Trail

Centennial Trail

Sadly, my plan to sleep in this morning didn’t work out. I woke at 4:30am to see the refrigerator was displaying two glowing lights, indicating it needed to be reset. I got up to do so, only to realize the fridge was fine. My eyes were just extremely bleary. At that point I was pretty awake, so I read in bed and dozed on and off. Eventually, Ted had pity on me and made a delicious hash with last night’s leftover steak and potatoes.

We did have a relatively lazy start to our morning. We slowly got everything cleaned up and ran the generator. Finally we headed out for our hike. My cell didn’t want to load the maps so we wandered into town, looking for better service. Eventually, I realized my phone was loading too many things after such limited service and we got our proper headings. While we were in town, we might as well get some stamps and send out our postcards.

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Shrine Ridge and the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad

Shrine Ridge and the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad

This morning Blue entertained herself by chewing on the wall instead of waking us up right away. Fortunately, I was in the process of waking up, heard something not quite right, and caught her before she did much damage.

We had a full day planned and wanted to get an early start anyway, so we got up, grabbed a yogurt and headed out for our hike. Unfortunately, this hike was 40 minutes away, right off I-70, so we backtracked over roads we covered yesterday. However, the drive went quickly and soon we were on the gravel road that leads to Shrine Pass. The road was rough and rutted, even by Colorado standards. Our gratitude that we didn’t attempt the road with the trailer was tempered by regret that we didn’t get to try dispersed camping this trip. Maybe another time. We made a pit stop for birding and then backtracked to the rest area for an actual pit stop. Blue was particularly hyper as we climbed the road and managed to wiggle her way into the front seat.

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