• backroadbluegrass

Red River Gorge- Slade, KY

*Kid friendly *Dogs on leashes

Red River Gorge is a part of the Daniel Boone National Forest, and a must see for avid hikers. The trails are well marked and the incredible vistas will be forever ingrained in your favorite memories bank.

Off we go!

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

We set out for a half-day hike, readily prepared with walking sticks, lots of water, snacks, layered clothing and a first aid kit.

Looking up to Double Arch

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

After some time strolling through the forest, our initial ascent took us to Double Arch, a grand rock formation you can spot prior to reaching. We trekked up and around and then climbed to this natural wonder. It is fascinating to imagine what kind of forces it must have taken to create such a large opening in a boulder.

View through Double Arch

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

Overlooking thousands upon thousands of treetops across the way to Auxier Ridge and Courthouse Rock, the view through the arch is nothing short of spectacular! We visited after the autumn leaves had dropped and the bare trees provided views that would otherwise be blocked by full foliage. However, taking in the panorama across this beautiful forest I promised myself to return in the spring and fall to observe the changing colors and hues that nature will design. To the right of Double Arch are stairs carved into the side of one of the ridges (a portion not user friendly for your four-legged friends). Mounting this stairway requires both arms and legs and will allow access to the top of the arch for a breath-taking vision of the vast woods below.

Carved staircase to access top of Double Arch

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

Gorgeous view!

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

Visiting a natural habitat of this caliber presents an interesting perspective. One feels so very small in comparison yet appreciates human's place there and the responsibility to preserve it for others to enjoy. The Double Arch is ideal for gathering your thoughts and finding balance. When I’m atop a mountain I feel as if I can accomplish anything!

I'm on top of the world!

From the arch we hiked to Courthouse Rock. Walking this portion of the forest was particularly invigorating as we coursed a small stream, one of my favorite treats. Hiking through these woods was reminiscent of the Black Forest in Germany. The complete tranquility and peace begged our silence to simply soak in the goodness undisturbed. Venturing closer to Courthouse Rock, its magnitude became most apparent as we spotted the tiny figures of those who had climbed to the lofty summit.

A walk in the woods

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

Looking up to Courthouse Rock

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

Ascending higher, up a steep set of stairs we arrived at Auxier Ridge. With the trees laid bare we could gaze across the way for a beautiful command of Courthouse Rock. The overview here was wonderful but even more spectacular as we headed down and made our way to The Beach. Dubbed for its sandy landing underfoot, this area provides a unique vantage point. Study closely and you can spot a magnificent Double Arch in the distance. From Auxier a slow, steady, three-mile descent awaits.

Video view of Courthouse Rock from Auxier Ridge.

A perfect view of Courthouse Rock from Auxier Ridge

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

A glimpse of Double Arch from The Beach

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography

I’ve designated this hike as kid friendly but please note that it has the potential to develop into a 6-plus mile hike as described, with some steep inclines. My recommendation is for adventurous children aged 8 and up. As with most enterprises, this fascinating ramble through the Red River Gorge can be shortened by hitting fewer destinations.

A little tree hugging does the mind & soul good.

Photo by Marie Pullen Photography


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