Berea Pinnacles Part 1
Photos by Marie Pullen Photography
* Dogs on leash welcome * Family Friendly (note at bottom)
I don’t like to pick favorites among my hiking locations because I love them all for different reasons. But I have to admit that Berea Pinnacles is one of my top choices. A number of trails offer unique and interesting features.
Indian Fort Lookout My first bit of advice is to bypass the Main Trailhead #1 off the parking lot for the Indian Fort Lookout. Begin your journey at the secondary West Barton Trailhead. It's close to the Berea Area Theater, located at 1835 Bill Hill Road. This route is almost exclusively under tree line which, in my opinion makes for a pleasant, shady trek on those warmer days.
Hiking from West Barton Trailhead
Once you have parked at the Berea Area Theater you will see a paved bike path. Head down and you will soon find the well-marked West Barton Trailhead on your left.
This route provides a delightfully long, winding stroll through the forest. Beneath the climbing trees the warm, aromatic blanket of the forest floor softens your footfall. Occasionally the stand breaks for a panoramic view across the wooded land. Majestic trees of varying heights and hues march across the terrain, resembling notes on a sheet of music. The incline is fairly modest until you get closer to the West Pinnacles. There the difficulty will increase.
Rock scramble up to the West Pinnacle
Not only are the sights on this route remarkable, you get the opportunity to venture one of my favorite kicks…rock scrambling! Follow the little arrows on the rocks and the signage to the left will bring you to the West Pinnacles. If you choose, you can climb all the way to the top, leaping from boulder-to-boulder. However, I don't recommend that. At this point you will need to attain your most comfortable route to the apex. But even if you don’t crest the highest boulder, you’ll revel in the incredible beauty of this natural tableau.
Rock scramble up to the West Pinnacle
Once you have soaked in the marvelous adventure of the West Pinnacles, make your way back to the trail and follow the signs to Indian Fort Lookout.
I think you’ll agree, this is one of the most amazingly peaceful vistas you'll ever behold. Unlike many overlook locations, the view here encompasses not only graceful tree lines but open plains and pastoral farmland. On a clear day, you can see Fifth Third Bank in downtown Lexington as just a small speck on the horizon!
Check out the OVERVIEW VIDEO
Panoramic of Indian Fort Lookout
There is an excellent spot for a picnic or snack and hydrate while enjoying the scenery. This special overlook recalls a simpler time of farm life where families worked their land, gathered around the dinner table, produced their own food and knew their neighbors well. Dismiss your worries and to-do list to unwind. Savor your tranquil respite.
From Indian Fort Lookout you can venture onto other trails and destinations such as the East Pinnacles, Devil’s Kitchen and Eagle’s Nest. I'll be blogging more on some of these amazing locals at a later date.
Indian Fort Lookout
You'll find a fairly easy trail down to the Indian Fort Parking Lot on my super-awesome, hand-drawn map I whipped up for a friend. From the parking lot you will actually follow the bike trail almost a mile back to your vehicle at the Berea Area Theater.
I rated this as Family & Dog Friendly however I wouldn't recommend taking the secondary trail head if you bring children or dogs as the rock scrambling is likely too difficult. Taking the Main Trail Head up to Indian Fort Lookout should be fine.
Note: In nature, there is always the possibility of snakes on this trail but don’t let that deter you. They keep pretty much to themselves. I suggest wearing ankle high boots. Carry a sturdy hiking stick and watch your step.
Happy hiking and remember to leave no trace.