Star Gap Trail Overlook Extravaganza

Star Gap Trail Overlook Extravaganza

Having hiked both Star Gap Arch and a couple of these overlooks earlier in the year, I wanted to do a full exploration that is detailed here. The shear number of overlooks may be unrivaled in Red River Gorge with each presenting a unique view of the area. My favorite of the bunch was also the longest walk - going out to the end of the horseshoe-shaped ridge to the eastern edge of Cruise Liner Rock.

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Copperas Creek Exploration - Copperas Falls, Sandy Arch, Copperas Arches 1, 2, and 3, Big Trickle Falls, Hopewell Arch

Copperas Creek Exploration - Copperas Falls, Sandy Arch, Copperas Arches 1, 2, and 3, Big Trickle Falls, Hopewell Arch

This is a tremendous hike with five arches and up to three waterfalls when conditions are right. On this day, it was a light rain throughout the day with nothing heavy. Coming on the heels of a lengthy drought, the waterfalls were still on the low flow side of things, but the arches more than made up for it! Plus, it was nice drying out for a bit under Copperas Falls and at the arches.

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Tarr Ridge Extravaganza - Four Big Views

Tarr Ridge Extravaganza - Four Big Views

I believe Jerrell Goodpaster coined the name of this hike, so we’ll go with it:-) Tarr Ridge Extravaganza is a fantastic hike with four spurs leading to massive views at the end of each. The first two are readily accessible, but the third and fourth are a different story. We were able to reach the first three, but the fourth was a sketchy rock climb with an even sketchier ‘rope’. It pays to know if you’re a hiker or a climber - and we’re hikers:-)

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Arch of Triumph and Star Gap Trail for Sunset

Arch of Triumph and Star Gap Trail for Sunset

This ridgeline hike will take you out to see the small, but fun Arch of Triumph along with a pair of vistas on the southernmost fingers of the unmarked and unofficial Star Gap Trail. We took in a gorgeous Fall sunset and made it back just as last light was fading to darkness.

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Pine Mountain - Kingdom Come State Park Quick Tour

Pine Mountain - Kingdom Come State Park Quick Tour

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Kingdom Come State Park. Having run an ultramarathon the day before, I was pleased to find a lot of drive-up and walkout hikes with the longest being a mere 1.25 miles. Meanwhile, the amazing things you get to see has to place this park among the best in the ‘minimal effort, maximum views’ category!

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Pine Mountain - Bad Branch Falls, High Rock, and Mars Rock

Pine Mountain - Bad Branch Falls, High Rock, and Mars Rock

This is a fantastic hike. While I caught the falls in the midst of a drought, the views atop Pine Mountain more than made up for it. High Rock and Mars Rock are wonderful destinations on their own, with expansive views west. It’s also worth exploring near the falls along the cliff face moving northwest, but stopping at the rock formation that I’d call the “Dragon’s Mouth” pictured below.

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Sheltowee Connector Trail, Jump Rock, and Footbridge

Sheltowee Connector Trail, Jump Rock, and Footbridge

This short out and back is a lot of fun in warm weather when you can enjoy Red River’s most famous jump rock. For kids, this is among the best hikes in Red River Gorge with a long footbridge over the river. On this day, we also found a plethora of fall wildflowers in bloom with plenty of butterflies and bees taking full advantage.

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Swift Camp Creek Overlook

Swift Camp Creek Overlook

There are a handful of roadside pull-offs with big views in Red River Gorge. This particular one is among the best with a very short unmarked trail leading to a nice perch overlooking Swift Camp Creek below. It’s a small piece of rock - perfect for couples or you and your bestie.

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2019 Georgia Jewel 35-miler

After volunteering at this race a few years ago, I finally had the chance to run it. Under the care of Jenny and Franklin Baker, this event has become a sellout and with so many good reasons - awesomely run-able, but challenging course, amazing volunteers, well-stocked aid stations, and as I found, Mount Baker might be the best part.

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