Ohio · Trek · USA

Weekend trip to Red River Gorge

Finished with our last exam a bunch of us decided to take a 2 day trip to hike across Red River Gorge located inside the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky. Red River Gorge is more famous for Rock climbing but a lot of tourists come here for hiking and camping as well. Red River Gorge is around 2 hours drive from Cincinnati, we took a tent from Walmart and reached Daniel Boone National Forest at around 6:00 PM, after looking at 2 campgrounds we decided to camp at Middle Fork Campground as that was closer to Natural Bridge trail which is the main attraction of Red River Gorge.

Before setting up our tent we went to Miguel’s Pizza to have dinner, which is like 1 mile from the campground. After reaching there we found that there is also camping site managed by Miguel’s rock climbing shop at the back of Pizza place but that is reserved for climbers.Miguel’s pizza are really deliciouos and their breakfast is pretty awesome too. It took us around half an hour to set up the tent and once set we started our own little party near the tent and played cards. When we checked the temperature of Gorge minimum was around 10-degree Celsius and so we just took some bedsheets and no blanket with us. Initially it was all confortable but around 3:00 AM dew covered our tent and it became really cold. Half asleep and shivering in the cold I started pulling bedsheets of others 😀 and so did others, we had hardly slept for 2 hours and everyone was awake trembling with cold. 2 of us were felling so cold that they decided to sleep in the car instead of tent and after half an hour struggling all of us were in car with heater on trying to sleep somehow and get comfortable. Lesson learned never forget to take a blanket or sleeping bag if you are going for camping or at least don’t rely on what temperature google is showing.

Near the Lake

After few hours of struggle, I decided to go a walk. While everyone else was asleep I took a shower and went for a stroll to the nearby lake. There is a trail which goes around the lake and is great for a morning or an evening walk. I strolled around, listened to my soothing playlist, heard birds chirping, watched ducks swimming and back to my tent after some time. By the time I was back everyone was awake and once everyone was ready we went to Miguel’s for breakfast and then we will start our hiking through Natural Bridge trail followed by Rock Bridge trail.

Birds near the lake

At around 10:00 AM we started our hiking on Natural Bridge Trail. There are a lot of trails which merge into Natural Bridge Trail and goes to Natural Bridge, we took The Orignal Trail to hike till Natural Bridge. The hike to Natural Bridge is quite an easy one and offers a few good views on the way, it’s not until we reached the top of Natural Bridge that we got to see the spectacular view of the National Forest. The hike is for people who enjoy solitude and walking a long distance through pleasant woods. You can read more about the hike here at trails.com.

View from Natural Bridge
On the way to Natural Bridge
On the way to Natural Bridge
On the way to Natural Bridge

We took some rest after our first hike and started our second hike on Rock Bridge Trail. Rock Bridge Trail is a loop of around 2KM (1.2 miles) and starts right through the parking lot. The walk down from the parking lot winds you through some meadows before descending into the narrow valleys. Soon after minutes of walk, you begin walking parallel to a stream on your right which lead to a small waterfall, Creation Falls. Near the waterfall is a perfect place to spend some time there, eat something and even take a dip in water if you want. We saw a lot of other people stopping there for few minutes, children playing with water and families enjoying their small picnic. Just after the waterfall is the Rock Bridge which is the area’s only true natural bridge because it has a stream flowing beneath it. The trail is of moderate difficulty and it will take around one and a half hour to complete the circuit. You can read more about the hike here at trails.com.

On way to Rock Bridge
On way to Rock Bridge
Creation Falls
Rock Bridge

Red River Gorge is a great place if you want to do some easy hikes over the weekend, there are hikers who come here to explore the whole Gorge and spend over a week hiking and camping throughout the National Park.


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