Day 123: Epic Beauty In Big South Fork


time of year

Split Bow Arch, Big South Fork National River And Recreation, KY (0.7 loop, 196’ elevation). This trail is absolutely gorgeous, lush green with towering cliff walls. The arch itself is also absolutely amazing, you walk around the corner and just say “Wow!” This short, easy trail is one of my favorite trails yet, an absolute must do.


difficulty: 3

Bear Creek Overlook, Big South Fork National River And Recreation, KY. Same parking lot as the Split Arch Trail. This short trail takes you through a blackberry field to a fantastic view of the river valley below.


difficulty: 1

Split Bow Arch Overlook. Gives you an OK view of the arch, but it’s nothing like the view from the trail below.


Blue Heron Mining Community, Stevens, KY. This park is where an abandoned coal mine and town used to be. It’s in the middle of a serious upgrade. Even so, it’s far enough along to be a great place to visit with beautifully preserved buildings and exhibits, a very cool walk along the old railway bridge over the river and lots of information and history.


Devil’s Jump Overlook, Stearns, KY. This is a great view over the river and down the valley. I love the cliffs peaking through the trees.


Blue Heron Overlook. A few hundred feet down from Devil’s Jump Overlook, you can actually see it from the 3 level deck. Big South Fork has brand new overlooks, great parking, clean pit toilets and good roads.


Markers Arch Trail, Daniel Boone National Forest, Whitley, KY (0.8 out and back, 157’ elevation). Nifty arch, the single track trail is quite overgrown, but very pretty and fun.


difficulty: 3

Yahoo Falls Overlook. I don’t know why it’s called this, there’s no possible view of the falls. It is a beautiful view over a wide river.


Yahoo Falls, Whitley City, KY. (1 mile, 196’ elevation) This place is amazing!!! At 113’ this is the highest waterfall in Kentucky. The trail takes you behind the falls under an enormous rock shelter. There are massive fallen boulders in the rock shelter and further along the trail there are even bigger ones that you can weave your way through across the stream. We passed a grand total of 7 other people who were on their way the falls when we were leaving, making this by far the busiest trail of the day.


difficulty: 3

Gigi’s Homemade Ice Cream, Somerset, KY. A Mexican ice cream shop with flavors like avocado, sweet corn, guanabana and even quest. I’d like to try these flavors but I’m not brave enough to get a whole cup yet. Lucky for us they also have some more mainstream American flavors like Reece’s and Blackberry Cheesecake. Not the highest quality ice cream we’ve ever had but still very good and perfect for after a long day of hiking.


Hampton Inn, Somerset, KY..

Price: We used 30,000 points to stay free for the night [How to Save Money on Hotels with a Hotel Credit Card]

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