Thursday, June 2, 2016

May 10, 2016 - Double Arch, Creation Falls, and Rock Bridge in Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Today's adventure focused on the Cumberland Plateau's unique geology and also included another waterfall. Our first destination was Double Arch in the Red River Gorge area of the Daniel Boone NF. The drive from the campground was over 2 hours, but it was well worth it. The trail head for this hike is in the Auxier area of the gorge. Cindy had picked a nice loop trail to the arch which began on the Auxier Ridge Trail. This trail started out with views of the Auxier Branch and Fish Trap Branch gorges, then lead to a view of Double Arch across the Auxier Branch gorge.

view of Double Arch
zoomed in to Double Arch

From here, the trail lead towards Courthouse Rock and the Auxier Branch Trail which took us down through the woods to creek level, then back up to the Double Arch Trail. The good thing about hiking during the week when school is still in is that there are very few people on the trails. We passed a very few on our way to the arch, but there was no one there when we got there and we had total solitude for about an hour.

us enjoying the view

When 3 noisy guys showed up, it was time to head back via the Double Arch Trail to the parking area. From here we headed over to the Rock Bridge recreation area and the trail to Creation Falls and Rock Bridge, an arch that spans Rock Bridge Fork. This is the only arch in the Red River Gorge over water.

The trail is a 1.25 mile loop and begins by descending steeply down to Rock Bridge Fork. The trail then levels as it passes through a beautiful section of the forest. About half way through the hike we came to an overlook for Creation Falls. This waterfall isn't very tall, but the setting more than makes up for it. Rock Bridge is just down creek and I think is more photogenic than Double Arch. It's really a very unique area.

Creation Falls

Rock Bridge

By the time we completed the loop it was dinner time and luckily Cindy had suggested that we bring the stove and food so we could eat at the picnic area at the trail head. We were both whipped and still had a long drive back to the campground. We ran into some severe storms on the way back and they lasted all through the night. We retreated to the car a couple of time during the night because the wind and lightning were so bad. The tent stayed dry, but when we woke the next morning, a pole on our shelter had been bent beyond repair. We also found out that we were needed at home, so we decided to cut this trip short and head back another time.

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