Along about three miles, it invites all types of climbers, as there are more than routes to the top.
This year, instead of drinking green beer on a patio, I traveled to Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky with two friends for an overnight hiking trip. In reality, we had to put a cover over the top of the tent to keep the rain out, and there was no campfire to roast marshmellows over, also because of the rain.
We pitched our tent in an assigned spot at a campground. We drove right up to our spot and actually had access to indoor plumbing.
All things considered, these were ideal conditions for a novice camper like me. Despite some thorough research, my friends and I accidentally hiked around the backside of this section of the gorge and came out on top of Indian Staircase.
From there, we made our way over to the Cloud Splitter Trailwhich proved to be the most difficult, but most rewarding, hike of the weekend. I could provide more specific direction, but actually finding this gem is part of the fun, so good luck: After a steep upward hike that involved scrambling over rocks and hoisting ourselves up the steep path, using roots and vines for leverage, we reached the mouth of a cave.
The visible trail ends here, presenting hikers who want to proceed further with two options: Each route has a unique and breathtakingly gorgeous end point, but both present significant challenges. To say the least, getting through the cave involved more climbing and crawling than hiking.
The opening provides a stunning view of the gorge below, and the flat lower surfaces of the cave allow hikers to comfortably sit with their feet dangling over the sharp edge for an exhilarating view of the surrounding scenery.
Admittedly, this part of the journey was terrifying, but thrilling at the same time. Apparently, the park service puts ropes in place here during the peak summer season, to assist hikers with the most perilous section of the climb.
As you may suspect, I survived, and the reward was absolutely worth the risk. Sleep came easily in our tent that night, as the result of full stomachs and tired muscles and the wine, of course.
The following day, we headed over to Natural Bridge State Parkan area adjacent to Red River Gorge and a short 20 minute drive from where we camped. We set out on a 3. The path traverses through a serene forest before it curves upward through a narrow, rocky passage and emerges on top of Battleship Rock.
After crossing over the top of Natural Bridge, the trail then descends down, around, and under the bridge, offering hikers amazing views of this natural phenomenon from every angle.This climb is a mecca, with thousands every year ascending the twenty-one switchbacks at an average of % to the summit, following the tyre-marks and graffiti-named legends scorched onto this infamous stretch of tarmac.
Bubble Rock or Balance Rock, situated at the north end above Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine Find this Pin and more on Acadia National Park by Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. Day Hiked up South Bubble Rock about midway around Jordan Pond.
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The equipment is new and safety standards are adhered to.