Kentucky Scenic

Gray’s Arch

grays arch

Gray’s Arch is a beautiful formation extending off the side of a ridge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. It has almost a magical aura around it because it just seems to appear out of nowhere as you come around the bend on the trail. If you visit after there has been some rain, you are first greeted by the sound of the water fall adjoining the right side of the arch and as you follow it you descend into a boulder filled ravine and watch as the arch slowly appears from between the trees.

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Below are some of my photographs showcasing the scenery you will see as hike along the trail.

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Gray’s Arch is one of my favorite spots at Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Part of the reason why I love this arch so much is that some friends and I accidentally discovered it on a hiking trip when we were in high school. We had been hiking for about a day and a half, I believe, when we wondered off our trail and ended up on Gray’s Arch trail. As we were hiking we heard water falling, followed the sound and discovered the amazing formation. We felt like we had just found some hidden, secluded secret of the gorge but it wasn’t until later that we realized where we were and that there was a parking area a mile up the trail.

Another reason why I enjoy this destination is that it rivals the Natural Bridge in awe and beauty but isn’t as well known so you end of with no crowds. Also, the hike in and out is not to terribly long or strenuous so you can get a nice sense of discovery and accomplishment without too much of a physical cost. I do want to stress though that the trail is no cake walk, there are some mildly steep inclines, declines and lots of stairs that can wear you out but I think it is totally worth it.

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You can find Gray’s Arch by following Campton Rd from the Shell Station off of the Mountain Parkway. You then take Tunnel Ridge Rd until you see the sign and parking lot for the arch. The trail loop that you will take, which is shown below, is Rough Trail. According to my maps, this trail will turn into Gray’s Arch trail and then back into Rough Trail before intersecting with Rush Ridge Trail which will take back to the general parking area.

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