Total Miles — About 3
Trails — Out and back on the #225 Silvermine Arch Trail
Elevation Change — Minimal
Date — October 2013
Trail Head — Koomer Ridge Campground Trail Parking
With the cross country season winding down, the kids and I had a free weekend so we decided to take a short road trip to Red River Gorge in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Since we visited during the government shutdown, many roads were closed which limited some trail head access, but the trails themselves were open for hiking and we had a great time out in the beautiful woods. One of the shorter hikes we took was the Silvermine Arch Trail in Red River Gorge which we all really enjoyed.
The trail starts through the Koomer Ridge Campground. On this gorgeous fall weekend, the campground surely would have typically been packed but the shutdown had closed the camp so it was almost completely deserted except for the few other day hikers we came upon out on the trail. After parking in the trail head lot, we crossed the barricade that blocked the road to car traffic and got on the trail. This section of the trail is a little confusing as there are numerous offshoots leading to various campsites but we eventually made our way past the campground and had no further trouble staying on course.
The weather was calm and cool with bright sunny skies and the colors of the changing leaves were breathtaking! What a beautiful part of the country! The trail itself is almost completely flat the entire way except for a long steep staircase at the end which leads right up to the Silvermine Arch. This would be an easy hike for most anyone although there are a few steep drops to the side of the trail so keep little ones close.
One of the things I love about hiking in Red River Gorge is the way you come upon the arches while out on the trail. Unlike the arches in Utah’s National Parks which are visible for great distances, these are hidden in the dense forest and feel like a surprise when you encounter them. It wasn’t long before we arrived at Silvermine Arch. With the dappled sun through the colorful trees, the scenery was breathtaking and it felt like discovering a treasure as we relaxed for a while and had a quick snack under the large arch.
After a while, we headed back up the staircase to hike back out. Overall, we spent about an hour and a half hiking this beautiful little trail. What a great way to start our day in Red River Gorge! The Silvermine Arch Trail in Red River Gorge was a great first hike in the area and we couldn’t wit for more. With the gorgeous weather, beautiful changing leaves and almost deserted trails, the hikes we took in Red River Gorge were amazing and we can’t wait to go back.
If you go —
— For the short trails we hiked during our visit, we only used one book- Hiking Kentucky’s Red River Gorge: Your Definitive Guide to the Jewel of the Southeast which was really helpful in describing the trails and landmarks seen on the various hikes.
— Be cautious when hiking and backpacking in this area! The cliff edges are steep. Keep young children close by and make them aware of the dangers of not staying on the trails. Living in nearby Cincinnati, I hear about injuries and deaths on these trails every year due to lack of caution.