5 Great Hiking Trails in Kentucky

By Jesse Logan Houk

5 Great Hiking Trails in Kentucky

Patrick Jennings/Shutterstock.com

Hiking unfamiliar trails that have long been admired and loved in Kentucky are part of the state’s hidden treasures. For excellent, family-friendly hikes among beautiful scenery, you don’t have to look far in the Bluegrass State. For wonderful day hikes, check out these five awesome trails in Kentucky. 

1. Pilot Knob State Nature Preserve

If you are in need of a quick day hike and want to see a spectacular view of Kentucky, come to Pilot Knob. This is an easily accessible trail for families. This site is dog-friendly, too. The trailhead begins through the woods across a small creek, so make sure you are prepared to get your feet wet. It’s recommended to bring an ample of amount of water to accommodate the moderate hike. Remember to take breaks as needed and allow yourself to revel in the beautiful forest surrounding the trail. As you approach the various switchbacks, there are plenty of opportunities for less-seasoned hikers to take a breath. The summit of Pilot Knob is nothing short of extraordinary, offering views of Irvine, Lexington, and the Pinnacles in Berea. If you keep your eyes open you might even see a bald eagle!

pilot noob ! 🔛🔝

A post shared by Lexie Holtz (@champagnelexie_) on

2. West Pinnacle Trail

West Pinnacle Trail is one of the finest trails to day hike in Berea, Kentucky. The Pinnacles offer various short distance hiking trails with stunning pastoral views, the natural wonders of Indian Fort Lookout, and a peaceful setting within the dense foliage of Berea, Kentucky. Take your dog, bring your kids, and allow yourself a few hours to enjoy the lovely hiking trails. The Pinnacles offer opportunities for moderate to intermediate hikers. 

3. Pope Lick Park

Pope Lick Park, formally known as Floyd’s Fork, hosts a variety of paved hiking and walking trails. The area is a newly-renovated hiking and walking mecca just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. For people, familiar with the Forecastle Festival, that takes place every year in Downtown Louisville, this is where it all began in the early 2000s. A few bands took to Floyd’s Fork for the beautiful fields and surrounding creeks that host a variety of Kentucky wildlife. Pope Lick Park got its name from the Pope Lick Road that leads into the original entrance of Floyd’s Fork. There is also a local legend of a Pope Lick monster that lives on top of the train trestles right across the street. This trail is a great place to hike or walk with family, friends, and your dogs.

Location may as well be "Mark Gannott at Pope Lick."

A post shared by Mark Gannott (@markgannott) on

4. Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, Lexington, KY

The little ones will love this spot. Raven Run is a 734-acre nature sanctuary preserving the beauty of the Kentucky River Palisades. Throughout the area, you’ll find a variety of hiking trails suitable for young hikers. There is the Red Trail, which is the main loop trail at just four miles and of moderate difficulty. The Green Trails are the easiest of the bunch, navigating through the meadows and ideal for less experienced hikers.

My friends I recommend you visit Raven Run

A post shared by Tanner Groneck (@t_groanes) on

5. Natural Bridge State Resort Park

One of the most beloved natural spaces in Kentucky, Natural Bridge State Resort Park boasts 12 trails, rated from easy to strenuous. The Lakeside Trail is among the easiest at just .25 miles. Ascend wooden steps and walk along an easily-navigable surface by a small lake. This is perfect for young hikers. For a step up, try the moderate, half-mile Low Gap Trail. This trail follows an old logging road and has only a 320-foot elevation change. 

Subscribe for future Step Outside News!