New Year's Weekend Day Tripping

New Year's Weekend
Day Tripping


- Keith Smith

I had some vacation time remaining that I had to use before the end of the year. I decided to take off a couple of weeks at the end of the year and bring the wife to Kentucky. It would give us an opportunity to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with the family as well as to get outside and play a little bit.

Saturday
  Carter Caves
  Cave Run
  Red River Gorge

Saturday after Christmas we took a day trip with my sister and brother-in-law and took a leisurely drive towards Carter Caves. We weren't dressed or prepared for any amateur spelunking and decided instead to just take in the scenery and take a short nature walk.

After a quick visit to the Gift Shop, we hit the Natural Bridge Loop Trail ( mile loop) that starts just behind the building. A short walk down the hill and the trail joins up with a nice stream. Just a bit further and you come to Natural Bridge Arch. According to the sign at the gift shop, it's the only natural arch in Kentucky with a paved road running across the top of it.

Once under the arch, we took some pics and noticed a large hole in the roof of the arch. This made for some nice lighting and interesting shadows. At the other side of the arch, the trail heads up some stairs, crosses the paved road and then drops back down to the creek on the other side.

On the way back, we stopped off in Morehead to gas up the JEEP. While there, we decided to go ahead and take a side trip to Cave Run Lake since my wife had never been there. Once at the lake, we made a quick stop at the Shallow Flats area. The water here was lower than I've ever seen it.

In keeping with our leisurely drive, I decided to head over to Frenchburg and pick up KY-77 and then to the Red River Gorge. It was nearly dusk when we hit the intersection with KY-715 and took yet another quick side trip to stretch and talk a walk around the Gladie Historic Site.

Monday
  Natural Bridge
  Broke Leg Falls

(We skipped going out Sunday because it was the final week of the NFL regular season... and I'd like to say thanks to Carolina, Houston, and Tennessee for helping me win $200!)

So, Monday morning we headed back out with my sister and bro-in-law. We took a drive to Natural Bridge and walked around the Lodge area. The water here, just as at the lake, was very low. We headed over the suspension bridge and followed the Sheltowee Trace Trail over towards the spillway and Whittleton Campground. There was a small stream of water diverted around the spillway, but otherwise the water was nowhere near it!

Our drive past Frenchburg from 2 days before had me thinking about heading to Broke Leg Falls. While at Natural Bridge we decided to go to Pasquale's Pizza in Morehead for dinner and I suggested we cruise through Menifee County on the way.

It looks like the county has done a nice job of improving a parking area at the top of the falls and it was fairly clean. The weather was starting to turn cold as we arrived. We started above the falls taking some pics of the smaller drops and riffles upstream. From there, we continued down the stairs and across the bridge to get some shots of Broke Leg Falls proper.

I remember the first time Arthur and I came here. No sign on the road; hardly anyway to identify where it even was. And, once we were there, the overgrown old road made for an interesting walk and some anticipation as we neared the roaring falls. Particularly I remember the bridge above the falls. Now it's a nice little plank bridge. During our first visit, about 90% of the planks were missing and you had to hold the railings as you walked across on the iron frame of the bridge watching the water flow beneath your feet. Certainly less "cool" now, but definitely more accessible.

Finishing up at the falls we did indeed head on to Pasquale's and enjoy some pizza and breadsticks. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it.

We had a great time! Enjoy the pics! Get Outside and Play!


Stream
Stream
Carter Caves

Stream
 

JEEP
The JEEP

Bridge
Foot Bridge
Natural Bridge
Loop Trail

Rock Shelter
Natural Bridge
Loop Trail

Feathers
Pile of Feathers

Hole
Hole in the Arch

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge Arch

From the Top
Looking Down

Leaves
Pool with Leaves

Salt Peter Cave
Salt Peter Cave

Welcome
Welcome

Reflection
Reflection

Shallow Flats
Shallow Flats

Barn
Barn
Gladie Historic Site

Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge SP

No Fishing
No Fishing?
No Water!

Grass
Grass

Sheltowee
Sheltowee Marker

Hoedown
Low Water
Hoedown Island

Tunnel
Old Railroad Tunnel

Falls
Upper Falls
Broke Leg Falls

Stream
Stream

Small Falls
Small Falls

Broke Leg Falls
Broke Leg Falls

Broke Leg Falls
Top of the Falls



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