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Author Topic: Intense Hikes  (Read 8319 times)

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andy_p.

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Intense Hikes
« on: April 02, 2003, 08:31:05 PM »

I just spent this past Spring Break camping across Ky., and by far the best of it was in the Red.  My question is this:  What are the most intense and rugged trails to hike there?  I've been to the websites and own a book, but I was wanting to know from you all if you know of any incredible trails.  Thanks in advance.
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discojett

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2003, 09:03:45 PM »

I've hiked em all, and I wouldn't classify any of the trails as "intense" trails, or rugged for that matter, maybe Rough Trail.  The further you hike up the Douglas Trail, the rougher it gets.  But thats not an "official" trail.

Head to the Clifty Wilderness, get a good map, and then try to get lost.  That place is too cool, but the trails miss most of the goodies!
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genes

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2003, 09:30:49 PM »

Swift Camp Creek from one end to the other is intense.  The most difficult section is from Wildcat Trail to Rock Bridge.  Also some of the most beautiful views in the entire Gorge.
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Gene

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2003, 02:44:57 AM »

I'm with disco, the most xtreme trails aren't really trails at all.  By the nature of the hills of eastern KY the toughest stuff is off trail.
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timbros

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2003, 01:35:05 PM »

Yup.  Bushwhackin is where it's at!
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Cliftyman

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2003, 02:29:11 PM »

hey andy p.  have you ever been to the breaks, on top of Pine Mountain or on top of the Cumberland mountains in KY?
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JB

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2003, 03:06:59 PM »

why would that matter? >:(

I read several books recently and Craig Childs The Secret Knowledge of Water (thanks disco) has been the best and I'd like to read more of his stuff. That doesn't mean that I won't LOVE me some Aldo Leopold, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

off-trail is where it's at in the RRG. Mariba Fork, Sal Branch, Upper Red, Wolfpen. Way cool spots.
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discojett

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2003, 03:14:39 PM »

Yeah JB, that one is my favorite Childs book.  Check out Soul of Nowhere, his newest, heavy on the metaphors, but the places this guy goes.....
He's responsible for my fascination with the Colorado Plateau's redrock canyons!
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Cliftyman

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2003, 06:44:52 PM »

I was going to say if Andy_p hadn't he ought to check em out.  They can be very pretty as well.
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timbros

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2003, 07:12:23 PM »

True Clifty.  I would also say that Pine Mountain Trail and Cumberland Gap Trails could be more intense being that they are always going way up or way down.  Ridge to Gap Ridge to Gap.
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Thumper

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2003, 07:49:15 PM »

Intense can mean a number of things, though. Going up and down is one element, but I'd really call that "strenuous" rather than "intense." I think "intense" means scampering over lots of big rocks, stooping through rhododendron slicks, pulling yourself up itty-bitty trails by saplings and chinks in the rocks, and such. In other words, getting ALL the muscles involved in hiking. So, you can have an intense hiking experience on a fairly flat trail.

As such, the two most intense trails I've hiked in Kentucky are the trails to Dog Slaughter Falls and the north end of the Cumberland Shadow Trail on Martin's Fork Lake in Harlan County. If I get to include a bit of Virginia in the reckoning, the clear winner is the Devil's Fork Loop.

But since the question is about the Red River Gorge, I guess I'll have to abstain for now.  :)
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discojett

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2003, 08:21:15 PM »

Sal Branch is extremely intense.  Copperas Creek has about a dozen water crossings, it might be considered intense.  Also a very nice surprise waiting at the end of that hike.  But these places don't have trails, which is fortunate I think.
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andy_p.

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2003, 12:18:35 AM »

Thanks everyone for the responses!  I'm pretty much a beginner, but I'm already hooked.  Cliftyman, I haven't been to the Breaks yet, but I plan to over the summer.  I've heard that its great there.  What can you all tell me about Pinnacle Point?  Is it worth the trip down there?  Thanks!
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andy_p.

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2003, 12:22:12 AM »

PM Thumper, I was just reading about Dog Slaughter today and marked it as something I really want to hike.  There are some really nice views of both falls aren't there?
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Cliftyman

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Re: Intense Hikes
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2003, 12:22:53 PM »

I heard Bad Branch Falls is pretty intense.....

BTW you might want to try some wild caving if you want some intensity.  I know its a little off subject but PM_Thumper's explanation of an intense hike reminded me of wild caving......  twisting, turning, rolling, stooping, bear walking, crawling, wiggling, squirming, climbing, repelling it doesn't get much more intense than wild caving......
« Last Edit: April 04, 2003, 12:24:34 PM by Cliftyman »
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