Powdermill Branch Trail to Blackburn Rock Overlook: Okay, so Powdermill Branch Trail is actually an official trail! It is outside the Red River Gorge Geological Area, so less people hike it. It is the only trail in the Red River Gorge that is open to mountain bikes and horses, along with hikers! There are usually people camping along Indian Creek at the trailhead area, but the actual trail itself is usually pretty solitary! Here is a map with the trailhead location. We did this hike at the end of December too, so even less people were out. I have been back to this trail once over the summer and actually turned around because of how grown-up all of the vegetation got along the trail. I had my small dog with me and it was just too much to have to worry about snakes and ticks – I’ll definitely be back once the weather cools off and things start dying back! Anyway, the official Powdermill Branch Trail starts at Indian Creek and ends on Hatton Ridge Road after 2.34 miles. I would say this trail is one of the more “difficult” trails of the Red because of the elevation gain. Once you reach Hatton Ridge Road you can connect over to the start of the Blackburn Rock Overlook Trail! That one is only 0.5 miles out to the overlook. And the overlook is AMAZING! It is so cool to see a whole new section of the Gorge! There IS a chimney that you CAN cross if you wish, but just please be careful and analyze the situation and know the risks before making that decision. The time we hiked this we opted to skip the chimney jump because I had recently sprained my ankle and didn’t think it was worth the risk. There’s always next time! This one is an out and back, so just keep that in mind! Also, there is an option to drive up to Hatton Ridge Road to skip the Powdermill Branch Trail, but I have not done that because I didn’t trust my car to make the drive on the gravel backroads (4WD is most likely required).
Edit: I did return and “make the jump” in March 2022! So much fun.