RRG Backpacking Loop – About 14 miles

This backpacking loop features Rough Trail, Koomer Ridge Trail, Buck Trail, Pinch-em-Tight Trail, and D.Boone Hut Trail and makes about a 14 mile loop. Don’t forget to take the side trail to Grays Arch at the end of Section C of the Rough Trail, and I have also included side trails to a huge heuco (right off Rough Trail Section B), Veranda’s Overlook, and Hanson’s Point. Veranda’s Overlook and Hanson’s Point are both unofficial/unmarked trails, but they also provide some awesome backcountry camping spots. Veranda’s Overlook is a great spot for sunrise and Hanson’s Point is a very popular overlook spot in the Gorge (for good reason). The later included sections of the Rough Trail and Buck Trail require creek crossings, so just be prepared for that. The water level is very dependent on weather/season.
I like this loop a lot because there are opportunities to shorten the hike (take Rush Ridge Trail after Section D of the Rough Trail to Pinch-em-Tight and then hike back the D.Boone Hut Trail from there), or even make it longer (maybe add in the Koomer Ridge area trails such as Hidden Arch and Silvermine Arch)!

Always feel free to contact me through the “Contact” tab on my website if you have any further questions and I’ll try my best to help!

Twerk the Red

First off, #sorrynotsorry for the title of this episode.

Now, welcome to Tread the Red! Thanks for being here. 😀
Lets talk about some trails and experiences! Darren, Rachel, and Pippin took a camping and hiking trip to the Gorge – this included a sunset/night hike with friends to Star Gap Arch (their first time!), relearning that trails look different at night – even if they are trails you are super familiar with (AKA #LeaveNoTrace principle – Plan Ahead and Be Prepared!), where there are tiny toads doing night things there are also hunting danger noodles, and sometimes you come out of a hike with 100 burs with no idea how you got them and that’s how you spend the rest of your night (…PIPPIN….)
Pippin was also very suspicious about our campground neighbors (no idea why, but it made sleeping a bit hard), Darren found a INTERESTING necklace at Koomer Ridge, and reaffirmations that Tower Rock is a BEAUTIFUL trail that y’all need to do ASAP if you haven’t! Or, go back and do it again…because it is a cool place. Also, even though the weather is determined to stay 90 degrees, the beginnings of Fall are blowing in, and it is IGNITING THE SOUL. Can we all agree to mutually manifest a loooooong Fall season this year? K, thanks.

Trails covered in this episode:
*Star Gap Arch Trail
*Tower Rock Trail

Places of interest:
*Koomer Ridge Campground

Things happenin’ at the Gorge!:
*RRG Farmers Market – every Saturday from 10AM-2PM through October
*34th Annual Living Archaeology Weekend – September 17 (10AM-5PM) @ the Gladie Visitor Center

Tread the Red Updates:
*New Tread the Red shirts and tanks available on Etsy! *Limited Quantities*
*New Tread the Red Podcast Stickers available on Etsy!
*You can show your support for the podcast by preordering your own “Tread the Red – A Red River Gorge Podcast” shirt at https://www.bonfire.com/tread-the-red-podcast/ !

Also, Rachel is now working with Red River Gorge United on their social media team! Please show that organization your support if you love the Red River Gorge region!

XoXo, Gorge Girl

Trail talk + a dash of ranting 😉

In this episode, we recount some hikes we did back in July (where has the time gone?! But also, who else is sooooo ready for Fall???) In this episode we take a sunset hike to Sky Bridge and listen to the whippoorwills, experience the rarity of having Auxier Ridge all to ourselves for an hour, watch Pippin get creek zoomies behind Hops, and hike to Whittleton Arch (also all to ourselves!) and Whistling Arch. Things to remember: Watch out for trail runners when taking a pee on hikes, #LeaveNoTrace so you do not get abducted by aliens, and let yourself enjoy what you enjoy while out on the trails!!

Trails featured in this episode:
*Sky Bridge Trail
*Auxier Ridge Trail
*Whittleton Branch/Arch Trails
*Whistling Arch Trail

Also some neat things happening at the Gorge this weekend (8/19-8/21):
*RRG Farmers Market – located at the Slade Welcome Center on Saturday from 10AM-2PM
*Natural Bridge Artisan Festival – located at Natural Bridge Campground (behind the Slade Welcome Center). Friday, Aug.19 12-6PM, Saturday, Aug.20 10-6PM, Sunday, Aug.21 10-6PM. While Tread the Red will not be set up at either of these events, we will be there on Saturday checking things out (the whole gang – Rachel, Darren, AND PIPPIN!) Come say hi if you spot us! 🙂

Shadytown Farm, Greenhouse, and Floral Creations – RRG Farmers Market Guest Feature

Hello! We are back with another Red River Gorge Farmers Market Vendor Guest Feature episodes! This time we are chatting with Oneida from Shadytown Farm, Greenhouse, and Floral Creations – she is really doing it all!
We hope everyone enjoys these mini episodes featuring all the hardworking and talented people involved in the RRG Farmers Markets. You can check it out for yourself every Saturday at the Slade Welcome Center (right off the Mountain Parkway Slade Exit 33) from 10-2! It is so much fun and we promise that everyone can find something they love there!

Thanks for listening! Rachel also just added podcast stickers to her Etsy shop so that you can show your support for the podcast! There are also new Tread the Red shirts and tanks available as well. Happy hiking!

Grays Arch Trail #205

Grays Arch Trail! This is a Gorge classic – it is definitely a trail you want to check out if you haven’t yet. It would be on my list of recommended trails for first time Gorge adventurers! This sandstone arch is a BEHEMOTH. It weighs in at 50ft tall and 80ft wide. It is massive and soooo impressive to see in person! There are also lots of boulders underneath that provide a pretty awesome spot for trail lunch or snacks 😉

You can find the trailhead for this trail along Tunnel Ridge Road. This trail is an official/marked trail, but it’s a little weird because the official “Grays Arch” trail only takes you to the intersection with Rough Trail, where you will then veer right/straight and descend on Rough Trail about 270ft until you hit the bottom where there is a “side trail” (that is more like straight ahead from the last staircase) to Grays Arch. Then you will climb about 60-70ft up that trail to get to the base of Grays Arch! This is an out-and-back trail that totals about 2.25 miles round trip. Just remember that you will have to go back up the staircases you went down on the way to the arch to get back! Don’t let that deter you though – just pack enough water and snacks and no shame in taking breaks on the climb back up! Hike your own hike, ya know?

For a visual reference, you can view the Grays Arch #TrailTalk video below!

Grays Arch Trail #205

Hydrated Girl Summer

Despite the title of this episode, we talked about a time when Rachel did NOT have a hydrated girl summer…and then follow up with a reminder that you SHOULD try your best to stay hydrated and well nourished before attempting to hike in this hot & soupy Kentucky weather! Yes, SOUPY.
If you couldn’t tell, this is a classic Darren & Rachel MESS-AROUND episode (btw, Rachel loves everyone who gets that reference).

Anyway, here is the TRAIL covered in this episode!
* Hanson’s Point Trail

Also, for those of you who are interested, here is the link for the face bug net I bought…I am NOT sponsored by Quest Outdoors, so I do not have a cool discount code to give you, and I also do not profit from it if you decide to buy one for yourself! (Even though it would be pretty cool to actually be sponsored by Quest….)

IMPORTANT: Due to recent rainfall events, Eastern KY is flooded. The region REALLY needs your help if you are able – some really awesome resources to stay up to date on what is happening and find the best ways to volunteer/donate, are:
@appalachians4appalachia (Instagram) – they have a super comprehensive spreadsheet with links to places to donate, etc.
@appalshop (Instagram)


Thank you so much for listening and being awesome humans!

Happy Lemon Artistry – RRG Farmers Market Guest Feature

Hi and welcome to Tread the Red Podcast! This episode is a special feature of “Happy Lemon Artistry” run by Lora, who sets up at the RRG Farmers Market!
Lora is a multi-disciplinary artist from Red Fox, KY. She works full-time in healthcare, but has always loved the process of creating art and finds that art provides a stress-relieving outlet for the difficult times. The inspiration for much of her work centers in celebrating Kentucky culture, specifically the strong-minded resilience and self-reliance of Appalachian people. Lora’s daughter, Kelsie Jacobs, who is also an artist and a Registered Emergency Room Nurse, created Happy Lemon Artistry with her mom. They sell locally and also have an Etsy Shop.
Lora’s most recent artistic venture was designing and building a rental cabin at Red River Gorge named “Walden’s Wonder“. The cabin is an ode to Henry David Thoreau and his book, “Walden”, with the theme of nature as a source of wisdom and spiritual nourishment and the joys of living simply. Lora has created many artistic works that are displayed in this cabin!
You can connect with Lora on Facebook at facebook.com/lora.huff or visit the Etsy Shop at etsy.com/shop/happylemonartistry .

Thank you so much for listening, and we hope to see you at the RRG Farmers Market (every Saturday from 10AM-2PM)!

Classic Craig

Ahh, Classic Craig…so…Classic.
We’re back with another Rachel & Darren-Gorge Time-Adventure Time-Fun Time episode of Tread the Red! This is actually a PART 2 of the “Spice & Tidbits” episode. If you’re new here, you don’t necessarily have to listen to that one first, but if you want a full well-rounded account of the trail tale and hike, we would recommend it!
This episode covers an unmarked trail (featuring *CLASSIC CRAIG*), an unfortunate dog & human encounter (don’t worry, everyone is okay – just a learning experience!), aaaaaand spppoookkkyy times on Daniel Boone Hut Trail! Obviously, this episode has a little bit of everything. 😉

Trails featured on this episode:
*Grays Arch Trail
*Rough Trail
*Classic Crag Overlook Trail
*Daniel Boone Hut Trail
*This episode wraps up the balloon loop hike featuring Rough Trail > Grays Arch > Daniel Boone Hut Trail

Thanks for listening! If you are here for this, please rate and review us on whatever app you listen on! Or, share the podcast to your social media – we would like that too 😀

You can follow us on Instagram and TikTok @tread_the_red and on Twitter @TreadTheRed. You can also check out our website, TreadTheRed.com for trail information and more!

Thanks for listening and happy hiking!

Peak Freak Designs – RRG Farmers Market Guest Feature

Helloooo and welcome to Tread the Red! A podcast all about the Red River Gorge. This episode is the 3rd installment of our series featuring RRG Farmers Market Vendors and features – Peak Freak Designs!

Cindy is the human behind Peak Freak Designs – she is the owner, creator, and adventurer! Peak Freak Designs are home and beauty inspired by the trail, located in Louisville, KY. When Cindy is not crafting, you can find her out on the trail either hiking, running, backpacking, or rock climbing. She has a deep passion for nature which goes into every item she makes. Cindy pulls inspiration from her time and stories on the trail to create unique, one of a kind soaps, lotions, and knits. She loves creating natural art that you can use in everyday life.

Peak Freak Designs mission is to bring you the best in high quality, hand crafted goods for everyday life inspired by the trail.

How you can find Peak Freak Designs:
Website: www.peakfreakdesigns.com
Instagram: @peak_freak_designs
TikTok: @peakfreakdesigns
Facebook: @peakfreakdesign

ALSO: Peak Freak Designs is offering 25% off for all podcast listeners! You can use the code TREADTHERED25 in the online shop through 8/15/2022.

Happy listening and happy hiking! You can check out Peak Freak Designs at the RRG Farmers Market every Saturday from 10AM-2PM at the Slade Welcome Center. 😀

Dan & Judy Dourson – RRG Farmers Market Guest Feature

Hi and welcome to Tread the Red Podcast – this is a special RRG Farmers Market Guest feature episode featuring biologists/educators/authors (and MORE!) Dan & Judy Dourson!
These two have worked closely within the RRG Region and have so much to share. Everyone who has experienced the Gorge – whether that be as a hiker/climber/or what-have-you…you will connect with this episode that shares some of the wonders of our favorite place – The RRG. We encourage everyone to listen to this episode and to also check out Dan and Judy’s booth at the RRG Farmers Market for some fun educational activities and to look into their published books and everything else they have going on!
You can find their website here: TheRogueBiologist

The RRG Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 10AM-2PM at the Slade Welcome Center. You can check out more information about the market from their website, RRG Farmers Market, or on their instagram @rrgfarmersmarket. Thank you for listening, and we hope you keep an eye out for my RRG Farmers Market Guest Features! 🙂