Red River Gorge Backpack, KY

Participants: Danielle Griffin, George Lindley, Kathy Koning, Kristen Koning, Sarah Koning, Jim Mata, Donald Nelson, Brock Schaffer, Leslie Schaffer, Barry Tague

We met at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning on the south side of Indianapolis. After introductions and loading of gear, we drove four hours to Red River Gorge for a Memorial Day weekend hike. After
stopping for parking permits, lunch, and shuttling cars, we started out on the Sheltowee Trace Trail, beginning at the Corner Ridge Trailhead on the north side of the park. We hiked about three miles following turtle blazes and set up camp near the Lost Branch Trail. Due to starting later in the day, we found the best campsites already occupied and end up staying about ¼ mile uphill from the river
which was our needed water source. After setting up camp and cooking a group dinner, several people went down to the river to pump water. While the weather was perfect during the day, the night
temperatures were a bit cooler than some had anticipated.

After waking on Sunday and cooking a hot breakfast, we started on our eight mile hike past many beautiful and popular landmarks. We first came across the Indian Steps where we watched people
rappelling off of the cliff. We continued on the trail, crossing two small creeks, and climbed to Indian Arch which was a remarkable sandstone formation. After hiking along several scenic cliffs, we crossed a suspension bridge over the Red River. We followed the Red River downstream and saw hikers jumping off a large rock into the river. Shortly after, we found a campsite for the night near the Chimney Top Creek. The poison ivy was thick everywhere and it was a challenge to avoid. After wading in the creek, pumping water, and eating dinner, we had a campfire, s’mores, and good conversation. After hoisting the food bag again, we settled in for the night. Most of us figured out a way to be a little warmer the second night.

On Monday morning we woke to another perfect day. We ate a quick breakfast and headed out for the remaining three miles to Pinch-Em-Tight Trailhead. After a 400-foot gain in elevation, we reached Signature Rock where we took in the sun, lots of water, and the scenery. From there, we hiked a short distance to the trailhead and parted ways. We met new friends, learned new skills, and overall had a great Memorial Day trip!

Leave a Reply