The weather has been warming up and everything is in bloom. That makes it a perfect time for a short hike in Kentucky on one of our many scenic trails. There are places to walk or hike all around the state that offers breathtaking views you won’t get anywhere else. Mother Nature has blessed the Bluegrass State with such an abundance of woodland beauty it would take months to cover it all.
12. Chimney Top Road, Trail E
This is a relatively shot .6 mile jaunt through a popular part of the Gorge. It is a favored spot to bring the kids for a short, not too strenuous hike with an unforgettable view.
11. Doe Run Lake Perimeter
This scenically beautiful 2.7-mile trail is a favorite in the area. It is a simple loop around the lake, but the plant and wildlife make it well worth the walk. There is not a lot of uphill or downhill on this hike, so it is great for those looking for a flatter style of trail.
10. Fort Thomas Tree Trail
This beautiful trail in Fort Thomas is only .7 miles, but it is surrounded by a thick, hearty forest. This somewhat rugged trail allows you to sink into Mother Nature without having to go too far. This is a perfect shot hike without a lot of strenuous climbing or uphill, downhill areas.
9. Highland Cemetery Forest Preserve in Fort Mitchell
This 3.6 mile trail is serene and peaceful, much like you’d expect from the name. Despite being near the cemetery, there is nothing creepy about this scenic stroll through the woodlands. The most frightening thing is likely poison ivy if you have an allergy.
8. Lick Falls Trail
This 3.8 mile hike in Grayson Lake State Park and is well worth doing. The trail seems to cut through the heart of nature, cutting you off from civilization for a short while. It is not often you run into other hikers, though the trail is enjoyed by many. It can be combined with the Hemlock Trail for an extended hike if more distance is preferred.
7. Hood’s Branch Trail in Slade
This 3.75 mile trail will take you into the heart of the Natural Bridge via the cliff lines and the Upper Hood Branch stream. You will see an optional .75 mile trail along the upper loop that splits and leads you to large sandstone shelters, before reconnecting with the current trail. There are also two small foot bridges to cross over. It is a very beautiful place to take a hike.
6. 3 Bridges Trail in Carter Caves
This 3.5 mile trail is a very well maintained and easy to locate trail. It is not a flat path, but has some quick elevation changes, though nothing too strenuous. This is one of those trails that you will want to bring a camera due to the beauty and unique natural sites. Trail maps are available at the Welcome Center.
5. Red River Gorge Courthouse Rock Trail
Every place in the Gorge is beautiful, but this 3.3 mile hike is a very popular spot to hike. It is not often you will have the trail all to yourself, but when you do, the serenity is like a dream. The gorgeous woodlands and scenic views are what keep people coming back to this very trail.
4. River Styx Spring Trail at Mammoth Cave National Park
One thing that makes this 1.9 mile trail special is the fact it is actually wheelchair accessible. That means anyone can take the stroll, or roll around the gorgeous River Styx area and soak up all the nature you want.
3. Towering Sycamore Trail in Shakertown
This 2.2 mile trail takes you on an adventure through rugged terrain where you will pass over Shawnee Run Creek multiple times. If there have been a lot of rains, you might want to wait for the creek to go down, else spots may be impossible to pass. During the non rainy season, this is a beautiful escape into Mother Nature to escape cities and towns.
2. Rock Bridge Arch Trail in Pine Ridge
This 1.4 mile-long trail starts out downhill for an easy trot, but the second half around the loop is primarily uphill. This gives hikers a lovely view during the entire time, but that uphill climb can leave you a bit winded.
1. Raven's Run in Lexington
This beautiful hike is only 2.8 miles and takes you close to the Kentucky River. There is a nature preserve that one can relax and enjoy on the scenic stroll along the trail. Raven Run is one of the most popular hikes in the Lexington area.
There are both longer and shorter hikes in Kentucky if none of these seem appealing. With so many beautiful spots to choose from, picking the best can be a challenge. What (and where) are your favorite places to go for a short hike in Mother Nature?