It is a wonderful time of year to get out and hike and I am so excited that I finally got to go on the Double Arch trail in the Red River Gorge. When you get to the end of Tunnel Ridge Road, there is a round-a-bout that you can park at and start the trail there. Just go around the gate and walk about 1.25 miles on a smooth, gravel forestry road. Makes for an easy start and finish to this awesome trail.
When you come to a turn around area, notice that the trail goes to the right and into the woods. Now is when the difficulty changes from easy to moderately difficult. Not necessarily going to the arch, but definitely coming back out. Mostly because you will be going uphill and up the stairs you came down on.
Almost instantly, once you are in the woods, you will see two trails. This is where you need to remember to follow the forestry signs painted on the trees. Specifically a white diamond. The trail you want to take goes to the left while a camping spot goes off to the right. You can easily get lost without even realizing it. And quick!
There are a lot of roots and stairs, so be careful and watch your step. One of the most common calls the Search and Rescue teams get is because of a twisted or broken ankle.
As you continue on, you will come to a split about a half mile in. The Double Arch trail goes to the left.
I didn't see any snakes on the trail, so I am hoping the cooler weather is keeping them away! Although, one of the pictures below shows a really cool, huge rock that resembles a gigantic snake. The other photo is Double Arch.
You may be wondering where the second arch is?? It is drastically smaller and directly above the big arch in that crack area. The only way to see it is from Auxier Ridge. That is the rock ridge you can see across the way while standing under the arch.
If at all possible...don't stop here! Off to the right of the arch, carved into the rock, is stairs to get you to the top! When you are ready to come back down, and a little nervous about those stairs, you can go on past until you come to an area like what is showing in the second picture. It was pretty easy to scoot or walk down backwards like my husband is doing.
Now that we are up, go over top of the arch and continue until you see a big flat rock. Walk on up and enjoy one of the most beautiful 360 views of the gorge. Take a seat and just soak it all in for a spell. Eat you a snack, drink some water and just enjoy God's beautiful creation.
I tried to upload my 360 panoramic picture, but it's being stubborn. So this picture right here will hopefully put a little spark in those hiking boots and make you want to see the whole thing. From here, you will walk back the same way you came. When you get out of the woods remember to go to the left. This will take you back to where you parked.
Stay safe y'all! Have fun and enjoy this beautiful fall weather!
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”― John Muir