Waterfall Trip, Volume 1

written by Bill Fultz
edited by Christopher Morris
Nestled between the bourbon barrels and horse farms of Kentucky is a landscape of unbridled beauty where far below the soaring mountains and towering natural arches water flows through the tributaries, creeks and rivers.  One would not realize it, but on these many waterways Kentucky has hundreds of waterfalls scattered throughout the state, some are well known, like Cumberland Falls, some are not, like Lick Creek Falls, and some are so remote that if they have been discovered, they’ve been long forgotten.  Please join the Kentucky Waterfalls website as we take a journey and visit some of Kentucky’s most beautiful waterfalls.  Over the coming months we’ll pick five waterfalls, mostly within close proximity of one another and give trail and location information along with when the best time to visit them.  Now we present you with our first 5 selections.

Below is a map that shows the location of the waterfalls as well as the trails to them.  Zoom in to a particular waterfall to see the details.


#1 Anglin Falls

Anglin Falls
Located 8 miles outside Berea in the John B. Stephenson Memorial Forest & State Nature Preserve, this towering, nearly 75 ft tall waterfall is a lesser known gem, that is if it has water on it.  The hike requires a 0.7 mile easy/moderate trek and there are two creek crossings.  If you can cross the creek without getting your feet wet it’s probably not worth the trip as it requires a very good rain to get the falls flowing.  A good time to visit is in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. 
842 Anglin Falls Rd, McKee
GPS for the waterfall: Latitude 37.497719°, Longitude -84.216988°
More information on Anglin Falls.
This is the trail profile if you were to start in the parking area and hike up along the creek and eventually to the base of the waterfall.

#2 Flat Lick Falls 

Flat Lick Falls
                                                                                                               ©One Man's Adventure
It was barely known a few years ago, now this Jackson County waterfall in the city of Gray Hawk has become a very popular destination.  With excellent parking facilities and a wheelchair accessible overlook, it’s an easy walk to view the falls.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can cross the creek above the waterfall and follow the trail to the base.  This is truly one of the state’s most scenic, at 33 ft. tall the water plunges into a gorgeous splash pool surrounded by short cliffs and boulders. In a heavy rain, crossing the creek above the falls is dangerous and should not be attempted.  During drier times it will dry up to nothing but a trickle. 
Flat Lick Road, Gray Hawk
GPS for the waterfall: Latitude 37.370941°, Longitude -83.940163°.
More information on Flat Lick Falls.
This is the trail profile if you were to start in the parking area, go to the overlook, which is around the 750' mark.  Then the track continues as if you were to walk back up the trail, cross the top of the falls and descend on the other side of the creek to the base of the waterfall.

#3 Van Hook Falls 

Van Hook Falls
The trail to Van Hook Falls through the Cane Creek Wildlife Management Area could seriously contend as the best hike in the state.  At 2.5 miles one way, this moderate trip on a section of The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail through a hemlock forest passes along a deep slot canyon, and the best part is the destination is the 37 ft tall Van Hook Falls!  One thing to note, like most of the waterfalls on this tour, a recent and decent rain is required to get the most out of this hike and the destination falls. To access the trail, park at the lot at the junction of KY 192 and KY 1193.  Cross the road to the trail head.
West Laurel Road, London
GPS for the waterfall: Latitude 37.02439769°, Longitude -84.28084631°
More information on Van Hook Falls.
This is the trail profile if you were to start in the parking area, cross the road and travel the Sheltowee Trace back to Van Hook Falls.

#4 Bark Camp Creek Cascades 

Bark Camp Creek Cascades
There are two trails you can use to access this series of small waterfalls just before Bark Camp Creek’s confluence with the Cumberland River, in a truly beautiful setting.  The first trail head is located on FR 193, approximately 2 miles from KY 1277, and is a lovely 2.5 mile hike along the creek.  The other trail head is located at the end of FR 551, which is to the right off of FR 193, shortly after you drive onto the FR from 1277.  The trail from this point is a little under a mile.  Both trails are moderate. 
Forest Road 551, Daniel Boone National Forest, London District
GPS location of the waterfall: Latitude 36.90747865°, Longitude -84.3048852°.
More information on Bark Camp Creek Cascades.
This is the trail profile if you were to start in the parking area at the end of FR 551 and take the trail down to the bottom of the hill at the cascades.  You actually hike the flood route of the Sheltowee Trace.

#5 Dog Slaughter Falls 

Dog Slaughter Falls
Truly one of the gems of the Kentucky waterfalls, Dog Slaughter Falls is a 1 mile hike from the lower trail head on FR 195, 2.7 miles from KY 90.  The trail is moderate as it follows along the beautiful Dog Slaughter Creek. After looping around a tall cliff line above the falls, you’ll drop into a lovely grotto where the 17 ft. tall waterfall plunges into a deep splash pool as it meanders around some large boulders before making it’s final decent to meet the Cumberland River.  There is almost always water on the falls throughout all seasons; however during a dry spell the falls can be somewhat unimpressive.  
Forest Road 195, Daniel Boone National Forest, London District
GPS for the waterfall: Latitude 36.85880149°, Longitude -84.3118579°
More information on Dog Slaughter Falls.
This is the trail profile if you were to start in the parking area, the one that claims to be 1 mile from the waterfall.  Then you cross the creek and hike along the creek, heading downstream, eventually reaching the base of the waterfall.
The reason these particular waterfalls were chosen for this post is because of their close proximity to one another.  One could visit all these within a day or two, depending on your hiking/driving pace.  The next installment will continue with the close proximity of Dog Slaughter Falls with five more nearby waterfalls that will take us into The Big South Fork National Recreation Area and beyond.  Thank you for taking the time to read and keep on waterfalling!
Photographs by Bill Fultz and Christopher Morris. 
Bill's website: www.fultzfotos.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/FultzFotos 
Chris's website: www.onemansadventure.com
The Kentucky Waterfalls website: http://kywaterfalls.com
Trail profiles are based off of the 10 meter DEM for the State of Kentucky.  Expect mild errors in the elevation profiles.