Into the Wild: Yahoo Falls Hike

Posted by Spalding Hurst

January 12, 2008

Here is a trip report from Jay Thomas part of the duo of hiking Bardstown Boater brothers, Jay & John Thomas.

John and I got to Yahoo Falls parking area at the northern end of the Big South Fork around 1 on Saturday and hurried to try and get on the trail in front of a group of 12 boy scouts from Oakridge, TN. We soon came to the overlook to Yahoo Falls, the tallest waterfall in KY, took a glance and then climbed out of the hollow up to Yahoo Arch. The Arch was really cool, one of my favorite arches to date.

We crossed the road we drove in on, Hwy 700, and continued on the Negro Creek trail. The trail started on top of the knob but even as we descended on the trail we stayed well above the Negro Creek. However, multiple sounds of waterfalls and cascades led us on some side trail bush wacking to some great spots. Negro Trail t-bones the Sheltowee Trace at the mouth of the Creek into the Big South Fork. The area has a large flat camping spot equipped with a large rock fire pit. From talking with the boy scouts earlier we knew their plans of camping at the spot (perfect for a large group), and we continued south on the Sheltowee toward Lick Creek. This trail section follows the BSF upstream and is fairly flat and uneventful except for some really cool beaver woodwork. Also it turns into an ATV playground of paths and camping spots.

At Lick Creek we left the Sheltowee to continue on Lick Creek trail and reached Princess Falls, an 15 foot curtain falls down away from the trail. There is a great flat camp spot enough for 4 or 5 tents with a rock fire pit and rock seating. We took advantage of the spot and quickly got a hot fire going. In the morning we backtracked to Negro Creek where the boy scouts had already packed and gone. Continued on the Sheltowee north to Cotton Patch Hollow, Alum Ford Campground, and then back in the Yahoo Falls Scenic Area. After passing some cool waterfalls and good scenery we finaly arrived to the base of Yahoo Falls. Very Cool and a great end to the trip. The pack up the four flights of stairs to the parking was exhausting; i wish they made the handrails wide enough for backpacks. Conclusively it was a very cool trip, one I’m sure we’ll be back to.

Also the boy scout group said their trailer full of gear was stolen out of their church parking lot at Christmas time. I saw one of them pick up an old skillet previously left at the Negro Creek campground like it was a Playboy mag, so I don’t feel they were bullshittin. After we got back I emailed a couple places and tried looking up their contact info online to pass around, but if anyone has any outdated or extra gear you want to get rid of I can see if I can reach them some how.

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