“A true backcountry experience in the Red River Gorge area.
— Chris Chaney
Birding · Fall Colors · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This trail is all within Clifty Wilderness. All wilderness restrictions apply.
This trail is remote. It's not technical in its furthest reaches, but cell service is sporadic at best and self-rescue would be difficult. While the trail is not a loop, you can create one with a short (2 mile) run on the paved KY 715 for a great outing.
The western terminus is not well marked. Just past Tower Rock find a pull-off on the right just past a deep drainage. Look for the trail with a sign on the left (opposite side of the road from the river).
From the road, the trail climbs steadily until it gains the broad forested ridge. There are no sweeping vistas to be had on this trail. It's solely under the tree canopy and does not feature any of the iconic arches or rock formations the Red River Gorge is known for.
That said, the Osborne Bend Trail offers solitude and distance.
Once on the ridge the trail continues on old doubletrack (which feels like singletrack) around the watershed rim of Copperas Creek. Eventually, you'll begin a slippery and technical descent back to the river valley. The only difficult sections are compressed near the ends of the trail. The bulk of this trail is non-technical and relatively flat.