Powdermill Branch Trail
ElevationAscent: 713' 217 m
Descent: -206' -63 m
High: 1,221' 372 m
Low: 711' 217 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)
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“Powdermill Branch Trail is a less well-known trail in the Red River Gorge trail system.”— Chris Chaney
The rest of this trail is amazing, scenic, and enjoyable. Once the trail gains a natural bench after the initial climb up from Indian Creek it contours for a long time over a deep, narrow holler (Powder Mill Branch) and crosses a couple of smaller drainages coming in from the right (north). A short side run that is worthwhile at the first drainage will take you to a rare limestone arch.
Once back on the trail you continue the steady climb up Powder Mill Branch through a beautiful boulder garden and then an intimate little valley. There is a short steep scramble section, a reprieve, and then a final steep climb to exit the trail.
At the top end, you gain Hatton Ridge Road which is a relatively unknown Forest Service Road. You can continue along the road and pick up another obscure gravel/dirt road and circumnavigate the entire Spaas Creek and Short Creek rims before returning and reversing the Powder Mill Trail back to the beginning for a long day out in the woods.
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