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Pinch-Em Tight Ridge Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop incorporating the Sheltowee Trace, the Rough Trail #221 and the Rush Ridge Trail #227


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Map Key

4.0

Miles

6.5

KM

91%

Runnable

1,313' 400 m

High

847' 258 m

Low

607' 185 m

Up

608' 185 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers

Overview

This loop offers beautiful views of what is locally known as the "Pinch-Em-Tight Ridge". Visitors will get a brief taste of the Pinch-em Tight Trail #223, the Rough Trail #221, a portion of the Sheltowee Trace Trail, and will finish back on the Rush Ridge Trail #227. The loop features one tough climb on the Rough Trail #221 to get back on the ridge, but aside from that, it's generally smooth ascents and descents in the forest.

Description

From Tunnel Ridge Road, watch for the trailhead sign and the white turtle blazes of the Sheltowee Trace, which overlaps with the Pinch-em Tight Trail #223. From the portion of the Sheltowee Trace NRT, you'll eventually come to an intersection. Stay to the right, and you'll make your way onto the Rush Ridge Trail #227.

You'll follow along the ridge, enjoying the regrowth of the tree canopy and some views of the Red River Gorge. The Buck Trail #226 will intersect with the Pinch-em Tight Trail #223 around 1.3 miles, so stay to the left, following the signs to the aptly named Rough Trail #221. The Pinch-em Tight Trail #223 will then descend to the Rough Trail #221, and you'll turn left onto the Rough Trail #221.

From there, you'll cross the Rush Branch creek a couple of times before climbing up to meet the Rush Ridge Trail #227. Do not underestimate this climb, it's pretty serious and reminds you of how the Rough Trail #221 got its name.

Catch your breath, then transverse the ridge on Rush Ridge Trail #227 until it connects back with Pinch-em Tight Trail #223 and the return to Tunnel Ridge Road.

Contacts

Shared By:

April French

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 13 votes

#2468

Overall
  4.0 from 13 votes
5 Star
15%
4 Star
69%
3 Star
15%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#24

in Kentucky

#2,468

Overall
29 Views Last Month
5,297 Since Jan 31, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

8%
0%
54%
8%
31%
0%

Photos

Across the gorge.
May 31, 2015 near Campton, KY
The View
May 29, 2015 near Campton, KY
The path less traveled.
Jan 31, 2016 near Campton, KY
Turtle blaze along the Sheltowee Trace on Pinch Em Tight Ridge
Jul 7, 2015 near Campton, KY
Tackling another roller on the Sheltowee Trace in Red River Gorge
Jul 9, 2015 near Campton, KY

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Check-Ins

Feb 11, 2017
Barbara Conlee
Made a wrong turn and took a short detour. 4.5mi
Feb 11, 2017
Zack Conlee
4mi
Mar 11, 2016
Chris Toole
wonderful hike had lunch by the creek at the bottom in a hammock