“A beautiful trail along the Rockcastle River.”
— Paul Merklin
River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
This is a beautiful trail through the woods along the bank of the Rockcastle River. The trail features views of the river, with opportunities to fish in numerous places. Wildflowers are plentiful in the spring and wildlife can be seen throughout the year.
The trailhead is located in the overflow parking area of the Bee Rock Campground on the Pulaski County side of the river. This section of the campground is closed in the winter, but additional parking is available outside the gate or on the Laurel County side of the river, and the trail remains open year-round. From the trailhead, the first couple miles are mainly flat, winding through the woods beside the river. There are several small stream crossings, but they are simplified with plank bridges or stepping stones. The trail is clear and well marked, so it is easy to follow.
After about two miles, the trail leaves the river (you'll see signs for a spur that leads to a viewpoint of the narrows) and begins to climb. This section of the trail is not as well travelled so can be difficult to see in places, but trail markers are in place on trees so keep your eyes open and keep climbing, and you'll find your way. Toward the top of the ridge, the trail weaves around limestone cliffs and passes a couple small waterfalls. At the top of the ridge, the trail crosses a road (called Bee Rock Road or Close Road, depending on what map you're looking at) and shortly thereafter ends at a T junction with Bee Rock Loop Trail #529
, which leads back to the campground.