Fall 96, Sheltowee Trace, Peter’s Mountain to Yahoo Falls

Distance: 23.4 miles

Hikers: Mooch, Hiker, Wienerschnitzel, One Nighter

Day 1: After our Spring trip debacle, Wienerschnitzel and I (Mooch) choose to return for the Fall. Billy Goat did not. Hiker and I recruited two new bodies for our second trip. It didn’t start out well. We began on Peter’s Mountain in a drizzle and down the wrong trail.

After hitting a dead-end, I jogged back the trail and got the car to pick up the misplaced boys. We found the right trail and were on our way. It drizzled most of the day. Then, after about  nine miles, we camped on a ridge just before the trail dropped into a gorge. We had passed Koger Arch along the way. The rain continued, and we were unable to start a fire to cook our food. The rain kept on all night and into the next morning. We spent about 14 hours in our tents. That’s why you bring a book on camping trips.

Day 2: The next morning when the rain stopped we started down into the gorge toward Rock Creek. It was a cool morning and we had to cross the creek about two miles into the hike. Most of us sucked it up and took our boots off for the frigid, knee-deep crossing.  One Nighter had plans of staying dry. He found a tree that had fallen across the creek and began the balancing act. Well, that didn’t work. About halfway across he fell headfirst into the creek. We howled, and he got up as fast as he could, went flying past us in anger and we didn’t see him again until lunch.

The trail crossed Yamacraw Bridge and headed toward Alum Ford along the Big South Fork. Six miles from the bridge we camped at Alum Ford on the Big South Fork. This is a campground that is accessible by car, with pit toilets, but there was no one else there. One Nighter was finished for the trip so I walked with him two more miles to his car. He drove me back to the campsite. That night, the temperature dropped into the teens.

Day 3: We woke the next morning to find our water bottles frozen solid. After thawing out we headed toward Yahoo Falls. This is the tallest falls in Kentucky. But there wasn’t much water falling over it. This area has lots of additional trails, and I would recommend some day hikes here.