In January of 2008, Chris and I hiked two trails at Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky. A friend and I were supposed to hike Carter Caves today, but we got rained out. We hiked the Raven Bridge Trail, which is 0.7 miles in length, and the Three Bridges Trail which is 3.5 miles in length. We hiked the Three Bridges Trail over nine years ago on our first date.
The Raven Bridge Trail leaves from the vicinity of the lodge and golf course and connects to the Three Bridges Trail giving us an approximate hike of five miles. The Raven Bridge Trail is named after the Raven Bridge which is also adjacent to the Three Bridges Trail connection point. At this point we crossed paths with other hikers. Noticing our camera one of them offered to take our picture.
Being a chilly day, plus the fact I’m cold natured, I’m heavily layered. Below is a picture of this bridge approaching it from the The Bridges Trail, on our return trip back towards the lodge. I made my hat, but lost it one day while out running errands. Still have the scarf. I never could find any yarn to match to make another hat.
You will notice the blue marks on the trees. I have to give Carter Caves an excellent rating on marking their trails – not the case on other hiking trails we’ve been on. The Raven Trail is marked in blue. The Three Bridges Trail is marked in red, and is often simply called the red trail. The trail is named after the three natural rock bridges which lay along the path. Attractions along the trail include Smokey Bridge (the park’s largest), Raven Bridge, Fern Bridge and numerous vistas of the lake. This trail can be accessed at several points including the lodge, the welcome center, the cabins and the campgrounds.
The park’s largest natural bridge is the Smokey Bridge. Chris explored the underneath side while I hiked above.
This picture doesn’t do justice to the steepness of the steps winding down between these two rock formations. At the bottom you hike beneath another natural bridge – Fern Bridge. Here we met other hikers who where from Cleveland, OH. They were warning us about the ice covered bridge.
We made it across by stepping on the moss-covered rock on the other side.
This is another part of Three Bridges Trail.
Some of the trail overlooks the lake. This is a popular stop for many hikers.
The above picture is what we call our spot. On that first date, Chris and I stopped here to rest and must have sit on this rock overlook (he closer to the edge than me) for over an hour and just talked. While he kept talking I just thought, he’s the one. I’m going to marry this man. The oven cleaning (another story – Why I Can’t Look at Oreos) came the following week.
The last time I hiked here this tree was fully intact.
This is one of the seven wooden footbridges along the trail.
A doe peeks through the trees at us.
I would recommend this trail for all you hiking enthusiasts. The Three Bridges Trail, inspite of some hilly spots it’s really not hard, and can be done at a liesurely pace in about two hours. Or take a picnic lunch and spend more time out in nature. Add another thirty minutes for the Raven Trail.
I’m thankful we have gotten to hike so much during our nine years together.
Chris and Jerri