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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

Loop

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

#2384

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

#22

in Kentucky

#2,384

Overall
101 Views Last Month
4,649 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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Current Trail Conditions

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Minor Issues 79 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2020
Stephen Davis
Well-maintained. The middle descent and ascent are no joke. Lots of wonderful surprises along the way if you listen and keep your eyes open. 4mi — 3h 00m
Mar 18, 2020
Barry Crabtree
Great trail. Muddy spots from all the rain but in good shape. A few hard uphill climbs but I made in about 4 hours. Took a couple breaks. — 9h 30m
Oct 20, 2019
Rick Ihnat
Pinch em trail and a little of Buck trail. Beautiful fall colors 2.7mi — 1h 00m
Sep 8, 2019
Kirsten Lewis
We also did the 1.6 mile (round trip) Hanson's Point Loop. 5.5mi — 2h 42m
Sep 8, 2019
Justin Lewis
Also did the 1.6 mile Hansen's point loop 6.2mi — 2h 43m
Jul 13, 2019
Danica Smith
7h 14m
May 4, 2019
Ziggy Zibrowski
Apr 6, 2019
Zac Combs
4mi — 9h 42m