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greenBlue Mantle Rock Loop Trail

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Trail

2.3 mile 3.8 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 230' 70 m
Descent: -234' -71 m
High: 575' 175 m
Low: 406' 124 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Joshua Hutchens

Playing a role in the Trail of Tears and boasting a unique ecosystem, this trail intersects history and science.

Joshua Hutchens

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly The trail is easy, and kids will enjoy playing on rocks and in the creek. The unique ecosystem will fuel the curiosity of little scientists.

No biking, rock climbing, camping, horseback riding, or all-terrain vehicles. Service dogs only.

Description

The trail to Mantle Rock is an easy hike through hardwood forest. From the parking lot to Mantle Rock, the trail slopes downhill. The trail is dirt and can be obscured by fallen leaves, so utilize the Hiking Project mobile app or follow the green trail marking signs.

Mantle Rock is the largest freestanding arch east of the Mississippi River, towering 188 feet long and 30 feet high. The bluffs of which Mantle Rock is a part also boast rock overhangs, honeycomb formations, and fluorite deposits.

Climbing to the top of Mantle Rock will bring you to the best example of a sandstone glade in Kentucky. Various unique species of plant life thrive here, including Kentucky's only occurrence of June grass.

The trail continues to loop around the preserve, and in one section, coincides with the original Trail of Tears. During the winter of 1838–39, nearly 2,000 Cherokee camped here while waiting for the Ohio River to thaw.

Flora & Fauna

Atop Mantle Rock, you can enjoy the best example of a rare sandstone glade in Kentucky. Rocks are carpeted by mosses and lichen. Other unique species include June grass, prickly pear cacti, Indiangrass, dickcissel, sweet goldenrod, rush foil, hairy lipfern, little bluestem, and pinweed.

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Check-Ins

Apr 27, 2019
Lucas Bremer
Sep 4, 2018
Dusty
Few snakes. The trails are kept up pretty well. Took our 5 year old and carried our 1 year old. Great easy trail for kids. 2.7mi — 2h 49m
Jun 4, 2018
Lori Hall
May 13, 2018
Chris O'Brine
mothers day 2018. 2.3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#5033

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Rankings

#47

in Kentucky

#5,033

Overall
98 Views Last Month
853 Since Dec 3, 2017
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

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