Cave Run NonMotorized Trails

There’s a Trail for You!

See 11x17 trail guide (pdf)

The Cave Run Lake area has a network of scenic trails designed for non-motorized use. Separate trails are designated for horses and mountain bikes. All trails are open to hikers. The trails provide access to popular destinations such as campgrounds and picnic areas.

The horse trails are open from May 15 to December 15. Mountain bike trails are open year round. Hikers may use the trails any time of year. More horse and mountain bike trails are planned for development over the next several years.

Trail Rules

Help protect natural resources, minimize damage to trails and maintain quality trail systems for everyone to enjoy.

  • Stay on designated trails. No cross country travel. Don't shortcut switchbacks.
  • Obey trail use designations as signed.
  • Respect seasonal closures. Avoid using trails when wet. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones.

Trail Designations

Obey trail use signposts at trailheads. These signs will indicate the type of use allowed on each trail. Trail use is also indicated  at trailhead information boards.

Mountain Biking Tips

  • Mountain bikers should ride only on designated bike trails, which are noted at trailhead signs.
  • Wear a helmet, eye protection, and gloves.
  • Maintain control of your speed at all times and approach turns in anticipation of someone coming around the bend.
  • Be courteous when approaching other trail users. Let them know you are coming.
  • "Tread lightly" to avoid erosion. Stay on the trail, and do not take shortcuts.
  • During wet weather, choose a forest road instead of the trails.

Horseback Riding Tips:

  • Ride only on designated horse trails, which are noted at trailhead signs.
  • A current negative coggins test and a certificate of veterinary inspection (health certificate) is required.
  • Wear safety gear, such as a riding helmet.
  • Communicate when passing other trail users.
  • Use a highline with tree-saver straps to tether your horse to a tree. Do not tie horses to trees, even temporarily.
  • Watch for approaching vehicles or bikes on Forest Service roads.
  • To protect water quality, keep horses at least 100 feet from water.

Caney Trail #1226 (6.3 miles) Begins at Stoney Cove Trailhead. Follows the lakeshore for 6.3 miles and then connects with Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail #100, leading back to Stoney Cove for a 9-mile loop. Popular loop trail with close proximity to I-64 and recreational attractions.

Clear Creek Lake Trail #103 (1.0 miles) Accessed from Clear Creek Boat Ramp. Begins off Sheltowee Trace or Forest Service Road 913. From 913 the trail follows near the shoreline of Clear Creek Lake and then crosses over the lake dam, ending on Clear Creek Road. 

Tater Knob Trail #104 (1.0 miles) Starts at Tater Knob Fire Tower parking area, follows the ridge southward, and then descends steeply along an old timber road. Ends at Buck Creek Trail #118, which is also Forest Service Road 1056. (Tater Knob Fire Tower is closed to visitation due to damage.)

Hog Pen Trail #106 (3.0 miles)  Begins where the trail intersects with trails #112 and #107. Hog Pen Trail continues eastward along Forest Service Road 1225 and ends at the intersection of Buckskin Trail #113.

Cross Over Trail #107 (3.1 miles) Begins at intersection of Hog Pen Trail #106 and Cave Run Trail #112 in the Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area. Follows gravel Forest Service Road 1225 south along the ridge to Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway 918. Continues south, crossing 918 to Boardinghouse Branch to join Buck Creek Trail #118.

Connector Trail #108. (.2 miles)  Connects Cave Run Trail #112 with Buckskin Trail #113 in the Big Cave Run Bottom within the Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area. 

Limestone Bike Trail #109 (8.2 miles) Begins at the Sheltowee Trace #100 Section 8 and travels south, then reconnects with the Sheltowee Trace near the Limestone Connector #109A.

Limestone Connector #109A (1.7 miles)  Begins at US 60 and travels south, crossing a swinging bridge over Triplett Creek, then ends at the Sheltowee Trace on Limestone Ridge.

Cave Run Trail #112 (5.3 miles) Begins near the shores of Cave Run Lake and Reynolds Hollow. Climbs southward to intersect with Hog Pen Trail #106 and Cross Over Trail #107. Goes south into Big Cave Run drainage and back to Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway 918. Ends at the Tater Knob parking area. (Tater Knob Fire Tower is closed to visitation due to damage.)

Zilpo Connector #113A (.8 miles) Begins at the Buckskin trailhead and travels north between Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway and the shoreline. It ends at the entrance to Zilpo Recreation Area.

Buckskin Trail #113 (7.0 miles)  Follows Cave Run Lake shore westward to the intersection of Connector Trail  #108 in the Big Cave Run drainage. Turn north and go to the ridge intersecting with Forest Service Road 1225 and Hog Pen Trail #106. Turn right to follow road and pass a pond before returning to single track trail. Follow west again along the lakeshore to the intersection of Cave Run Trail #112.

White Sulphur Trail #115 (4.4 miles) Begins at the White Sulphur Horse Camp with an easy short loop for beginning riders. The loop is 2.5 miles. The trail then heads south toward White Sulphur Road, paralleling the road before climbing away from White Sulphur Road and eventually intersecting with Sheltowee Trace #100 near Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway 918.

White Sulphur Trail Connector #115A (0.3 miles) Short trail connects White Sulphur #115 from White Sulphur Horse Camp to Sheltowee Trace #100.

Cave Run Lake Trail #116 (2.8 miles) Connects Buck Creek #118 to Leatherwood Loop #116A. Located within Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area. Trail follows old logging roads and limestone benches.

Leatherwood Loop Trail #116A (4.3 miles) Incorporates old timber roads to make a loop. Winds through cliff-lined areas and follows Leatherwood Creek adjacent to Leatherwood Road.

Buck Creek Trail #118 (3.6 miles)  Begins at Clear Creek Campground, crossing over Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway 918. Follows Buck Creek along an old gravel road and dirt trail, eventually connecting to Cave Run Trail #116.

Carrington Branch Trail #121 (0.7 miles) Trail begins at a private campground off KY 36, then climbs up a steep hillside with switchbacks before entering national forest land. Follows the ridge before joining Forest Service Road 912.

Lakeview Ridge Trail #122 (3.5 miles)  Begins across from Shallow Flats Wildlife Viewing Area off KY 801. Travels north along the ridge to connect with Sheltowee Trace #100. Traveling west leads to the Cumberland Ranger District office.

Carrington Rock Trail #123 (.3 miles)  Begins at a private campground off KY 36 and ascends on the north side of Carrington Rock and finally meanders around to the east side. Joins Forest Service Road 908.

SHELTOWEE TRACE NATIONAL RECREATION TRAIL #100. This trail traverses nearly 290 miles across the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Sheltowee Trace is considered the backbone of interconnecting trail systems on national forest system lands, providing links to other trails along the way. 
Section 7: KY 519/US 60 to Big Limestone Trail #109  (6.5 miles). Begins in Morehead at the intersection of KY 519 and US 60. Travels south along KY 519 to Mill Branch Road. After leaving Mill Branch, travels westward to FS 964 and ends at Limestone Bike Trail #109.
Section 8: Limestone Bike Trail #109 to KY 801 (2.5 miles)  Located in a natural forest setting away from roads. Passes several wildlife ponds before heading west, down a ridge to the district office parking lot.
Section 9: KY 801 to Clear Creek Campground (8.5 miles) Travels west along KY 801 and then turns south on KY 826, crossing the dam and then down to Stoney Cove Picnic area. Day-use parking for vehicles and horse trailers at Stoney Cove or Clear Creek. Borders the Pioneer Weapons
WMA to the east. Horses must stay on marked route through emergency spillway.
Section 10: Clear Creek to KY 1274 (11.3 miles) Parking available at Clear Creek Lake. Begins along Carrington Ridge leading south of Clear Creek Campground. Scenic ridge-top views just south of Forest Service Road 908. Passes through area known as the “Sinks” and past a natural arch. Hiking only past the intersection with Forest Service Road #906A. After crossing 908, trail passes through private land (stay on the trail) before intersecting with KY 1274.