MAY 26 2022    
Three Bridges Trail: Carter Caves State Park, Kentucky
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Three Bridges Trail: Carter Caves State Park, Kentucky

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The Three Bridges Trail was a 4.4 -mile hike within Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill , Kentucky.  It is a part of a 33 mile hiking system running throughout the park.  The start point for this trail is across the street from the gift shop. The trailhead was very easy to find and there was more than adequate/paved parking at the gift shop. 

The Three Bridges Trail lived up to everything I read.  The trails were marked well (with a red blaze), the views at all three bridges were jaw dropping, and I left that day feeling GREAT!  I would rank the level of difficulty to be Beginner/Intermediate.  Total time spent on the trail was 3 hr.  32 min (2 hr. 46 min. moving) according to my AllTrails app.  There were no crazy inclines (Elevation Gain 633 ft), and the trail was relatively smooth.   

This is a great day hike! I personally took a small pack with:  rain gear, GPS, solar blanket, map, compass, first aid kit, cell phone charger, packed lunch bag, water, and my fold up hiking chair.  The trail was completed on a cold day and I suggest wearing a moisture wicking base layer, and layered clothing on top of that.  Cell phone reception was good with AT&T.

 The views at all the bridges were amazing.  Be sure to bring a camera and document all the cool stops, outlooks, wildlife (we saw multiple deer), and other cool things along the way.  Postcard shots all over the place!  

When you get done hiking, there are tons of other things to do!  These activities could include:

-Take a Cave Tour

-Relaxing at Caveland Lodge or one of the Cottages.

-Camping (Primitive, RV, Equestrian Campsites, or backcountry camping).

-Eat at Tierney’s Cavern Restaurant.

-Mine for gems at the Visitor Center.


-Fish at Smoky Valley Lake (contains bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie).

-Play some miniature golf on the 18-hole course.

-Paddle your kayak or canoe on Smoky Valley Lake or nearby Tygarts Creek.

-Picknick (tables and grills are located throughout the park).


You can’t go wrong with a trip to Carter Caves State Park in Olive Hill, Kentucky.  And when you are done hiking and have worked up a big appetite - I suggest you take a short drive to Olive Hill and go to the Trail Town Bar and Grill.  One of the best dining experiences I have had in a long time!  Everything was fresh, made from scratch, and absolutely delicious!!  I got the Pig and Cow Burger and it was FIRE🔥 (as the kids say now).

1 comment

RobertEdited JUN. 29, 2023 AT 11:33 AM

Adding this one to the list. May have to hit it on my way up to Hershey this Fall. Great post!

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