We drove from Cincinnati to Turkey Foot campground Sunday night. The campground was completely empty and the sites were really nice, although we didn't see a dumpster anywhere, and many of the sites had small bags of trash left from previous campers.
We left at midmorning on the Trace. We didn't realize that the ENTIRE trail ran along a forest road, which was clearly visible through the trees for the whole walk and was disappointing. At 1.3 miles you cross this road and continue on the Trace. While the first part of the trail was well maintained, this part was not. It runs along a steep embankment and was washed out in a few spots. At about two miles you reach a wide old roadbed. The area was filled with old trash. After the roadbed, you continue down a hill to the cave, which looks like something out of a dinosaur or fantasy movie. There was a lot of moss and other vegetation covering the rocks and tons of brightly colored butterflies flying around. The water was ICE COLD, even in July! We immediately crossed the creek to set up camp, and found a heavily used area in the hemlock grove. There was a lot of trash here as well, mostly old beer bottles. The whole creek area had a lot of flies, and I don't know if that had to do with all of the use the area sees or if its always like that because this was my first trip camping in Kentucky (I'm from New England). Other than the flies, the area was beautiful. We found a nice swimming hole about a hundred feet downstream, but could only use it for a quick dip because of the temperature of the water. It was refreshing and clear, though. At night we heard lots of hoot owls, which was exciting. On the trip back we walked the forest road the whole way because it was storming on and off all morning and we wanted to get back to the car as quickly as possible. Even though the area is very accessible and undeniably beautiful, we didn't see another soul while we were there, which was just what we wanted.