Carter Caves State Resort Park

Olive Hill, Kentucky 41164

Carter Caves State Resort Park

Carter Caves State Resort Park Professional Review and Guide

"The caves beneath Kentucky’s Carter County have been drawing visitors for a long, long time. Early settlers extracted raw materials from them, and for decades their exploration has been a source of recreation. Cave tours were being conducted long before the state park was established in the 1940s. Within the park there are twenty charted caves, four of them open for guided tours during the summer and two year-round.

This backcountry walk up and down ridges takes you to two arches and a fishing lake. There is a backcountry camping area more than halfway through the loop if you want to make this an overnight trip."

Carter Caves State Resort Park Reviews

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Great trails with lots to see. The Johnson Home site backcountry campground is nice. I'm told it was once the site of a moonshining still, and there seems to be evidence of this strewn about the area. The overview map and GPS coordinates are wrong. The trailhead we used was located at N38 22.006 W83 07.821 by the boat ramp.
Did not do the whole 4Cs trail. Did the short loop that starts with Raven Bridge and takes the cut across to come back to the Lodge on the 4Cs with 3 kids, 4, 6 & 9, and the 4 & 6 were whiny by the end, but the 9 y.o. was ready for more. Took the Raven Bridge - Fern Bridge trail the next day as far as the cottages. Raven Bridge was interesting, but Fern Bridge was outstanding. Worth the walk.
This trail was rated as easy, but there is nothing easy about this trail. Although the views were breath taking, this trail should be left up to the very experienced hiker. Most of the trail is uphill, over huge rock formations, thru a cave like structure that they call the arch, narrow and very steep trails and stairs. Although this , to me was a very scary trip for my son and I, it also was very exhilarating trip especially when we completed the two day trip that we walked over 13 miles.

Carter Caves State Resort Park Photos

Trail Information

Olive Hill
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 hours
Spring and Fall
Carter Caves State Resort Park, (606) 286-4411 or (800) 325-0059
Local Contacts
USGS Tygarts Valley, Wesleyville, Olive Hill, Grahn
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018