Yahoo Falls

Whitley City, Kentucky 42653

Yahoo Falls

Yahoo Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Kentucky’s highest waterfall, a 70-foot-wide natural arch, and a walk along Big South Fork are included on this hike through a part of the Big South Fork Recreation Area.

This hike starts and ends in the Daniel Boone National Forest, but most of the walking is in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. The main attraction is the 113-foot drop that Yahoo Creek takes just before it flows into Big South Fork. This is said to be the highest waterfall in Kentucky. Be warned that Yahoo Creek is not a big stream, and in rainless periods it can dry up completely. Even so, the hike is worthwhile."

Yahoo Falls Trip Reports

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5/30/2018
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1/2/2009
Nice overnight trip when combined with a trip to Princess Falls on Lick Creek. There is a great campsite at Princess Falls but I would only suggest it for warm weather camping. There is an excellent riverside campsite at the Sheltowee Trace / Negro Creek trail split.

During the winter, Negro Creek trail was a little difficult to follow due to infrequent markings and heavy cover from fallen leaves, but it is manageable.

I suggest parking at the Yahoo Falls picnic area for security and to make the mileage work well for an overnight trip.
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4/9/2005
My wife and I (and our dog) turned this trip into about a 15-mile backpacking trip, by adding portions of the Sheltowee Trace and Lick Creek trails to the 8.5-mile loop described here. The terrain is sometimes difficult, and the trail is not very well-maintained -- many downed trees in the way. However, there is only one serious ascent and descent, and no difficult stream crossings, so our 15-mile route was manageable in a one-night trip. We greatly enjoyed the solitude; on an early April weekend, we ran into virtually no other hikers, although boats go by on the river from time to time. The scenery was good, even though the leaves weren't out yet. Overall, a satisfying trip. One warning: ticks are a serious problem in this area. Check all hikers, human and canine, for ticks at the end of each day -- every member of our party picked up at least one.
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3/1/1998
While it is only 8.5 miles, the Yahoo falls loop-trail can make for a very nice overnight hike.
You start out following a branch of the Big South Fork river and then are taken a little inland toward Yahoo Falls. (Yes, it is a water fall but not the type that I picture when I think of one. To me, it was basically small stream running off the side of a very tall hill).

After viewing the fall you have a moderate switchback up the side of the valley you were in when you were at the falls. Once to the top, it is a nice hike over some relatively flat land before descending back into the valley to rejoin the trail leading back to the trailhead.
Early fall is really the best time to take this hike so you can experience the beauty of the changing leaves. If you are an angler or like bouldering you will also find a few nice spots to practice those sports as well.
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Yahoo Falls Photos

Trail Information

Whitley City
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
8.5
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
5 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, (606) 376-5073 or (423) 286-7275; Stearns Ranger District, Daniel Boone National Forest, (606) 376-5323
Local Contacts
USGS Nevelsville, Barthell
Local Maps

Trail Log