This is Part 2 of our series on hiking at Red River Gorge. Our previous post, Hiking To Rock Bridge Arch, gives you the rundown on where to start your visit to the park and what precautions you should take.
The Angel Windows Trailhead #218 is located in a gravel parking lot on State Highway 715. Its roughly a 3 mile drive Southeast of the Gladie Visitors Center and about 7 miles from the Rock Bridge Trailhead. Its a scenic drive full of hairpin twists and turns no matter which direction you come from. The road at times slims to just barely allow enough space for two cars to pass, so take your time and drive carefully while you enjoy the vistas. At a few points, the forest opens up to views of the mountain cliffs above it. Pull over and take the opportunity to snap some epic photos.
Once you spot the trailhead sign, it'll point you in the direction to start your .25 mile hike. The short distance is deceptive to the fact that you'll be hiking straight down for most of it and the hike back up will burn your muscles up. Most of the trail runs parallel to huge cliffs hanging above. The sections under the forest canopy resemble hanging gardens. Walls are thickly matted with various shades of brightly colored green mosses and lichen. Most of the crevices have ferns growing and draping over. The thick canopy of magnolias and rhododendrons give the illusion that you're hiking through a tropical jungle.
The cliffs exposed to the harsh mountain weather look as though they have been hand carved by its inhabitants from as far back as 12,000 years ago. Its truly a gorgeous and stunning environment to marvel at. The trail continues along a high cliff following the wooded ridge above it.
The end of the trail coincides with the edge of the ridge which contains the Angels Windows. There are many interpretations as to why its named Angels Window, but to me it appears as if the arches themselves are meant to be the wings of an angel.
If you walk through the arch, the opposite side also contains a short trail through a towering rock shelter. You can sit back and enjoy a picnic lunch while you contemplate the views and soak in the history of these beautiful arches.
- Stay tuned for our upcoming post on Hiking To Whistling Arch!
*Watch Us Hiking To Angel Windows Arch!
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