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Cave Run Ridges Loop

 4.4 (10)
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19.8 Miles 31.9 Kilometers



1,512' 461 m


-1,510' -460 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (14°)

1,283' 391 m


769' 235 m


Shared By Chris Chaney



Getting forecast...

A little singletrack, a little gravel grinding, and a whole lot of fun!

Chris Chaney

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


This ride is a must-do if you're in the Morehead/Cave Run area. This loop includes three miles of the Sheltowee Trace and a new section of singletrack built after "The Decision" (see history). Clack Mountain Road is a fantastic gravel doubletrack that can suck you in and cause you trouble real quick.

The USFS has put out a good map showing allowed uses in the whole area with planned trails as well:…

Need to Know

If you want to stop along Clack Mountain West Road or Forest Road 16 you can see an incredible view from Lockegee Rock.


Begin from the visitors center parking area near the Cave Run Lake dam. Follow the Sheltowee Trace NRT: Section 8 north up a long steady climb with a couple of distinct cruxes to Lakeview Ridge Trail #122. Once on the ridge, enjoy fun rollers and great views of Cave Run Lake for a couple of miles until you go down an extremely fast doubletrack downhill.

Once you cross the bridge, turn right, and it will bring you to Highway 801. Turn left and ride Highway 801 for roughly half a mile until you see Clack Mountain West Road also known as Forest Road 16 on your left. It is across from Twin Knobs Campground. Ride this 4.5 miles until you see Forest Road 964. Turn left onto 964 until you reach the Sheltowee Trace NRT. After riding the Sheltowee Trace NRT for a mile you'll turn left onto the "Thumb" or Limestone Trail #109. Once on Big Limestone Trail #109, the nature of the trail changes to singletrack, which will be on the left side of the doubletrack road.

After riding Big Limestone Loops 1-4, you'll turn left onto the Sheltowee Trace NRT: Section 8, which will take you back to your car, which is 3.5 miles. Enjoy the rollers across the ridge and a fantastic singletrack downhill descent.

History & Background

Twenty years ago, Cave Run Lake was the crowning jewel of Kentucky mountain biking. But after years of conflict between bikers and equestrians, years of overuse by horse people and under maintenance all around, the trails were in terrible shape.

Not so long ago those user conflicts came to a head. The Forest Service was forced to intervene and the result was a decision (THE Decision…) which separated user groups and designated hike/bike and hike/horse areas with one small section of shared horse/bike trail.

The major upside of this decision was the allowance of some new trail development for horseback riding and mountain biking. Slowly but surely, Cave Run is once again becoming a mountain biking destination in the Bluegrass state.


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Your Check-Ins


Dec 29, 2018
Scott Phillips
Wet on the sheltowee. the singleteack is pretty dry / covered in wet leaves. 19.8mi
Oct 22, 2018
May 28, 2018
Jason Myers
Apr 20, 2018
Ken Willett
Apr 8, 2018
Troy Warnken
amazing some wet spots on lower Lakeview and on big limestone. way back to the ranger station was perfect. 25.4mi
Aug 17, 2017
Tim Duffy
Jul 16, 2017
Dominic McCamish
10mi — 2h 30m
Apr 15, 2017
Richard B.
Whole loop was 22 miles. Must have been some new trail after MTB project was updated! Fast fun and a gravel road climb! 22mi

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 10 votes


  4.4 from 10 votes
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203 Views Last Month
8,134 Since Jul 9, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

New sections the best. Some down trees on lower Lakeview. Nov 3, 2015
Chris Chaney
Stanton, Kentucky
Chris Chaney   Stanton, Kentucky
This (minus the climb and descent from the Visitors Center) was the course for the 2016 Kentucky Point Series Race at Cave Run Lake. Big Limestone Trail has been updated to show all of the "fingers" now as well. The whole course was in great shape and the downed trees had all been cut except for a few that were converted into rollovers. Mar 29, 2016
That climb up from the Visitor's Center taught me I'm not nearly as in shape as I thought I was. The newer areas are nice, and the ride back down the the Visitor's Center was a lot more pleasant than the ride up! Jul 16, 2017

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