“This is an amazing relic from the Kentucky Union Railway.”
— Chris Chaney
There is lots of private land along this route. It'a also part of the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway and there is a fair amount of ORV/ATV traffic, but that doesn't really detract from the experience. After heavy rain, some areas of the trail may be very difficult to pass without going directly through water. I'm not sure where it was (there are 2 old broken down cars just off the trail), but the trail seemed to dead end into the creek. This could have been due to recent heavy rain.
Walker Creek is an amazing journey back into history. In general, this doubletrack follows the old KU Railway alignment from just below the old tunnel at Torrent (closed and dangerous) for four miles almost unbroken.
Two missing trestles must be bypassed changing the difficulty from easy to intermediate. It should also be noted that the descent from Smith Road
at the north end is actually very difficult but is short and can be easily walked in the difficult sections. Make sure to take caution on the descent on your first visit. You need to look carefully for the the "trail" ...it's on the right just before you get to Mountain Chalet cabin. You may see small signs on trees for the Daniel Boon Backcountry Byway (DBBB)
At the southern end, there is a deep creek crossing to gain Old Fincastle Road
(loose dogs on Shumaker Ridge) and a steep and rocky ascent to gain Big Andy Ridge to the north. This is a great out-and-back if you don't want to deal with either of those options.
For the most part, the trail is a solid gravel base with a dirt surface. There is a little mud at the creek crossings of the absent old trestles. When dry, this can be a really fast ride. The descent from Smith Road
is steep with some ledges, but mostly dirt. When wet, be prepared for large amounts of water that frequently block nearly the width of the trail...fun if you like getting wet.
There is also an access at the north end through Cliffview Resort. This is difficult to find and not well known. You can enter in two places. The first is easier to find, though more difficult to traverse. If you enter CliffView Resort, after a short drive from the front entrance you'll come to an office for Zip Line tours. There is a parking lot on the right. You can follow a trail (seems to be a drainage easement) down to the trailhead. I found this too difficult to ride all the way down given the recent excessive rain. NOTE: This entrance is before you need gate access to the resort. The second entrance is past the coded gate and just behind Tequila Sunrise cabin. It is marked by a trail sign. This entrance takes you in further down the trail than the entrance near the Zipline office. The slope is steep and had a lot of ruts and exposed rock due to to recent heavy rain and ATV use.