The Pinnacles in Berea, KY

IMG_0079This trail is a 6.6 mile loop that took us (Faneshia Mcpherson, Scott Walker, and myself) about 3.5 hours to complete while taking time to take in the sights and all the wonderful views that are available on this hike. This would be what I would consider a moderate trail as there are times when you are climbing but usually these are short lived followed by level hiking or a beautiful place to rest.  Dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed…..that is except for one.  As we began our hike there was a very friendly dog that began to follow us and for the first part of the trail until it split east and west we were trying to get the dog to return to the trailhead were we figured it’s master had left it.  So noticing it’s large tag I had to check it out and it said “My name is Tillie, I am not a stray, I belong to the house next door, Let’s go for a hike!”  Unknowingly we had been trying to shoo away our personal trail guide.  Tillie was worth the trip as she stayed with us for a large part of the hike until she left to help a mother and her son who we met on the hike.  Some of the other features that this trail offers are:

  • East Pinnacle
  • Eagle’s Nest
  • Buzzard’s Roost
  • Devil’s Kitchen
  • Indian Fort Lookout
  • West Pinnacle

These features are what I would consider some of the best sights that you could hope to see on a hike.  The first one we came to was the East Pinnacle and we were blown away by the sight as we looked down into the country side.  As we were standing there in awe another hiker came down the trail and we began discussing the pinnacles with him.  He said he had been hiking this trail for a long time and tried to come out almost every week, then he let us know that this view was one of the worst (that’s in comparison to the others on this trail)  on the trail.   Excited by the promise of better views we took off back toward the main trail.

Not a long hike from there you come to a sign that says Eagle’s Nest .6 miles, Buzzard’s Roost .8 miles.  If there are any parts of this trail that you have to skip because of time or whatever I would skip these.  Good views but not in my opinion comparable to the other views you will find later.  The West Pinnacle and Indian Fort Outlook were amazing, I feel they are just as good as Natural Bridge, but that’s just me.  All along the trail are large rocks that make for some excellent photo ops, but could be dangerous for the more adventerous person leaping from one to the other so be careful when looking for that perfect picture.

This trail is great and I had a blast hiking it.  I give it 5 out of 5 but you will have to get out there and see for yourself:)  Always hike with a friend, it can be dangerous hiking alone because you never know what could happen.  Remember to be safe and as always, Happy Hiking.

20 Responses to “The Pinnacles in Berea, KY”

  • Megan says:

    I go to Berea and I have hiked with Tillie! I stumbled across this looking for how tall the pinnacle is.

  • Mr Man says:

    So, uh, how do I get there?

  • drugula says:

    tillie is old and awesome. the hike is good. too many bro’s though. i’ll return when the weather eliminates the average youth.

  • Anna says:

    you can find the location here. The entrance is not well marked, but it’s definitely a treasure! I didn’t see Tillie the last two times I was there, I hope she’s ok.

    http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGD128-054

  • Mark says:

    This was our first hike at the Pinnacles. A friend had mentioned it to us and it seemed to fit the bill as it was close to Lexington, and as a bonus when I looked it up online and found this blog, I was excited for the kids that there might be a friendly pooch to greet us when we got there. I waited to mention this to them until we got off the highway, of course they didn’t believe me since they knew I had never been here before. But to our delight, on our very first trip to the Pinnacles on Oct 10, 2011, Tilley was there in the parking lot looking at us as if she’d been waiting and “what had taken us so long?”
    We hiked the whole place(east and west) and Tilley stayed with us the entire time. The kids even shared their water with her when she looked thirsty. Awesome day!

    • kelly says:

      Thank you for this article, and Mark, thank you for your comment. I want to take my kids on this hike, and I’m hoping Tilley is still there!

  • Chris E. says:

    Nice page. I too came here looking for elevation numbers. Tillie is still on the trails, just saw her today. She’s getting older but that doesn’t seem to stop her.

    Man, for the longest time I never knew the ‘proper’ location of the Indian Fort, and assumed it was in this other place between the East and West pinnacles that requires a bit of scrambling on rock to get to. I have no idea how I missed it so many times (hiking by myself, and once as a ‘guide’… Some guide, I didn’t show them the most beautiful spot there!). The trail splits in a few places and with full foliage I guess you can miss things. When I finally figured out my error, I was on an autumn hike where the view was visible from a distance and I was saying to myself “wait, what is over THERE!” Anyway, this is a great place, thanks for the page

  • Sam Anglin says:

    Does anyone know the street address to the Indian Fort Theatre/The Pinnacles?

  • ive checked this cool site a couple of times now and i have to say that i find it quite good actually. keep it up! :p

  • Karen says:

    Does anyone know how to get to the West trailhead?

  • Sherry says:

    My husband and I along with our 2 year old daughter and 6 year old son visited The Pinnacles yesterday. A google search of kentucky’s best hiking trails lead me there. I am usually a Natural Bridge/Red River Gorge hiker/avid fan. However, the view from the highest point of West Pinnacle blew me away!!!!!!!! I will definitely go back in the Fall. The climb to the top of West Pinnacle from the smaller rock to the bigger one is scary and not easy by any means but WELL worth it. The kids were able to make it easily to the first smaller rock and sat there while my husband and I took turns climbing to the top of the much higher bigger rock and snapped photos. Easily as pretty of a view as any in Red River Gorge and a 360 view at that. If you’ve never been, GO NOW! :) PS. Tillie was still there and just fine…looking a bit old and wore out but she enjoyed some leftover food that we gave her just before the hike and then took a nap under our car lol

  • Dara says:

    Make sure you check to see when the Berea Craft Festival is before you try to go hike this trail. Hiking is closed during the festival weekend.

  • Christina says:

    I came across this site looking for a trail map. I regret to inform everyone that there was an article in the Richmond Register recently that poor Tillie has passed away. Here is a link to the article. She will be missed, I have had the pleasure of hiking with her a few times.
    http://richmondregister.com/localnews/x157729309/Memories-of-Tillie-the-Indian-Fort-Dog

  • Chelsea says:

    R.I.P. Tillie! I will miss our many adventures together :)

  • Ron Lindhorst says:

    Just met Tillie yesterday 9-15-2014- She is healthy, friendly and a joy to be around!

  • vicky says:

    I just hiked The Pinnacles on Sunday. Onced you get off the black top. The trail begins to elevate, onced you reach the level area your good. If you wish to go to the east pinnacles its a steep trail, but once you make it. The view is worth it. Now to get to the west is another steep climb with climbing rocks. Which is also a nice sight to see. Just so you know this trail is not a cake walk. So take your particularly coming back down the pinnacles.

  • vicky says:

    I just hiked The Pinnacles on Sunday. Onced you get off the black top. The trail begins to elevate, onced you reach the level area your good. If you wish to go to the east pinnacles its a steep trail, but once you make it. The view is worth it. Now to get to the west is another steep climb with climbing rocks. Which is also a nice sight to see. Just so you know this trail is not a cake walk. So take your time particularly coming back down the pinnacles.

  • Jessica says:

    I graduated in 2007 & used to hike with Tilley in 2005. I think if her anytime I thin of the pinnacle of look at pictures from our many hikes there. I hope she is still leading hikes. Any update on her would be appreciated.

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