FR 122 Dead-End Falls and Bolton Branch Falls

By Jeremy Patton

FR 122 Dead-End Falls and Bolton Branch Falls are located in Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County, Kentucky.

From London, drive west on KY-192 then turn right onto Line Creek Road (just before Cold Hill Grocery). Continue for about 2 miles then turn left onto Forest Road 121, also known as Cane Creek Road. Continue for about 5 miles to the end of the road. There is a wide gravel area and field where you can park.

Technically, the road does not end there. It turns into a dirt path that continues north for about 1.5 miles until it intersects with Line Creek Road.

FR 122 Dead-End Falls resides near the field. You should be able to hear it after significant rainfall. Its rock shelter is high, so it is best to walk upstream, cross it then climb down to the base of the waterfall through a small pass in the cliff-line. I do not know if this stream is a tributary of Bolton Branch or Cane Creek.

FR 121 Dead-End Falls 2/23/16

FR 121 Dead-End Falls 2/23/16

Return to FR 122 and follow it north. Hike for perhaps a mile, maybe more, and listen for a roar in the woods on your left. Bushwhack down into the ravine to its source: Bolton Branch Falls. The ravine is steep, so climbing down to the base of the waterfall can be tricky. I hiked upstream, forded the creek then climbed down to Bolton Branch from the west side. It was challenging, but worth the trouble.

Bolton Branch Falls 2/21/16

Bolton Branch Falls 2/21/16

My friend Chris told me about FR 122 Dead-End Falls, but the large, secluded Bolton Branch Falls was an unexpected discovery. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Laurel County.

Part of the hike to Bolton Branch Falls is off-trail. I do not consider it terribly difficult, but you should not attempt it unless you are in shape and have a good sense of direction.

Delania and Jeremy at FR 121 Dead-End Falls on 5/4/16

Delania and Jeremy at FR 121 Dead-End Falls on 5/4/16

Added 8/25/16 – Updated 9/1/16