By Jeremy Patton
Ike Branch Arch is located in Daniel Boone National Forest, Laurel County, Kentucky.
Regrettably, I will not reveal arch locations because they are common targets of vandalism.
It is actually an arch complex. An acquaintance trusted me with directions, but did not hint at such an impressive series of formations. I counted five arches in the complex and discovered three more elsewhere in the area.
The complex was easy to find using an unmarked trail, but more difficult to access. I could only get a partial view of it from above. I was told that a rope could be used to climb down; I located it, but deemed it unsafe. I followed the ridge until I found a pass, descended into the ravine then walked upstream to the arch.
There is so much going on geologically, I will let the photos do most of the talking. A few observations:
While walking upstream, I found two separate arches in the cliffs. I call them Little Ike Branch Arch and Tornado Arch. I think the second arch looks like a sculpture of a tornado, hence the name.
A deep rockhouse was perched above the complex on the left. A small arch adorned its doorway.
A waterfall resided at the back of the ravine, but I have yet to see it stronger than a drip. If I can photograph it flowing, I will call it Ike Branch Falls and add it to my “Waterfalls” page.
I discovered another arch in the area, but further down the unmarked trail. I call it Clark Bottom Arch.
There is more exploring to do, which might reveal more arches.
Added 4/3/17 – Updated 4/7/17