Ike Branch Arch

By Jeremy Patton

Ike Branch Arch is located in Daniel Boone National Forest, Laurel County, Kentucky.

Jeremy Patton beneath Ike Branch Arch 12/23/16

Regrettably, I will not reveal arch locations because they are common targets of vandalism.

This is why I do not reveal arch locations 12/23/16

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.

A view of the arch complex from downstream

The Bearded Dwarf

Arch within the main pillar

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.

Little Ike Branch Arch 2/4/17

The Bearded Dwarf at Little Ike Branch Arch 12/23/16

Tornado Arch 2/4/17

Tornado Arch 12/23/16

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.

Clark Bottom Arch

Clark Bottom Arch 2/4/17

There is more exploring to do, which might reveal more arches.

Added 4/3/17 – Updated 4/7/17