By Jeremy Patton
Pond Branch Falls is located in Laurel County, Kentucky.
I have taken the liberty of naming this series of waterfalls that occurs on a small tributary of Pine Creek. If I learn that the tributary has an official name, I will correct this article.
Pond Branch Path (again, my name) is an unofficial path that leaves Pine Creek Church Road, crosses a field then parallels a stream that cascades to Pine Creek. I cannot confirm that the entire path is located on national forest land, so I will not provide directions at this time.
After a stroll through the field, the path led to the woods. Near the edge of the woods, I found an area where some imbecile had dumbed trash, such as paint cans, batteries and measuring cups. I do not know much about redneck drug-making, but this seemed suspicious.
Once I entered the woods, the path hugged a stream. I bushwached into the ravine and found several small waterfalls. To keep things simple, I call them collectively Pond Branch Falls #1.
A second waterfall with its own rock shelter occured on a stream just before it flowed into Pond Branch: Pond Branch Tributary Falls.
After about half a mile, I reached Pine Creek. It flowed well after several days of rain, so I turned around because I did not want to get wet. It was not a dangerous crossing, however, and the path continued for travelers prepared to ford the creek.
A large, emerald pond resided near the path, just before reaching the creek. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Pond Branch flowed into the pond…hence the name. I doubt that it was natural; the stream probably flowed into Pine Creek before it was disrupted by mining activities.