About Rockcastle Narrow Area
The Rockcastle Narrows is a beautiful area just north west of Laurel Lake. Several trails can be accessed here including the Rockcastle Narrows (503) and Rockcastle Narrows East (401). You can expect challenging trails that reward you with awesome views along Rockcastle River and Cain Creek. Rockcastle Narrows is the preferred scenic trail with an overlook of the Rockcastle Valley at the top.
Bee Rock campground is your starting place and a wonderful primitive camping experience. Walk the Old Sublimity Bridge or access the Rockcastle from the boat ramp for a nice paddling experience. Camping fees are $15 for single sites or $20 for double. First come first served. Only the Laural County side is open after October. Pit toilets and bear boxes are provided.
Rockcastle Narrows (Trail 503)
0.00 Time 12:05. Route starts at the walking bridge on the Laurel County (South) side at Bee Rock Campground. Cross Bridge and follow gravel road through campground
0.38 Bee Rock Loop Trail to left, Continue straight on gravel road.
0.66 Road ends at Trail head Rockcastle Narrows (503 white diamond)
0.97 Trail begins to leave the river passing through boulders as you move up the trail.
1.20 Trail marker 503
1.37 Cross foot bridge, trail continues to follow along river.
1.47 Cross foot bridge, continue to ascend past rock face on your left.
1.70 Trail marker 503
2.42 Trail moves along logging road, the cliffs to the left end and then start again.
2.47 Trail marker 503
2.90 Trail juncture, trail 403 goes left up hill, 503 continues straight along logging road.
3.00 Trail juncture, trail 503 continues to the right along the river.
3.08 Descend crossing small drainage then move back up.
3.27 Trail juncture, trail 503 turns left, straight ahead is beach narrows.
3.56 Trail switches back and steeply ascends.
3.70 Reach top of ridge. Cross Bee Rock road.
3.97 Time 2:18. Trail junction 503 ends. Continue on Bee Rock Trail (529).
4.18 Trail begins to ascend from ridge and then moves back up.
4.39 Trail turns left and begins to ascend. Continue straight 100 ft. to Overlook of Rockcastle river.
4.50 Trail passes thru rock house continuing below the ridge.
4.71 Cross wooden foot bridge.
4.88 Trail emerges to Bee Rock Campground. Turn right on gravel road to return to bridge.
5.13 Arrive bridge, time 3:07
Rockcastle Narrows East (401)
0:00 Time 9:23 Route starts at the walking bridge on the Laurel County (South) side at Bee Rock Campground. From bridge follow road towards boat ramp, Connector trail (401A White Diamond) leads up and to the right following along the river.
1.24 Trail winds in and out of boulders with some ups and downs.
1.93 Trail turns left past big rock and crosses Cane Creek. Look for white diamond trail marker across the creek.
2.00 Connector trail junction with Narrows East Loop (401 White Diamond). You can go right or left. We went left. Right is easier to follow.
3.30 Trail moves away from Rockcastle and crosses drainage. Trail is difficult to see. There is a downed tree with a blaze but the trail is not clear here. You should cross two drainages before the trail begins a long steep ascent.
4.18 Trail passes through rocks and emerges to Logging road. Time 2:35, Continue right up ridge.
4.48 Trail sign for Rockcastle trail, turn left to another juncture, then continue right and begin to descend. Sheltowee 1.25
5.40 Trail junction at Sheltowee (100), turn right following along this beautiful section that follows along VanHook branch.
6.50 Trail juncture, Sheltowee continues left, Rockcastle Narrows East turns up hill to the right.
7.20 Trail widens before bearing left across drainage.
7.42 Trail makes sharp left leaving logging road.
7.69 Trail begins to move down toward Cane Creek and away from the rock face.
8.00 Cross drainage and continue along Cane Creek.
8.39 Return to junction with Connector Trail. Cross Cane Creek and continue right tracing your route back to Rockcastle Campground.
10.26 Return to bridge Time 3:37.