Hike to Hickory Flats Firetower

1.2 miles 435 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Drew Wright

This hike is a hidden gem and provides unobstructed 360 degree sweeping views of the surrounding landscape!

To find the starting point navigate straight to the marker pin. At the end of the paved road, a gravel road will start. Just a couple hundred feet up the gravel road on the left there is a gate. Park infront of the gate (not in the road). Vehicles are not permitted but the Daniel Boone National Forest welcomes foot traffic past this point! Lock up your car, grab your gear and walk around the gate and continue up the gravel road for about a half mile until you reach the top of the hill. This part can get a little tiresome on a hot day so take a break if necessary! Once you reach the top of the hill continue on the gravel road some more and after about 300 feet it will start going downhill again, continue a bit further from here downhill. There will be two spots where the road forks off to the left and turns to dirt. This is the trickiest part. The dirt road you want to take is the second dirt road, just before the gravel road bends to the right. Take the second dirt road and stay to the right. This road goes UPHILL (this road forks off again to the left and goes downhill, don't go this way.) Though this can be a little tricky, just remember "Dirt road, goes uphill" as the firetower is at the main top of the hill. (If you're still having trouble, you will most likely have cell service. Pull out your phone and do a quick check on google maps. you should be able to see the road you need to take as well as the cabin on top of the hill.) Once you're on this road continue back up the hill for 0.1 miles until you reach the top. When you get there you will be greeted by the Hickory Flats Firetower and the Outpost Cabin. You are more than welcome to ascend the steps and take in the view from the top! 

Hickory Flats FIretower is one of two firetowers in the area. The other tower, Tater Knob Tower, is currently closed to the public after it was badly damaged by a fire. The Hickory Flats Firetower was built by the US Forest Service and sits at 80ft tall with a 7'x7' wooden cab on the top with windows all around. It is registered with the National Historic Lookout Register (NHLR) and is a wonderful piece of history that is there to be protected, respected, and enjoyed! 

If you are hiking this is the summer, be cautious when you enter the cab at the top as there could possibly be a wasp nest in the eves of the cab! 

Read More




Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Awesome Photo Op

Description is accurate. This is a fun, intermediate level hike. Best piece of national park history.

Stay Nearby

Clearfield, Kentucky

Boat Gunnel Group Campground

Overview Boat Gunnel Group Campground is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest on Cave Run Lake. Widely known for its scenic beauty and varied outdoor recreation opportunities, Cave Run Lake...

Clearfield, Kentucky

Twin Knobs Campground

Overview Nestled on the shores of Cave Run Lake, this camp is part of the larger Twin Knobs Recreation Area. There are more than 200 sites spread out over 10 loops under a dense forest of mixed co...

Salt Lick, Kentucky

Zilpo Daniel Boone Nat. For.

Overview Zilpo, a large, fun-filled campground on Cave Run Lake, is a prime destination for families. The scenic campground offers a cabin rental, tent camping, RV sites with electric hookups and a...

Grayson, Kentucky

Grayson Lake Damsite Shelters

Overview Grayson Lake Dam Site Shelters are just seven miles south of Grayson, Kentucky on state Route 7 on Grayson Lake. Recreational activities abound on and around this 20-mile long lake. Boatin...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Caney Loop Trail at Cave Run Lake

    Starting at the Stoney Cove Trailhead, take the trail to the left. This trail was previously marked as trail #1226. However, after the Sheltowee Trace Trail #100 was rerouted, they now run together. Therefore, the trail is very well marked by a wh...

    8.8 miles 1047 ft gain

  • Hike to Tater Knob Fire Tower

    Starting at the trailhead hikers will follow a clearly marked trail for 0.5 miles. The trail gains elevation quickly and can be strenuous. The tower is currently closed due to arson damage and is one of the few remaining in the Daniel Boone Nation...

    1 miles 200 ft gain

  • Hike to Lick Falls

    The Grayson Lake State Park has two trails – the Lick Falls Loop Trail, and the 0.8 mile Beech-Hemlock Forest Trail. Lick Falls is best done after a rain, to make sure the falls are flowing. A trail map of the park can be found here.

    3 miles

  • Paddle Kinniconick Creek

    For information on put-in locations, mileage, gauge readings, and fishing refer to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife's website: http://fw.ky.gov/Fish/Pages/Ki... Make sure to check the gauge levels before putting in to ensure a proper w...