We love hiking out to see a new waterfall, so this past weekend, we headed out to find Lick Creek Falls and rediscover Princess Falls. We found Princess Falls a few months back but on this trip we were determined to find Lick Creek Falls as well. We ended up taking a 3 mile side trip in the wrong direction, but then found some friendly backpackers who showed us the right trail. Since these falls are so pretty, but a bit hard to find, I’ve got step by step directions to help you get there your first time out! Let’s get out there and discover these beautiful waterfalls in Kentucky!
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Where to Find Princess Falls
Find the Trailhead
If you are driving south from Whitley City on US 27 in Kentucky, turn right on KY 92 and continue 6 1/2 miles until you reach the Yamacraw Bridge.
Parking is off to the right just before crossing the bridge. There is no fee to park.
The trail to Princess Falls is approximately 1.25 miles. You will follow the trail sign that says Sheltowee Trace. Cross the small foot bridge and begin your hike. You will first come to a fork in the trail giving you the option to go to the left or straight ahead. You will want to stay straight on the Sheltowee Trace trail.
There is a small waterfall to the right on your trail as you continue toward Princess Falls. It is not always flowing but after the rain, it’s a nice little side view.
The trail to Princess Falls is not overly strenuous, but you should definitely be aware of your surroundings. We did see 2 snakes on our hike, one garter, and one copperhead. Just be aware of where you are stepping and you will be fine. But a good hiking stick is a great thing to keep with you! Right now we have been using a simple wooden stick, but we have been thinking about buying these great hiking sticks.
As you continue on the trail, you will see a wooden bridge off to the left. This bridge will cross you over Lick Creek. Don’t make the mistake we did by crossing the bridge and walking an additional 3 miles round trip. Trust me, it’s a beautiful hike but it’s not the best trail to take you to Princess Falls and Lick Creek Falls.
Once you see the bridge to the left, keep going straight .2 miles to get to Princess Falls.
Princess Falls is the first of two waterfalls one will view when trekking up the Lick Creek Valley from the Big South Fork basin. Princess Falls, is just over a mile from the trailhead in the Yamacraw Day Use Area of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Located east of Yamacraw bridge on west KY Hwy 92.
Princess Falls is a beautiful waterfall with lots of great places for pictures. You can go up to the side view and get a beautiful view from the top.
Or you can walk down to the bottom of the waterfall and enjoy some fun climbing over the rocks, exploring and enjoying the spray from the water.
There are some great rocks to sit on and even a place where people have built a campfire. I think this would be a great place to bring our travel hammocks, a picnic and a great book!
Whether you stop at the bottom of the falls or on the top and enjoy the overlook, do everyone a favor though and remember to take out any trash you carry in! We always carry this Kelty Sling Backpack because it is large enough for several bottles of water, snacks and simple first aid kit, but light enough to not make it difficult to carry on our hikes.
Now you get to decide. Do you turn back and call it a day or head on out to Lick Creek Falls? If you choose to keep on going, then you go to the top of Princess Falls and hike for about 2 miles. I’ll share a step by step guide with pictures later on this week.
23 years ago we said “I Do”! So today we celebrated with a 9 mile hike out to Princess Falls and Lick Creek Falls! . . . #princessfalls #WilliamsOnTheGo #lickcreekfalls #Hiking #Kentucky #KentuckyHiking #sheltoweetrace #sheltoweetracetrail #mccrearycounty @mccrearyadventures #HappyAnniversary #23yearstogether #23yearsandgoingstrong #kysummer #kyadventures #kentuckygram #lickcreek @srwilliams72 #bigsouthfork #bigsouthforknationalpark @bigsouthforknps #danielboonenationalforest #nationalforest
Looking for other waterfalls to hike to in Kentucky? Check out this growing list of our favorite Kentucky waterfall hikes!