This is another set of trails I only found out about by working on the JCTA web site. Its off of Shanty Hill Rd, which is right outside Wilmore off of KY29/High Bridge Rd. Shanty Hill Rd is kind of a hidden entrance so don’t miss it. As you pass through the three way stop at Lowry Lane coming out of Wilmore, the first right is a private drive, then Shanty Hill Ln is a one lane road on the right just up over the next little hill. There are signs there now. The Asbury Equine Center property is a short way down the road, where it takes a left – the entrance is well marked and is a right turn.
There is quite a variety here. You can stay on the short Hilltop trail for a fairly easy hike, or head down to the river for some surprisingly challenging trails. The trails up and down the 370ft elevation change are in only about 1/2 mile of travel. Once you are down at river level, the official Great Wall trail is only about a 0.4 miles round trip. Take the trail to the Spring/Cave for a real workout, and continue on the unofficial trail that continues on after the Great Wall Trail ends. Its hard to know exactly where it ends, but you’ll notice you have to do more scrambling and crouching to keep on the ‘trail.’ Because of the elevation change, you can get a good workout if you do all 2.6 miles of trails.
Another option is to do a combined paddle/hike. Put in at the Palisades Adventure Ramp just over in Mercer County just off US 68, and paddle up to dam 7, and on your way back, stop at the rock bar right at the Wilmore Water intake, walk up past the pumps and you’ll hit Pump Station Rd. Continue on the trail to the right, across the pedestrian bridge, and you’ll be at the Great Wall/Old Stage Road Trail intersection. That ends up being a nice 7 mile paddle, and up to a 1.5 mile hike without going up the hill, or you can go up the hill and do the whole 2.6 miles.