Who doesn’t love an epic overlook?! Luckily for us, the Daniel Boone National Forest has no shortage of impressive vistas. Among the most impressive, and one of the easiest to reach, is Buzzard Rock in the McCreary County portion of the forest.

This short hike will take you to an impressive, though sadly often spray-painted, overlook of the Cumberland River. It also happens to be a fantastic spot to catch a sunset!

The Hike at a Glance

Difficulty: Easy
Length: About 1 mile
Hazards: Large cliffs and potentially slick rocks (in wet/icy conditions). Unofficial Trail.
Rating: 5/5
Landform: View on Kentucky Landforms
Photography: View on The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Sunset from Buzzard Rock.
A sunset from Buzzard Rock. Image courtesy of Josh Lowe.

Getting There

To start this hike, you will need to park at a small pull off on Forest Road 663 (called Big Creek Road on Google Maps). The GPS coordinates for the spot you want to park at are: 36.79577, -84.51890.

The following Google Map should help you find it.

Once you get your car parked and secured and your backpack strapped on you’re ready to start the hike!

The Hike

Buzzard Rock Trail Map.
Overview of the Buzzard Rock Hike. The beautiful LiDAR map is courtesy of Christopher Morris.

Looking to the west of where you parked, look for a well defined user trail going into the woods. You will simply follow this trail for about a half mile before it dead-ends at the rock outcropping that we call Buzzard Rock.

Click here to download a topo map of this hike!
Click here to download a topo map with LiDAR for this hike!
Click here to download a GPS track for this hike!

This is an extremely easy hike, only totaling about 1 mile round-trip with a total of a whopping 141 feet of elevation gain. You really can’t get much easier than this one!

Elevation profile for the hike to Buzzard Rock. Note that this graph is drawn at a 1:2 scale. This means that the vertical component is exaggerated by two to be easier to read. Courtesy of Christopher Morris.

In terms of bang for your buck, this is a hard hike to beat! A short, easy hike to one of the best overlooks in the state. What’s not to love?!