Buyer beware! Hinterlands is the book the Forest Service doesn't want you to read, lest ye be corrupted. Like Catcher in the Rye, or The Bell Jar, Hinterlands is not to be trifled with, and, for your protection, has thus been blacklisted, censored, or something very similar, along with Jerrell's other books, at State and National Parks in Kentucky. Tread carefully, oh seeker of adventure, on your forays into these strange and exotic lands. The wise among you should turn away now, but those not easily daunted should know that . . .

Hinterlands is an "insider" guide to hiking the Red River Gorge region of Kentucky. It showcases user-created trails; those not included in the Red River Gorge Trail Guide or other hiking guides. There are as many miles of these trails as there are official trails, and many are quite enjoyable. More than a few are extraordinary, and while Hinterlands technically supplements the official hiking, the attractions therein probably outnumber, and often outshine, those found on the official trails. Some of these attractions, such as the scenery along the Douglas Trail (left) and Eagle Point Buttress (below) are classic "must-do" destinations that you will simply not want to miss. Indian Staircase, Cloud Splitter, Half Moon, Hanson's Point, Tarr Ridge, and many other attractions will impress even the most discriminating and well-traveled outdoor adventurers.



Many of the most prized attractions in the Red River Gorge are, quite literally, "off the beaten path." While the Forest Service lacks either the desire or werewithal to properly develop and maintain trails to such attractions, hikers have known about and have been visiting, many of them for decades. Attractions like Indian Staircase--situated in one of the most beautiful spots in Kentucky-- and Cloud Splitter have attracted countless visitors over the years, yet still remain "unofficial." Hinterlands provides detailed directions to virtually all these attractions and rates them according to desirability and difficulty. Since first published in 2007, it has become the de facto guide to user-created trails in the Red River Gorge and Clifty Wilderness Area. Several of the trails in Hinterlands are marginally dangerous, while others are extemely casual.

The author has climbed, hiked, and biked in the Red River Gorge region for over three decades. His familiarity with the region extends far beyond his published guidebooks. He first visited many of the places featured in Hinterlands while looking for "trad" lines, long before sport-climbing, and the crowds, arrived to change the Red forever. He has also hiked, biked, and climbed in many other regions of the United States.