Berea is a small town in Madison County that sits at the edge of central Kentucky’s Blue Grass Region. It is best known for its art festivals, historic buildings and restaurants, and Berea College, its liberal arts college. The Forestry Department of Berea College owns over 8,400 acres of forests, and boasts almost 12 miles of trail networks, which includes 9 miles of hiking trails that run through Indian Fort Mountain, and is home to the famous East and West Pinnacles hiking trails.


The Berea College Forest is among one of the oldest managed private forests in the United States. This area of Kentucky was inhabited by the Hopewell Indians, as well as the Adena and Shawnee Indians, dating back to the years 100 BC – 400 AD. This land is still an extremely active archaeological site, so when hiking here, you must be sure to keep on the designated trails, so there is no chance of possibly destroying important pieces of history.






There are over 9 miles of hiking trails on Indian Fort Mountain. I have compiled a list of the trails below, including the difficulty rating, trail length, elevation gain, and a small description of each trail. All the trails are dog-friendly, as long as your furry best friend is on a leash.





Indian Fort Theatre Trail

Trail Difficulty – Beginner/Easy

Trail Length      – 1.0 mile,  out and back


Indian Fort Theatre Trail is a moderately trafficked loop trail with an elevation gain of 22 feet. It is a mostly paved trail that loops behind the Indian Fort Amphitheater, continues on a gravel path through the valley, then there is a small bridge to cross over a stream. This trail is good for all skill levels, and is a great chance to spot wildlife as you get warmed up for more hiking trails that will take you to the mountaintops!







Indian Fort Lookout Trail

Trail Difficulty – Moderate

Trail Length      – 2.0 miles, out and back

Indian Fort Lookout Trail is a scenic hiking trail with an elevation gain of 626 feet, and is best hiked from June through November. This trail leads you through an awesome forest setting that ends at an overlook with a majestic view of the forest below.





East Pinnacle Trail

Trail Difficulty – Moderate

Trail Length      – 2.6 miles, out and back

The East Pinnacle Trail has an elevation gain of 574 feet. This is a moderately hiked, well maintained trail that is best hiked April through September.  Beware – once you reach the half-way point, you will encounter some switchback areas that will involve a bit of fun rock-climbing! When hiking this trail, there will be quite a few lookout points before you reach the “grand view” at the top of the pinnacle, which is especially gorgeous at sunrise!





West Pinnacle Trail

Trail Difficulty – Moderate

Trail Length       – 2.9 miles, out and back

The West Pinnacle is a heavily trafficked, well maintained trail with an elevation gain of 515 feet. This is a great trail to hike during any season of the year. Even though the view from this pinnacle is not quite as spectacular as it is from the East Pinnacle, you will pass through the gorgeous forest and have lots of awesome rock formations to view – and climb, if you dare!!





Eagles Nest Trail

Trail Difficulty – Moderate

Trail Length     –  3.2 miles, out and back

Eagles Nest is a moderately hiked trail with an elevation gain of 721 feet that offers a variety of terrain. The scenic view at the end of this trail features a very unique rock formation, and makes this trail well worth the climb!







Buzzards Roost Trail

Trail Difficulty – Moderate

Trail Length      – 3.6 miles, in and out

Buzzard’s Roost is a very scenic trail which ends at an overlook surrounded by trees. This trail would be an absolutely gorgeous hike in the fall, which is right around the corner!





I hope you have enjoyed this article on the hiking trails of Indian Fort Mountain and The Pinnacles in Berea, Kentucky.  I would like to offer you an open invitation to visit Berea!   If you are into camping, please look my husband and I up on the Hipcamp website or app, at The Missing Link Primitive Campsites.  Extending your adventure will give you an opportunity to spend a few days, just taking in the beauty of this area of Kentucky, and these absolutely gorgeous trails. You can locate us on Hipcamp, or I would be honored if you checked out the article “Our Hipcamp Primitive Campsite – “Scenic View” on my website.   I truly think you will be very glad that you decided to spend some awesome time in nature “taking a hike – and spending the night”!!
















  1. Thank you very much for this post. I like that you have given us just what we need in each description. I really liked the Weit Pinnacle Trail. And it’s 2.9 miles makes it perfect for the condition I am right now. I need something challenging but not to challenging because I am not completely fit.

    • Hi Abel!

      Thank you for your comment – I am very glad that you found the information you needed in my trail descriptions.   You will definitely get a great workout on any of the trails, but I think you have picked the perfect one with the West Pinnacle Trail.  Personally, I love the East Pinnacle Trail – IF I can get up there early enough to watch the sunrise – it is truly breathtaking!  Now you will just have to come take the hike!!  Thanks again, and have an awesome day!!


  2. Thank you for your informative post regarding hiking trails in Indian Fort Mountain area. Your info provided will for sure help people to choose the correct trail for their needs. 

    The place also looks really nice and the nature is amazing! I will keep in mind these trails in case I will come to Kentucky one day.

    Have a great day!

    • Hi Krista!

      Thank you for your comment on my post!  I am glad you found it informative, and that it will help people choose the correct trails for their needs and fitness levels.  You would love Kentucky, and if you do come for a visit, I would love to hear all about your experiences at Indian Fort Mountain!.  It is especially beautiful in Autumn, and the temperature is just right for hiking then also!

      Have a great day!



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