Facebook group leads hikers to Kentucky’s natural wonders

Spirit of the Bluegrass

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – Cumberland Falls is one of the state’s natural wonders and most visited tourist attractions.

Photographers Bill Fultz and Chris Morris have been there more times than they can count.

“I like to go back to the same waterfalls over and over because they always look different,” said Fultz, explaining that water levels and the seasons can really change a waterfall’s appearance.

But these two often venture beyond state parks and marked trails in their quest for good photographs.

Morris said the hikes are a way for him to recharge after a week of work.

In 2014, Fultz started the Facebook group “Kentucky Waterfalls, Arches and Landscapes,” so he could share some of his favorite photos. It slowly gained followers until 2020. Then the site soared in popularity as people looked for safe places to go and things to do during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When everything was shut down, there were 1,500 people joining a day. It was pretty insane,” Fultz said.

Now, the site has more than 178 thousand followers.

One of the photographers’ goals is to introduce people to places that aren’t as well-known, locations that are off the beaten path and well worth the hike.

“We’re looking at 2,500 arches in the state of Kentucky, almost 900 documented waterfalls, and close to 200 overlooks,” Fultz said.

Although he and Morris probably know more about the state’s hidden wonders than almost anyone, the Facebook group has led them to some discoveries.

“Once you lay eyes on (something new to you), it’s a lot of fun,” Morris said. “You might yell and scream and get pretty excited when you find some cool stuff.”

What’s not cool is the amount of damage they discover, and it’s caused them to question how much they should share.

“Another goal is responsibility out in the forest,” Fultz said. “You know, spray paint, camping under arches, all that stuff damages them. It’s frustrating.”

But they believe the people drawn to their site are like them — nature lovers looking for beauty — who will take nothing but photographs.

“It’s been a really gratifying experience,” Fultz said.

MORE SPIRIT OF THE BLUEGRASS:

For More Information:

Kentucky Landforms – Has a completely consolidated website of Kentucky’s arches, waterfalls, and overlooks. The website has a clickable map that features GPS locations and photos. 

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