River to River Trail and Shawnee Forest Exploration
River to River Trail Hike
Panther Hollow RNA (New) 8-22

Panther Hollow RNA (New) 8-22

I returned to Panther Hollow on a rare summer cool day (low 80’s) to get some photos with leaves on. The hike to Panther Hollow was decent for summer.

The hike along Cane Creek was Brutal. 8ft reeds and chest high weeds. My permethrin sprayed clothes and dry conditions kept the ticks and chiggers away. I did get some stinging nettle spots, and no poison ivy but a couple mosquito bites on my hands. Not too bad.

Summer is one of the worst times to bushwhack in the Shawnee. I could have gone along the tops of the bluffs like I did last year, but nothing much to see up there. And seeing bluffs was the point.

Finneyville road is rough coming up the hill but I managed to get the Mini up it.

Look for forest Road 172A marker. You can turn around in it, or drive in a little ways and park to the side where it widens out. I just park on the side of Finnyville road.

Follow the road North. It isn’t a road any more but you can follow where it goes. Keep an eye in the East side for 2 old homestead sites.

The faint trail is hard to follow in one spot in the pines around a couple fallen trees but you will pick it back up in a few yards, keep heading North. The road I think led to a firetower up on top of the bluff, though I couldn’t found any footings or other evidence to back it up.

Just before the roadbed climbs the bluff there is a boundary marker in the road. Turn left and downhill slightly to follow the base of the bluff West and then it will eventually take you East.

a mix of nature and artifacts on this trip.

The road bed gets bushy in places. This is the area the homesteads were.
TURN LEFT AND DOWNHILL HERE! That sunny spot on the other side of the bush is the faint trail (another old road around the base).
Now you are glad you came.
Some people see faces in the bluffs.
Or angry Iguanas
The pointiest rock on the hike. Center left.

Lots of interesting stuff along this bluff line.
I’ve been through there but not today. LONG way to go.
A high up shelter cave on the way. No more faint trails from here on in on this trip.
Curving along the bluffs into Panther Hollow and the waterfall at the South end. (Private land further South)
Sun in the morning illuminates the roof. Dark ripples are fossil plants I think.
My camera couldn’t cope with this angle.
The waterfall was dry today. The cave behind it is unusual.
heading back North on East side of Panther Hollow. You can walk through that gap halfway up but it peters out around the curve and it’s a long way down. You have to continue on the ground.
There is a small shelter cave and a fire ring up there.

Now if it is summer and you are smart, you will continue along the bluff, see a smaller version of Sand Cave then turn back for a 3+ mile in and back. If it is summer and you are me, you will have to bushwhack across the creek bed and North West to Cane Creek and along it to the Ohio River. So I did.

The track of this trip.

Not sure what that elevation means. The highest point in this whole area is only just shy of 100ft. and that is West from the Ohio on the North side of Cane Creek.

Rusty pipe I sat near a tree along Cane Creek
Cane Creek wasn’t flowing, but there were steep sides around deep pools that made me wade weeds around them.
First glimpse if the Ohio at last!
River Boat passing.
That little ditch over there is cane creek. Great day to be outdoors.
I ate lunch on this rock just downhill from the big homestead site. That reddish thing was my pack on top.

The arrowhead I found in the rock washed out from the hill on top says this area has been used for a long time. I carried it in my shirt pocket for safe keeping.
the homesteads first cistern, or well.

This thing normally under several feet of water was the homesteads first cistern, or well. (IMO) when the locks and dams were built in the 1930’s they raised the Ohio enough to cover this, so the homestead had to build a cistern higher up. That means the grey rock was pretty high above the water then. It also means that back before the 30’s the Ohio was a LOT smaller river, I think I read about 100 ft across. NOW you know how the cannons at Battery Rock could be positioned to fire on Confederate ships. They just sighted them where the ships had to go.

Up the hill into the woods where the homestead was is the second cistern. There are gutter pipes still stuck in the cistern, and coming out of the homestead foundation rocks. (I took an old barrel off this, took the photo and put it back.)

Hey ma, is that soup done yet? A bit of a crack and too heavy to carry out anyway. A cast iron hanging pot?

3 levels of stone walled foundations. With all the barrels and river access this might have been a business. It also had road access. there was a driveway/ road up the ridge over to Finneyville road at one time.
The homestead was right next to cane creek too.

I headed back along the bluff just lower than the top. That’s where the best stuff to see is.

Does that seem safe?
A couple nice shelter bluffs along the way. No camping in Panther Hollow RNA but this is Buckhart Hollow which is regular Shawnee Forest.
I traveled across the top of the bluff last year and found the homestead area above this where it washed down from. No cistern up there but one of those shallow round ponds. And bricks.
Oil can has seen better days.
No idea.
Some of Cane Creek on the way back.

That little jog over and down to the left, then back up was down the wrong tributary. That’s actually a square of private land that goes to the creek that I didn’t mean to go into. It isn’t posted but I don’t travel on private land without permission unless I’m lost. That was it! I won’t go back if I can help it in the summer. Not recommended in the Summer!