County considers closing popular trails at Lockogee Rock

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ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A fall from a popular hiking and climbing spot near Morehead has Rowan County officials again taking to federal parks about closing off Lockogee Rock.

According to the Rowan News, the Rowan County Fiscal Court and Judge Executive Harry Clark brought up options during the board’s meeting this week.

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That came after a man fell 40 feet last week and suffered serious injuries, according to the newspaper.

Clark said he had spoken with Cumberland District Forest Ranger Jon Kazmierski following the accident, and Kazmierski had broached the subject of closing the entire length of the road and turning it into a bike/pedestrian trail, the newspaper said.

Lockogee Rock is in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest south of Morehead off Highway 519.
Highway 1274 and Clack Mountain Road lead to the area.
Last week’s fall was not the first one. In September 2016, Morehead State student Trevor Potter fell and narrowly missed fatal injuries.
A March 13 story in the Morehead State student newspaper detailed the popularity of the area, describing it as everything from “a go-to party place, as well as a scenic meeting spot.”

Alexandra Smith, The Baptist Campus Ministry’s President, who uses the location for meetings to get out of a routine setting, despite the other reputation the rock formation holds, injuries from falls.

“I would say it’s decently safe, but some people would probably disagree,” Smith said in the article.

Although most injuries are minor, there have been incidents where people have fallen and been severely injured.

“Definitely go with someone who has gone before and is comfortable,” said Smith. “The key is just doing what the people in front of you do.”

Lockegee, located along Clack Mountain Road, is a very popular hiking area with Morehead State University students.

The trail leading to Lockegee Rock is generally easily traversed, the article said. It is used mainly for hiking year-round and the southern view is Cave Run Lake.

Many people enjoy utilizing the rocks unimpeded view to observe sunrises and sunsets, according to the story.

While it is now a generation-old rite of passage, people still need to take precautions to not be reckless. Lockegee should remain a fun place that remains unimpeded by others disregard for basic safety, so that the tradition may remain intact, the reporters wrote.

“Stay on the trail,” said Smith. “Always stay on the trail.”