This is a fun eight-mile loop combining French Lick's Buffalo Trace Trail and Waterfall Trail. Hikers will tackle moderate to steady climbs and enjoy fun sections of descending. Expect some areas of rocky and technical trail and a beautiful, if smaller waterfall.
From the parking area, follow the paved trail west and then across the golf course to reach the Buffalo Trace Trail on the other side of West Country Road 25 South. Head left to begin a clockwise loop on the mountain as mapped. To change things up, hikers could head counter-clockwise, but this finishes with a shorter descent at the end.
The easy grades and smooth trail at the start pass quickly, and hikers will soon find themselves at the intersection with the Waterfall Trail at mile 1.65. Turn left to transition to a rougher and rockier trail that will make you work harder through steeper climbs, a rock gully, and a stream crossing. There's also a nice small waterfall to enjoy!
Around five-miles, the Waterfall Trail ends back on the Buffalo Trace Trail. Bear left for a little bit of descending before the hike's final climb to the top of the West Side of Mt. Airie. All that's left is a couple miles of descending with a few short climbs mixed in.