If a photographer landed on your doorstep asking you to take him to get some photographs of interesting places on Stinking Creek, where would you go? Sure you would reply, “There are many interesting things on this creek, let us take a ride.”
You could start anywhere, but let’s start with the Dewitt school with its two cemeteries in the front yard bordering the playground. It is just two miles up to the Lend-A-Hand Center nestled in the bend of Big Fork of Stinking Creek. A few miles farther up Big Creek of Stinking Creek is Laurel Branch with its narrow road which opens up to a prosperous farm with several houses. Across KY 718 is Lost Fork with its groves of cedar, beech, mountain laurel and rhododendron.
The road up past Pigeon Roost quickly deteriorates to a mountain road so narrow and full of sharp turns that you quickly become anxious about what to do if you should meet another vehicle going the opposite direction. Up at the very top of Pigeon Roost on a vehicle road is Slusher Gap where once stood a simple frame one-room church. It disappeared several years ago; I still mourn the loss of its history. The old graveyard is still there with many old gravestones and some modern ones. What a history those stones could tell. It is also a good spot for huckleberries and blueberries. Just remember if you go during berry time both bears and rattlesnakes also love the berries.
Up Middle Fork of Stinking Creek you could experience Browns Branch with its narrow and dangerous road. Of course it you drive up the road you will have to come back down the same road. A little farther up the road is a prosperous looking church at the mouth of Macroe Branch. The interesting thing there is the name of the church―the Salt Gum Baptist Church. However the Salt Gum road and branch are several miles on up Middle Fork on KY 223.
You are just really getting started on Stinking Creek with its two main roads of KY 223 and KY 718 forming the Stinking Creek Loop which can be confusing unless you have a good map; then it makes sense. There are many interesting things to see on Stinking Creek and even many more stories. This is a good time of the year to travel up the creek as the trees have lost their leaves so you can see more.