Robert Ruchhoft

Robert H Ruchhoft

August 22, 1924 – living


© Mark Treitel


Robert went to Withrow High School in Cincinnati before attending Miami University and then the University of Cincinnati for his graduate studies.  He retired from the University of Cincinnati, where he was an associate professor of history.  He was an avid hiker who wrote two books.  The second book was about backpacking in Ohio.  The first book is why he is listed here as an Arch Hunter.  He wrote Kentucky’s Land of the Arches – The Red River Gorge, which was first published in 1976.  This is the first known publication of or about Kentucky’s arches.


Robert’s book covers everything from the geology, to proposed trails, to canoeing the Red, to the arches.  It is filled with photographs, one of which is interesting to anyone that has visited the Gorge visiting arches.  He has a photograph of the Sky Bridge Overlook, that is now grown over with 30+ year old trees.  There use to be a really nice view of the arch from across the hollow. 


Robert started the book with an acknowledgements section.  In this he name drops the endless help he had while exploring the Gorge and those that helped him with his writing endeavor.  He mentions Carl Clark and Clarence Henson that had been exploring the Gorge for over 30 years by the 1970’s.  Henson’s name should be familiar to any regular visitor to the Gorge, with the Henson Arch Trail in Natural Bridge State Park.  Robert also mentions the help of Don Fig, who worked in the gorge for decades for the forest service.  He mentions about a dozen people who helped him with his explorations in the Gorge.  With writing this introductory section, Robert was documenting those that came before him and those that were out in the woods with him.  


Robert has shared his knowledge over the years, having been interviewed by the local newspapers in Cincinnati, sharing his knowledge of the dos and don’ts of hiking.  Also how to get started in hiking if you are green.  His advice from over 20 years ago still resonates with what advice would be given today to a new hiker. 



The cover of his book, Kentucky’s Land of the Arches – The Red River Gorge



MacDonald, S. (1985, May 18). Happy Trails To You. The Cincinnati Enquirer, p. D1 & D12.

Parrish, D. K. (1999, July 16). Where the sidewalk ends, a trail begins. The Cincinnati Enquirer, pp. 20–21.