Red River Gorge

Action-packed Outdoor Fun in Daniel Boone National Forest, KY

Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky is a popular place for outdoor sports, hiking, and camping. It is also home to the world-famous Natural Bridge.

Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Slade, Kentucky is a great place for an outdoor adventure. The most popular activities include hiking, canoeing, climbing, and camping. (Mountain biking is not allowed at Red River Gorge)

Canoeing and Climbing at the Red River Gorge

Canoeing is a popular activity at Red River Gorge. Visitors are welcome to rent a kayak or canoe or bring their own. The rapids vary between class I, II, and III, meaning enthusiasts will experience an adventure, not knowing what to predict. The mountainous region known for beautiful arching rock formations and dense forests, creating quite a view for those paddling down the river.

Red River Gorge is a rock climber’s heaven. With hundreds of beginner to advanced climbing routes, it’s a great place for climbers of all levels. There’s no charge to climb, climbers just need to bring their own equipment. (Inexperienced climbers can hire a local guide to teach them the basics and show them the routes.)

There is a climbing guidebook for Red River Gorge, which is really a must-have. Several of the climbing routes are off road and climbers need directions or a map to find them. The book details each and every route, rates it, and gives a few pointers for the tougher climbs. Red River Gorge: Rock Climbs 2nd Edition by Ray Ellington can be purchased in sporting stores nearby or online. The guidebook can also be accessed free online here.

Hiking and Camping at Red River Gorge

There are trails at the Gorge from less than a mile to over fifteen miles. One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World can also be found in the Daniel Boone Natural Forest, it’s called Natural Bridge. Natural Bridge is an enormous natural sandstone arch that attracts visitors from all over the United States each year.

There are many different options for camping at Red River Gorge. With a simple parking pass that can be bought at the local gas station, campers can park on the side of the road or in a small lot and camp in the forest, provided that they stay back from the trails. Many campers, especially climbers, will tent camp for the night at Miguel’s Pizza, the local hot spot. Miguel’s has a lot out back for campers who are required to pay $2 per night. Showers and breakfast is available at Miguel’s, but those amenities are not included in the $2 price.

Cabins and cottages are available for rent through several local companies, as are lot spaces for RVs.

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