Posted by Michael Wallace – Sep 10th 2021
Michael Wallace and the crew over at J&H Outdoors loves the outdoors, even more specifically the Red River Gorge! This article will dive deep into the woods of The Red – get a glimpse into some amazing trails recommendations with a location map, the best gear to bring along with you, and some cozy accommodations if you aren’t up to sleeping on the ground!
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Indian Staircase
The Red River Gorge is a fantastic place for outdoor adventures in the heart of Kentucky. There are tons of Geologic features scattered throughout the park; A myriad of sandstone arches, cliff overlooks, backpacking trails, and camping opportunities. The gorge contains hikes ranging in difficulty so everyone, from the seasoned thru-hiker to the person who ‘got dragged here by my outdoorsy friend,’ can enjoy some nature.
If you are like me, my cell service sucks when I get into the park. If there is somewhere in the Gorge I have not been to before, I will geo tag it on google maps and save a local map that works even if cell service does not work. In the map link below, you’ll be able to access all of the Trails and Points of Interest listed below to make a quick trip out to the gorge.
Want to find more hikes and avoid the crowds in RRG? Check out our Kentucky Hiking Article here.
Need trail guides to help with planning and recommendations? Check those out here
Need to gear up for your next trip? Check out what we have in stock in:
Trails and Points of Interest in Red River Gorge
Our Staff Picks for the Best Hikes in Red River Gorge
*Please note, these are rough estimations where the trailheads and points of interest are. Be sure to reference maps, guides, and trail markers for your own safety.
- Eagle Point Buttress VIA The Osbourne Trailhead – Great for day hikes and back country camping.
- Auxier Ridge, Double Arch & Courthouse Rock Via Auxier Ridge Trailhead – Great for backpacking (especially beginners), camping, and day hikes.
- Creation Falls, Rock Bridge & Turtle Back Arch Via Rock Bridge Hike Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping day hikes, wading, has a waterfall, and hikes with the whole family.
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Cloudsplitter Rock as seen from Sheltowee Trace
Red River Gorge Backpacking Hikes with Arches
- Gray’s Arch Via Gray’s Arch Trailhead – Great for day hiking.
- Princess Arch VIA Princess Arch Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Buzzard’s Roost & Sky Bridge Via Sky Bridge Picnic Area Parking Lot – Great for day hiking.
- Whistling Arch VIA Whistling Arch Trailhead – Great for backpacking, and day hiking.
- Moonshiner’s Arch VIA The Copperas Creek Unofficial Trailhead – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Hidden Arch VIA Koomer Ridge Backpacking Parking Lot – Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Silvermine Arch VIA Koomer Ridge Backpacking Parking Lot– Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
- Whittleton Arch Via Whittleton Branch Trail – Great for day hiking, and camping.
- Star Gap Arch VIA Star Gap Arch Trail– Great for backpacking, camping, and day hiking.
Red River Gorge Scenic Hikes with Vistas and Overlooks
- Sheltowee Trace Suspension Bridge & Jump Rock VIA The Red River Gorge Parking Lot
- Chimney Top Rock Overlook Via Chimney Rock Trailhead
- Half Moon Rock Via Chimney Rock Road
- Hanson’s Point VIA Pitch-Em-Tight Trailhead
Photo courtesy of Michael Wallace | Chimney Rock as seen from Halfmoon Rock
Where to Camp in Red River Gorge
Camping On the Trail
The gorge lacks a large amount of official campgrounds, but there are ample areas on the trail to camp. Most trails with have clearly defined areas where the underbrush has been cleared, and there is clear evidence that the campsite has been used. Please Do not camp in the areas the USFS has set aside for regrowth (they will be marked with a sign) and do your part in Leave No Trace Ethics. If you bring it in, take it out. If we do not take care of the Gorge, it will not be around for long.
You can camp in backcountry areas if you follow these rules:
Camping is prohibited…
- Within 300 feet of any developed road.
- Within 300 feet of any Forest Service Trail.
- Within 600 feet of Gray’s Arch.
- In any picnic or parking area.
- Within 100 feet of the base of any cliff, or back of any rock shelter.
The following is also prohibited
- Building, maintaining, attending and using a fire, campfire or stove within 100 feet of the base of any cliff, or the back of a rock shelter.
- All overnight parking in the Daniel Boone National Forest requires a parking permit. These are $3 for a single night, $5 for three nights, and $30 for an annual pass. These can be picked up at the Gladie Visitors Center, our store in Lexington, and various local stores (like the Shell station just off of the Mountain Parkway) throughout the Daniel Boone National Forest.
- Only park in areas with designated parking signs.
Cabins in the Red River Gorge
Is primitive camping not your style? Let us take it from here! At StayOver we have a total of 35 cabins and cottages spread all throughout the Gorge in Campton, Stanton, Pine Ridge, Rogers, and others close to RRG. Our selection contains a variety of cabins ranging from tiny cabins to large luxury family cabins. Our properties include some of the most sought out amenities such as hot tubs, pet friendly options, WiFi, spacious fire pits, exclusive and well maintained hiking trails, climbing areas, and more.
And we will be there every step of the way (if you want us there)! We offer complimentary guest support that includes a team of specialists dedicated to finding our guests the perfect home to stay in and a personal concierge service to assist with details big and small. With features like ours, you may be in the mountains, but you definitely won’t be roughing it!
For more information about cabins in the Red River Gorge Area you can visit www.stayovernow.com or call 606-268-8787 to book your next adventure.
Happy Trails Everyone!