Miles of Hiking in The Kentucky Wildlands

Explore the incredible hiking trails of The Kentucky Wildlands. With over 600 miles of pristine national forest trails, enjoy getting lost among the unique natural wonders the forest has to offer. Trek alongside beautiful cascading waterfalls and explore towering sandstone cliffs. The options for hiking in this Appalachian region are truly unlimited with trails ranging from easy to challenging.

Adventures in Daniel Boone National Forest

In the Daniel Boone National Forest you’ll find more than 708,000 sprawling acres filled with hundreds of trails to explore. Ideal for both day hiking and backpacking, you’ll find adventure along every trail. The forest offers many connected trailways providing abundant wildlife and breathtaking views at every turn. Want a hiking trail the whole family will enjoy? Try the Sky Bridge Trail, a one mile loop with plenty of family-friendly adventure and beautiful sights — and don’t forget to bring your pup, as this trail is perfect for your furry friends too! If you’re looking for a more advanced hike, The Sand Gap Trail is for you. Gear up for a challenging, yet rewarding experience as you make your way through various landscapes along this 9.5-mile route. With so many hiking trails to choose from, you’ll enjoy a new experience every time you visit.

The Backbone of The Forest

Journey along the “backbone of the forest,” the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. This 323-mile trail runs through the Daniel Boone National Forest, looping various trails together. With numerous waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and other natural views, this trail is a dream come true for nature lovers. Check out Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area if you’re looking for beauty and adventure all wrapped into one. Located along the Sheltowee Trace, the Big South offers a variety of trails for every level of hiking. With each hike, you can discover rock houses and scenic gorges among the beautiful landscapes. You may even come across some wildlife.

Refreshing Waters of Creation Falls

Looking for some beautiful vistas on your hike? Check out The Red River Gorge. Home to the highest concentration of sandstone arches east of the Mississippi, The Red offers stunning sights year round on any hiking route you choose. One popular trek is The Rock Bridge Trail. This trail is great for those who enjoy a more casual hike. Hike along this mile-long trail to discover the beauty of Creation Falls. As you descend further into the woods, you’ll begin to catch glimpses of the falls. Once at the bottom, relax and admire the stunning waterfall. Stay as long as you’d like or connect with another trail for a different adventure.

Three States All in One

If you’re looking for a unique, breathtaking experience, make your way up to Pinnacle Overlook. Located in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, this overlook is worth the hike. This stunning view offers you a look out over three states: Kentucky on your right, Tennessee straight ahead and Virginia to your left. To experience this wonder, begin your journey with Pinnacle Overlook Trail, a 7.8-mile out-and-back trail. Hike your way up starting at Sugar Run Trail and intersecting through Ridge Trail. With so much rich history and abundant beautiful scenery, this hike is just as special as the view at the top.

Niagara of The South

For awe-inspiring cascades, grab your hiking boots and head to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. With over 17 miles of hiking trails, this is truly a hiker’s paradise. Called the “Niagara of the South” thanks to Cumberland Falls, this photogenic waterfall is a must see for any hiker. To catch one of the best views of the waterfalls, follow the Eagle Falls Trail. This 1.5-mile trail is short, but rugged. Hike along the cliff line as you see the stunning sights of Cumberland Falls. If you’re looking for an even more spectacular experience, visit the waterfall at night. Hike the Moonbow Trail up to two days before or after a full moon to view the lunar rainbow, also known as a moonbow.

Trail Town of Manchester

Take a hike through history as you retrace the path once used by wild buffalo and Daniel Boone. Located in the mountain town of Manchester, The River Walk Trail is one of many that you can experience in the heart of the Appalachian highlands. Enjoy a peaceful hike along the river as you make your way across Goose Creek Swinging Bridge, connecting to historic downtown Manchester and ending at Goose Creek Salt Works. Spend some time at the old Pioneer Village before hiking back for a new trail to explore.

Endless Hiking Opportunities

With so many amazing hiking trails to choose from, casual nature walkers and advanced hikers alike will have countless options for outdoor adventure. Enjoy a scenic hike through Bad Branch State Nature Preserve or a more rugged hike at Indian Staircase. From iconic trails to new ones waiting to be discovered, you’ll never run out of new places to explore in The Kentucky Wildlands.

Hidden Gems in the Kentucky Wildlands

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Worth Adding to Your Kentucky Bucket List