BEST AREAS FOR WILDERNESS CAMPING
DANIEL BOONE NATIONAL FOREST
Daniel Boone National Forest consists of two large units of land in eastern Kentucky. The terrain includes some rugged mountains with steep slopes, along with high sandstone cliffs and canyons.
Of special interest is the 25,662-acre Red River Gorge Geological Area, which has over 80 natural arches and bridges, the most of any location east of the Mississippi. Other impressive rocky scenery is found here as well.
The National Forest has six designated state Wild Rivers, many streams with waterfalls, a few large lakes, and forests of hardwoods with pine and hemlock, including some old-growth trees. Among the wildlife are white-tailed deer, fox, and wild turkey.
There are two designated wilderness areas: the 13,300-acre Clifty Wilderness, which is part of the Red River Gorge Geological Area, and also the 4,791-acre Beaver Creek Wilderness.
Activities: Backpacking and hiking are available on over 500 miles of trails. Included is the 257-mile Sheltowee Trace Trail (see entry page 160), a National Recreation Trail which runs the length of the western tract. Others include the rugged 66-mile Redbird Crest Trail, plus the 36-mile Red River Gorge National Recreation Trail, which consists of a series of trail loops.
Horseback riding is allowed on some trails. Cross-country skiing is possible on most trails during the winter. Three of the rivers offer fine white-water canoeing and rafting. Fishing is also available, and hunting is permitted in season.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed throughout the National Forest, except near public recreation areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are required. Campsites should be at least 100 feet from trails and water sources, and 300 feet from lakes or roads.
The Red River Gorge Geological Area receives heavy use. Backpackers heading for this area are asked to inform rangers of their plans, and to camp out of sight of trails. In the Geological Area campfires are permitted only at designated sites.
For Further Information: Daniel Boone National Forest, 100 Vaught Road, Winchester, KY 40391; (606)745-3100.