Kentucky June 03, 2017
The 9 Best Backroads In Kentucky For A Long Scenic Drive
One of Kentucky’s favorite pastimes is an afternoon drive on a scenic backroad. Kentucky is full of these gems, some connect small towns, while others surround the perimeter of a natural wonder. No matter what type of scenery you prefer, you’ll find it on one of these 9 scenic backroads in the Bluegrass State.
1. Kentucky Route 77
This 14-mile stretch of highway in Powell County earns its spot thanks to the mysterious Nada Tunnel. The historic 900-foot tunnel used to be a railroad passage but is now a one lane road with plenty of scenery surrounding it. And although this route itself is short, there are plenty of connecting back roads to choose from to further your adventure.
2. U.S. 23 - Country Music Highway
Running north-south through seven counties in eastern Kentucky, U.S. 23 is more widely known as Country Music Highway. The 144 miles make a great weekend trip to enjoy beautiful scenery, lively music and friendly people eager to share the character and history of this area of Kentucky.
3. Mammoth Cave Pkwy & Green River Ferry
In Mammoth Cave, Kentucky HWY 70 becomes Mammoth Cave Parkway and makes for a scenic afternoon drive. But to add a little adventure to your drive, try out the tiny Green River Ferry. You can access it from the Parkway and it's free to use.
4. U.S. 150 - Bardstown to Springfield
U.S. 150 actually enters Kentucky from Indiana near Louisville, and has several picturesque sections. A favorite part begins in Bardstown, where you'll find plenty to do and then head southeast toward Springfield.
5. Old Frankfort Pike
To experience the true beauty of Kentucky's horse country, try Old Frankfort Pike. This stretch of HWY 1681 runs from Lexington to Frankfort and is filled with horse farms, wood and stone fencing and plenty of options for stops to relax.
6. KY 536
This easily accessible route ends on a historic note. Right off of 71/75 in Northern Kentucky, KY 536 has a great stretch that begins right off the exit and takes you toward local favorite, Rabbit Hash. The drive is scenic and the Rabbit Hash General Store is a must see Kentucky treasure.
7. Sky Bridge Road
Red River Gorge is one of the most picturesque areas of Kentucky and the best way to experience it by car is on Sky Bridge Road. Accessible from the Bert T. Combs Parkway, you can stick to driving or stop and tackle one of the many trail heads along the route.
8. Pine Mountain Road
In southeast Kentucky, near Whitesburg, Pine Mountain Road is lovely in every season. Unless you're from this area, you'll likely be surprised at the abounding natural beauty.
9. U.S. 68
This 560 mile route begins in northern Ohio, but stretches from northern Kentucky all the way to its southwest tip. It is one of the more popular scenic drives through the state and for good reason. It passes through many notable cities including Maysville, Lexington, Harrodsburg and Bowling Green and mostly winds through forested, hilly terrain.
How many of these drives have you made? Did we miss your favorite? These are hard to track down and even more difficult to narrow down to the best! Share your thoughts in the comments!