Kentucky November 10, 2017
11 Of The Greatest Hiking Trails On Earth Are Right Here In Kentucky
We know that Kentucky is unmatched when it comes to natural beauty, so it’s no surprise that the Bluegrass State would also be home to some of the greatest hiking trails on Earth. With many State Parks, National Parks, and Recreation Areas, Kentucky is basically one giant playground, filled with trails upon trails to explore and find adventure. These 11 places throughout our state each have many trails of varying levels, so you can pick a spot and then choose your own adventure to check out all Kentucky has to offer.
1. Daniel Boone National Forest
One of the most popular areas of Kentucky, Daniel Boone National Forest would take more than a lifetime to fully explore. It's so large that it is split into 4 districts and includes a wide variety of terrain and countless trails for all levels of adventure. One of the most popular trails is one that leads to the Natural Arch, pictured above.
2. Red River Gorge
Also within Daniel Boone National Forest, you'll find the geological wonder of Red River Gorge. Hiking to a stunning overlook, such as Settimi Point, pictured above, is one of the most wondrous outdoor experiences you can have anywhere on Earth.
3. Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail
Sheltowee Trace is a 319-mile National Recreation Trail that spans the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. It overlaps with other hiking spots on our list, but it definitely deserves its own mention. It's a wonderful trail to seek out and choose a section for an unforgettable adventure.
4. Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
This awe-inspiring recreation area spans both Kentucky and Tennessee and is filled with epic adventures. You can enjoy a variety of activities on the water and aboard a train, among others, but the hiking is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
5. Cumberland Falls
The area around Kentucky's most famous waterfall offers plenty of hiking opportunities. Try the Eagle Falls Trail to experience two beautiful waterfalls in one hike.
6. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
This national park spans three states: Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. In fact, this photo was taken in Virginia, along the Kentucky border, looking down on a town in Tennessee. Head to Middlesboro, Kentucky and the Visitor Center there for maps and information.
7. Land Between the Lakes
This diverse area of Kentucky offers unique hiking opportunities that are unlike any others in the state. Choose from one of many beautiful trails and experience a wide variety of terrain, plant life, and wildlife.
8. Pine Mountain
Nestled in southeastern Kentucky, Pine Mountain and the surrounding area offers some of the most spectacular views and hiking trails in the state. The legendary Chained Rock is a must-see as you venture through the hiking trails in this gorgeous area of Kentucky.
9. Breaks Interstate Park
On the Kentucky/Virginia Border, Breaks Interstate Park is yet another hiking spot in Kentucky that provides sweeping, mountainous views. Visit this park and experience the "Grand Canyon of the South."
10. Raven Run Sanctuary
Just outside of Lexington, Raven Run has beautiful hiking trails that are well-maintained and of varying difficulty. It's a surprisingly idyllic spot to reconnect with nature and enjoy some great hiking trails.
11. Carter Caves
Carter Caves is, of course, famous for its underground explorations, but it also has some of the best hiking adventures above ground. The trails in this park are magical and mysterious and offer a wonderful look at Kentucky's natural landscape.
Kentucky’s natural beauty is best experienced in one of these wondrous spots, along an incredible hiking trail. Which of these is your favorite? Any we missed? Let us know in the comments!
And if you need help narrowing it down, check out our previous article