Red River Gorge in Kentucky

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LarryL
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Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Post by LarryL » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:57 am

I'm looking at doing a 3 night, 4 day backpacking trip to this place in the Daniel Boone National Forest in late October or early November.

Does anyone have any experience with the Red River Gorge and routes? Thanks.
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paulbates
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Re: Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Post by paulbates » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:05 pm

I grew up in Cinci and many of my early backpacking trips were in the Red River Gorge. Things have changed a lot trail and access wise, but here are my recommendations having been on sections of this or on similar terrain. You will need to arrange drop offs as they look to be one way stretches now.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/re ... ecid=39502

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/re ... ecid=70839

Consider this side trip as an additional activity

Trails can rise very steeply when crossing valleys, ala the Minong, but usually there are switchbacks. I never saw a bear there when I visited, but its been a while and looks like that's a factor now. KY State parks are pretty nice, its worth stopping by Natural bridge, have a meal on your way out.

Been wanting to get back there some day, please post your plans and tip back here

Paul

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Re: Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Post by LarryL » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:47 pm

Thanks, Paul! I really appreciate it.

Could we make a loop starting down by the Koomer Ridge Campground to the Rough Trail west to Pinch em Tight Trail and Buck Trail?

I found a book: Hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge by Sean Patrick Hill. I'm going to get that. I was half expecting a book by Jim Dufresne since he seemed to write a book for everyplace I like to backpack around here. Maybe he needed more time. :(
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paulbates
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Re: Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Post by paulbates » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:20 pm

Hi Larry
That sounds good. I looked at the area again in gaia and proposed a route. I plotted it out on a public gaia map. Its been a long time for me since I've been there and I enjoyed the visit by map :D (You don't need a gaia account or to log in just to look at the map i published.) I fit in trip up and back to India Staircase that has about 3/4 mile on a road and a little bit of retracing your steps. This is about 24 miles in total. The indian staircase can be cut out and would cut it in half to ~12 miles.

You can move the mouse cursor over the bottom line of the graph, from left to right, it will also trace the route I laid out on the map graphically. However, certainly do your own validation of this suggestion with the official forest service sites. Gaia is based on openstreetmaps which sometimes has outdated data. Also talk with the forest service about camping regulations there.

As a last day side trip, if you drive up Tunnel ridge road to Auxier Ridge, that trail is great. It goes ~2 miles to courthouse rock. We used to camp on the top of courthouse rock... used to be a bit of a technical climb, but an incredible view! Double arch is nice but adds a hard 'up and down' side trip off of auxier ridge.

Paul

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Re: Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Post by LarryL » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:12 pm

Hey, really cool. Thanks! I'll have to play with that some more.
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