The Best Outdoor Activities in Kentucky
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Hike the Indian Staircase Loop and Cloudsplitter
Kentucky / Red River Gorge
Starting at the Bison Way Trailhead #210. You'll take this until you come to the intersection of the Sheltowee Trace Trail #100. Go left.
Explore the Lookout from Chained Rock
Kentucky / Chained Rock Parking Area
Located just north of the Cumberland Gap, Chained Rock is a local landform made unique by a long slung chain that comes with a tall tale of it's creation.
Hike to Natural Bridge and Battleship Rock
Kentucky / Natural Bridge Parking Area
This popular hike begins near the state park gift shop and has options to continue to other trails at multiple points. The first .
Hike the Pinnacles in Berea
Kentucky / The Pinnacles Hiking Trails
This is a trip with multiple sites to visit over the course of a day. Visiting all five would equal around 5 miles, or you can choose to only go to one, as there are some slightly strenuous hills.
Camp at Miguel's Pizza
Kentucky / Miguel's Pizza
The Red River Gorge is known for the best rock climbing in the east. A man named Miguel opened a pizzeria in the gorge, and soon began letting climbers camp behind the restaurant for a mere $2/night.
Hike the Wilderness Lake Trail
Kentucky / John James Audubon SP Visitors Center
This well kept trail is one of seven trails at John James Audubon State Park. A great short hike for the family starts at roughly 600 ft with minimal elevation change.
Hike to Whittleton Arch
Kentucky / Whittleton Campground
Starting from the Whittleton Campground, you will follow along a stream until reaching the Whittleton Arch Trail at 0.75 miles. Turn right to reach the arch.
Hike to Gray's Arch
Kentucky / Gray's Arch Trailhead
The trail approaches the arch through a ravine, passing by cliffs, dense forest, and a stream (Kings Branch) en route. Photo Credit: Sean Underhill
Backpack Chimney Top Loop
Kentucky / Koomer Ridge Trailhead
Start out on Koomer Ridge Trail to see Hidden Arch. You will then head into the Right Fork Chimney Top Creek watershed, where you'll spend the night.
Hike to Courthouse Rock and Double Arch
Kentucky / Auxier Ridge Trailhead
Start at the trailhead located just past the Gray's Arch picnic area. Follow Auxier Ridge Trail #204 (white diamonds). You will pass a trail junction at 0.9 miles, but continue on Auxier Ridge.
Hike or Bike Big Hollow Loop Trail
Kentucky / Maple Springs Trailhead
This loop trail in Mammoth Cave National Park combines a north and south loop, which are 5.3 miles and 3.7 miles, respectively. The south loop is a bit more challenging than the north loop.
Hike to Lick Falls
Kentucky / Lick Falls Trailhead
The Grayson Lake State Park has two trails – the Lick Falls Loop Trail, and the 0.8 mile Beech-Hemlock Forest Trail. Lick Falls is best done after a rain, to make sure the falls are flowing.
Hike Raven Run Nature Sanctuary Trail
Kentucky / Raven Run Nature Sanctuary Trailhead
Raven Run Park is a 734-acre nature sanctuary near the Kentucky River Palisades. After signing in at the nature center, head out via the connecting trail to Red Trail.
Hike to Eagle Falls, Cumberland Falls SRP
Kentucky / Eagle Falls Trailhead
Rated easy to moderate, this hike does have lots of stairs. Rated easy to moderate, this hike does have lots of stairs.
Hike the Millennium Trail, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Kentucky / Millennium Trailhead
The Millennium Trail in the Bernheim Forest combines a number of trails into a full day's hike. The well-marked trail passes over ridges and through forest and meadows, with some ups and downs.
Hike to the Cave at Asbury Trails
Kentucky / Asbury University Trails
The Asbury University trail system is located just south of Wilmore, KY along the lush emerald banks of the Kentucky River.
Hike the Cedar Sink Trail
Kentucky / Cedar Sink Trailhead
Starting at the parking lot off of National Park Boundary Road, you will follow the marked sign on the path until you hit a set of metal stairs heading downward.
Hike the Creation Falls and Rock Bridge Loop
Kentucky / Creation Falls and Rock Bridge Loop
From the Slade, KY exit take KY15 toward Campton to KY715 to Rock Bridge Rd. Park at the Rock Bridge picnic area and take the trailhead closest to the entrance.