Explore the most popular birding trails in Daniel Boone National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Lovely trail with a little bit of everything - beautiful subtropical, mountainside foliage, cardio elevation, rock walls, a cave, an arch, a river, a creek, and a the crown jewel, a waterfall. If you are a photog and want to get pics, don’t come on a weekend. My first visit was on a warm, Sunday, Spring afternoon and it was like Disneyland. If you prefer solitude or want to get pictures, then weekdays, early are good for you. Falls look great after some rain, and the splash pool is a great place to cool off. Nice picnic area and family friendly. My only complaint is the limited parking.

Nice hike with waterfall and creek that the dogs loved.

Very nice trail with different terrain types, creeks, great views. Swift Camp Creek in the Eastern section is a fav. Recommended for a nice day hike!

Hard not moderate. It takes some serious guess work and a lot of wrong turns to actually find the eagles nest but once you get up there it’s awesome.

We went earlier this week, the falls were beautiful, nice scenic route. Would love to go back after it rains.

Worth the trip down to the base of the falls. Wish I had trunks to swim under the falls, around 14 feet deep. If you have a dog, they can get to the base of the falls without having to wade up stream. Go early morning and its empty.

Beautiful view at the top. Easy trail to follow. At the end there is scrambling, not very difficult to do. We brought our dog (35 lbs), so the hardest part was figuring out how to get her up. We had to pass her several times because she couldn’t get a good footing on just the rock face, though there were many places that had tree roots and dirt that she could stand on securely. Basically, if you bring a dog you need two people who are comfortable holding the dog while scrambling.

I would rate the hike as moderate, not hard. It was short and quick. There are trees to set up a hammock at the top, too.

(If you’re interested in an even better view then do Indian Staircase. But don’t bring a dog, the trail is hard to follow and there’s more and harder scrambling)

Extremely easy short trail, great for when you’re short on time. You get to pass through the arches at the end. Highly recommend doing it at least once.

Well worth the hike

Really cool rock formations

I've spent a lot of time in the Gorge and this may be my new favorite place. I visited for the first time yesterday. There's no longer a rope for the final ascent to the top but I was able to scale the last section following the split in the rock below the cedar where the rope use to be. I wouldn't recommend attempting it on a wet day, but then again I wouldn't recommend being on top of cloud splitter on a wet day. Here's a link that gives some great perspective of cloud splitter and what makes it unique, the 360 degree views it gives of the gorge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqvCvMHpKIg

I went yesterday, this trail has incredible scenery and beautiful falls! A perfect light-trail that won't wear you out but gets your blood pumping. I recommend going in the rainy season, as the creek and falls will be more full and flowing!

Beautiful trail

This trail was more impressive than I expected, particularly the basin area below the arch and the arch itself, which is massive. The elevation change will get your heart thumping.

hiking
14 days ago

Easy trail, great for families. Beautiful waterfall.

Great trail! It was raining the first half of our hike but it was worth it. We were worried about the ground being slick but it wasn’t bad at all. Definitely recommend this trail.

Nice quick hike. Easy to find. I really don’t get the asphalt paving. Just let people walk on earth.

Easy hike. Make sure to dip your toes in the falls.

This trail is a moderate trail. There are a few waterfalls along the way to Vanhook. There is only one place to sit at a bench to rest and that is at Vanhook falls, but there are some rocks if you don’t mind sitting on them. At times it seems like you should have already made it but once you get there you will know. When I went I didn’t see anyone on the trail. It was a weekday and it was pretty nice out so I’m surprised there wasn’t at least one other person. The hills aren’t bad at all, it’s mainly the length that may tire a few people. Overall, a good hike.

hiking
18 days ago

nice trail with decent scenery.

I was not able to find the hidden trail :(

Great little hike. Family friendly.
Also great views.

A must if you are hiking the Red River Gorge for the first time. Unbelievable views and good distance if you do the loop.

beautiful walk in the woods. fairly easy trail and some gorgeous views.

We hiked this trail yesterday and I have to say it’s now one of my favorites.

This was our first time to the area. Trail was great in the beginning, loved the suspension bridge, but then it got confusing and we got lost. We happened upon one sign that the top had been knocked off, not sure what was on it. I’ll be sending in the picture in and hopefully they’ll get it fixed. On another sign, the words for the trail were barely legible. Somehow we ended up on the rough trail and had been walking five hours before we walked out, thankfully with the help of a couple of hikers who have been there before and who knew the area.

Great hike with awesome views of the lake!

One of my favorite destinations in KY. this are is pretty easy hiking and at the right time the waterfall is simply magical. At it's trailhead there is a large picnic area. The trail is easy to follow and there are areas to set up campsites. The only downside to the place stems from the places visitors that obviously are unaware of the "leave no trace" concept. I went once after memorial day and there was trash littered everywhere.

Indian staircase provided me with my favorite trail in the gorge so far. This hike was fairly easy-going, yet beautiful. Climbing the "staircase" was challenging and rewarded us with stellar views once we made it to the top of the rock formation. Next we're making it a point to venture to the cloudsplitter.

Sky Bridge is a great family hike. There are a couple of drop offs, so be mindful.

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