The gorge-cut plateaus and low mountains of Kentucky, with their rich forests of mixed hardwoods, pines and hemlocks, provide wonderful opportunities for wilderness adventure. Backpackers can access some of the most remote and beautiful quarters of this rugged state. Among the best destinations are the extensive federal lands in the eastern and central parts of Kentucky.
Premier backpacking opportunities are found in the Daniel Boone National Forest (fs.usda.gov/dbnf), which encompasses hundreds of thousands of acres in eastern Kentucky. Set mainly in the rolling country of the Cumberland Plateau, the Daniel Boone includes such striking landmarks as the Red River Gorge, a defile of the Pottsville Escarpment defining the western edge of the plateau. Its sandstone formations include the largest collection of rock arches east of the Rockies. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail crosses much of the Daniel Boone, its 282 miles offering fine opportunity for backpacking. A small portion of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (fs.usda.gov/gwj) spills into far southeastern Kentucky, in the Cumberland Mountains. Except where specifically prohibited, overnight camping is allowed across large areas of the backcountry of these national forests.backpacking,backpacking,backpacking