Discover Daniel Boone National Forest

Daniel Boone National Forest is located along the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky. The forest encompasses over 707,000 acres of mostly rugged terrain. The land is characterized by steep forested ridges dissected by narrow ravines and over 3,400 miles of sandstone cliffs. Daniel Boone National Forest is one of the most heavily used forests in the South, with over 5 million visitors annually. People come here to backpack, camp, picnic, rock climb, boat, ride and relax. Daniel Boone is comprised of four ranger districts: Cumberland, London, Stearns and Redbird.

Millions of visitors come to enjoy the scenic Appalachian beauty and abundant wildlife that the forest has to offer. Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake are popular attractions of the forest. Other special areas include the Red River Gorge Geological Area, Natural Arch Scenic Area, Clifty Wilderness, Beaver Creek Wilderness, and five wildlife management areas.

Over 600 miles of trails provide a quiet escape to more remote places within the forest. Hikers, horseback riders and other trail users get back to nature along the 269-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that extends the entire length of the Daniel Boone. Hundreds of miles of winding rivers and streams provide the finishing touch in outdoor Appalachian beauty.

Come and discover what you've been missing. Daniel Boone National Forest is Appalachia's best in southern and eastern Kentucky.


Daniel Boone National Forest surrounds or contains a variety of popular and notable features, including:

  • One of the world's largest concentrations of caves
  • Cave Run Lake
  • Laurel River Lake
  • Buckhorn Lake
  • Red River Gorge Geologic Area - popular with hikers, campers, and rock climbers
  • Sheltowee Trace Trail
  • Natural Bridge State Park
  • Yahoo Arch
  • Yahoo Falls
  • Cumberland Falls

There are two areas designated as Wilderness:

  • Clifty Wilderness
  • Beaver Creek Wilderness

Daniel Boone National Forest is a haven to many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife including: black bears, deer, bobcats, chipmunks, squirrels, elk, fox, shrews, voles, opossums, skunks, raccoons, rabbits, wild turkeys, woodchucks, songbirds, hawks, owls, eagles, bats, vultures, hummingbirds, turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, salamanders and treefrogs.

The Appalachian forest consists of sloping hills, ridge top flats, narrow valleys, hardwood forests, bottom wildlands and miles of rivers and streams.

Recreation Activities

The Appalachian forest contains three large lakes (Cave Run Lake, Laurel River Lake and Lake Cumberland), many rivers and streams, two wilderness areas, and the 269-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail that extends across the length of the forest.

Abundant wildlife, lush vegetation, magnificent scenery and numerous recreation opportunities offer visitors much to enjoy. Please practice Trail Safety and Leave No Trace to make your visit safe and enjoyable while protecting resources we all enjoy.

Most national forest system lands are open and free of charge for your use and enjoyment. Entrance and user fees may be charged at some areas.

Recreational Activities:

  • Auto Touring
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Historic & Cultural Sites
  • Horseback Riding
  • Interpretive Programs
  • Off Highway Vehicles
  • Picnicking
  • Recreational Vehicles
  • Visitor Centers
  • Water Sports
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Winter Sports
  • Photography
  • Appalachian Small Towns

Daniel Boone National Forest Districts

The forest is divided into four areas known as Ranger Districts. Each district has its own management staff led by the District Ranger located at the Ranger District office. The Forest Supervisor's office, located in Winchester, KY, houses various program managers and resources utilized by districts in managing the forest. The ranger districts include Cumberland, London, Stearns and Redbird.

Cumberland Ranger District

As the northernmost district on the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Cumberland Ranger District is known for Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge.

2375 KY 801 South, Morehead, KY 40351  -  606-784-6428

Latitude: 38.12317670  -  Longitude: -83.52582856

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Directions to Ranger Station: From I-64, take the KY 801 exit, exit 133 and turn right onto KY 801. Go 2.9 miles toward Farmers, where KY 801 intersects with US 60 at a 4-way stop. Go straight through the 4-way stop, then go 2.4 miles and turn right into the Cumberland Ranger Station parking lot.

Gladie Learning Center (in the Red River Gorge)

3451 Sky Bridge Road, Stanton, KY 40380  -  606-663-8100

Latitude: 37.83384430554726  -  Longtitude: -83.60849976539612

Hours:  9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 7 days a week during recreation season

Directions to Gladie: From I-64, take exit 98 to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. From the parkway, take exit 33 (Slade) and turn left onto KY 11. To access Gladie through Nada Tunnel, turn left onto KY 15, travel 1.5 miles west and turn right onto KY 77. Follow 77 to KY 715 and turn right. Stay on 715 and follow the signs to Gladie. Reduced winter hours return in mid-November.

Counties: Rowan, Bath, Menifee, Morgan, Powell, Wolfe, Estill, Lee

Acreage: 182,694

Cumberland Ranger District Recreation Opportunities

  • Cave Run Lake
Cave Run Lake is nestled among the rolling Appalachian hills of northeastern Kentucky. This 8,270-acre lake provides flood protection and a clean water supply to area communities. Tourists enjoy the lake for its scenery and excellent recreation opportunities. Boating, camping and wildlife viewing are some of the activities enjoyed by visitors. The Twin Knobs and Zilpo campgrounds provide nearly 400 campsites, some with RV hook-ups. The campgrounds also have swimming beaches and group-use picnic areas. Cave Run Lake has 12 ramps for boat launching. A fee pass is required to use Alfrey, Claylick, Poppin Rock, Long Bow, Scott Creek and Warix boat ramps. Passes may be purchased at local vendors or at the Cumberland Ranger District office.

The Billy Branch and Boat Gunnel picnic areas are popular locations near Cave Run Lake. Several trails are developed in the Cave Run Lake area. These trails wind through the forest, providing scenic views and glimpses of wildlife. Several arches occur on the Cumberland Ranger District but only one can be observed from a main trail. From Clear Creek Picnic Area, follow the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail south along a scenic ridgetop. Just over one mile, the trail passes through an area known as The Sinks. The arch will be on your right, 2.5 miles from the picnic area. Further along, the trail crosses Forest Service Road 908 and offers one of the most scenic views on the trail.
  • Red River Gorge Geological Area
The Red River Gorge is a unique, scenic natural area that attracts thousands of visitors each year. Spectacular rock features, including sandstone arches and towering cliffs, are just part of the attraction. Outdoor enthusiasts come to the gorge year-round to enjoy hiking, camping, canoeing, wildlife viewing and other recreation opportunities. The Red River Gorge is designated a Geological Area, National Natural Landmark and National Archaeological District and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. A portion of the gorge is also designated as Clifty Wilderness, 12,646 acres of rugged forest landscape. It is located on Cumberland Ranger District.
The number, size, and variety of natural stone arches in the Red River Gorge contribute to this area's uniqueness. Sculpted by wind and water, the arches provide spectacular views. The forested slopes, ridges and cliffs provide a stunning backdrop for more than 100 natural arches.
  • Sky Bridge is a large, sandstone arch formation that measures 23 feet high and 75 feet long. To reach the arch, follow Sky Bridge Trail #214. The trail makes a loop that leaves the Sky Bridge parking area and extends along a narrow ridge to Sky Bridge Arch and scenic overlooks. The trail passes over and beneath the arch and then along a high cliff shelf back to the parking area.
  • Grays Arch is 50 feet high and spans 80 feet across. The arch extends off the end of a cliff and forms a buttress. To view the arch, follow Gray's Arch Trail #205 from Grays Arch Picnic Area. On the ridge top, the trail passes through mixed pine and hardwood forest with blueberry and huckleberry understory. After 0.2-mile, follow Rough Trail #221 to the north. The arch is visible from the trail. The area is scenic and rich in flora. A waterfall occurs at the arch during wet weather.
  • Double Arch is an unusual twin arch, with one arch on top of the other. The bottom arch measures 30 feet long and 12 feet high. The top arch is 25 feet long and 2 feet high. To view this arch, follow Tunnel Ridge Road to its terminus. Park at Auxier Ridge Parking Area and walk along the old road to Double Arch trailhead on the east side of the road. The trail descends below a high cliff and ends at a breathtaking overlook underneath Double Arch. From this location, hikers can observe Courthouse Rock, Haystack Rock and other geological features in the Red River Gorge.
  • Princess Arch is relatively easy to hike to. Follow KY 715 to Chimney Top Road and travel 3.6 miles to its terminus where you will find Princess Arch Trail #233. The trail extends out onto a wooded ridge to this slender and graceful arch. The trail passes through mixed pine-hardwood stands with rhododendron, mountain laurel, and greenbriar understory. Princess Arch measures 32 feet long and 8 feet high. Scenic vista overlooks occur along extended cliff spurs.
  • Rock Bridge is the only arch in the Red River Gorge that spans a stream. Follow Rock Bridge Trail #207 from the Rock Bridge Picnic Area parking lot. Rock Bridge is a sandstone arch that spans over Swift Camp Creek. Scenic overlooks are nearby for viewing the area.
  • Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a Kentucky state park located along the Middle Fork of the Red River, adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area and surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Its namesake, natural bridge, is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft and is 65 ft high. The natural process of weathering formed the arch over millions of years. The park is approximately 2,300 acres of which approximately 1,200 acres is dedicated as a nature preserve. There are over 20 miles of trails over uneven terrain from moderate to strenuous difficulty, including trails to White's Branch Arch, Henson's Cave Arch, and other scenic areas. Some of the most famous sites are the arch itself, "Lovers Leap" and "Fat Man's Squeeze". The park's 0.5-mile "Original Trail" to the natural bridge dates from the 1890s. Other trails include the 7.5-mile Sand Gap Trail and the 0.75-mile Balanced Rock Trail. Five miles of the 270-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail run through the park, including the Whittleton Trail which connects the park to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area. Natural Bridge has several unique sandstone rock formations, including the Balanced Rock. This is a huge block of sandstone balanced on the edge of a cliff near the Natural Bridge. The "Balanced Rock" is located on Trail #2, not far above Hemlock Lodge. Natural Bridge State Park offers guided backpacking trips and natural history educational programs. Annual events open to the public include Herpetology Weekend each May, Natural Arches Weekend each February and the Kentucky Native Plant Society's Wildflower Weekend each April. The State Park is also famous for hosting traditional Appalachian square dances each weekend in the summer. Make the most of your trip with Natural Bridge cabin rentals or Hemlock Lodge offering 35 rooms with private balconies. Open year-round. Campsites are also available.

  • Red River

The Red River, located in the Red River Gorge, tumbles through huge boulders in a narrow, twisting and largely inaccessible hemlock gorge. Originating in Wolfe County, the Red River runs through Powell County and empties into the Kentucky River south of Winchester. The 9.1-mile segment from the KY 746 bridge to the mouth of Swift Camp Creek is designated as a Kentucky Wild River and features some of the most spectacular canoeing water in the eastern United States. The 19.4-mile segment from KY 746 to the ford below Schoolhouse Branch was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1993.

  • Kellacey Falls
Kellacey Falls is on the southern part of Cave Run Lake. This waterfall can be reached by boat from the Blackwater boat ramp. Turn left from the boat ramp and go up to the second cove on the right.
  • Shallow Flats Wildlife Observation Area & Scott Creek

More than 55 wetlands have been restored and established along Scott Creek in Rowan County. These wetlands are located near Cave Run Lake off KY 801, near the Twin Knobs Campground. Shallow Flats includes two observation platforms that overlook the wetlands. A 1/4-mile paved trail along the edges of the wetland interprets its wildlife benefits. For more adventure, visitors are encouraged to walk the Scott Creek road opposite of Shallow Flats and venture down gated side-roads to see other types of wetlands.

  • Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area
The Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest and Cave Run Lake. It is located on Cumberland Ranger District. The area is mostly forested with scattered openings. The terrain is mostly rugged with some gently sloping areas on the ridge-tops and in the creek valleys. Hiking trails occur in the area. This 7,610-acre tract is  managed for multiple-use, but wildlife management is a major emphasis. To enhance the area for wildlife, grassy openings and waterholes have been created and maintained. Timber management is used to create habitat diversity. The area boundaries are marked with yellow signs and yellow bands painted on trees. The wild turkey and white-tailed deer, once eliminated from the area, have been re-established.
  • Twin Knobs Recreation Area

This 700-acre campground at Cave Run Lake on Cumberland Ranger District provides outdoor recreation with lots of amenities. Nearly 200 campsites are developed to accommodate RVs and tent camping. The campground facilities include bathhouses with showers and flush toilets, three group-use areas, scenic foot trails with overlooks and nearby boat ramps with vehicle and boat trailer parking. Amphitheater programs and scheduled campground activities provide family fun and entertainment. The campground also has volleyball courts, basketball goals and horseshoe pits. A sandy beach with a roped swimming area offers visitors a spectacular view of the lake. Boats are allowed outside of the swimming area. Nearby trails include Twin Knobs Shoreline Trail #1702 (2.5 miles) and Knob Overlook Trail # 1700 (1.25 miles).

  • Zilpo Recreation Area

The Zilpo Recreation Area is a 355-acre campground on Cave Run Lake on the Cumberland Ranger District. This area has sites for tent camping and RV hookup. Basic rental cabins sleep up to 7, with beds, table, porch, accessible ramp entrance and picnic tables. Bathrooms and water are located nearby at the bathhouse. The campground has bathhouses with hot water showers, hiking and jogging trails, scenic overlooks, a boat ramp and a nearby country store. A sandy beach with a roped swimming area offers visitors a spectacular view of the lake.

  • Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail
The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail is considered the "backbone" of the forest's trail system. Many other trails link to the Sheltowee forming loops for day hikes or opportunities for long distance adventure. The Sheltowee Trace is 307-mile back country trail through Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork NRRA, Natural Bridge State Park, Cumberland Falls State Park and Pickett State Park in Kentucky and Tennessee. Old homesteads, oil and gas wells, logging tracts and remnants of past land uses can be seen along the trail. The rugged trail meanders narrow ridges and dips into gorges surrounded by towering cliffs. You may also cross private land or follow road corridors between tracts of national forest land. Hiking is allowed on the entire trail. Horses, mountain bikes and off-highway vehicles less than 50 inches wide are permitted only on sections designated for those uses.
  • White Sulphur OHV Trail System
The White Sulphur OHV Trail System is composed of several Forest Service roads and trails in the White Sulphur area, forming a 17-mile trail system of connecting loops. It is located near Cave Run Lake on the Cumberland Ranger District. The trail is located in moderately rugged terrain, primarily following ridgetops. Most of the trail is hardened with gravel to prevent erosion and impacts on the watershed. The trail is designed for novice to intermediate riders. Orange diamond-shaped blazes mark the designated trail route.
  • Red River Gorge National Scenic Byway
Take a journey through magnificent natural wonders on the Red River Gorge National Scenic Byway. From the historic Nada Tunnel to the end of the byway in Zachariah, discover more than 100 stone arches, waterfalls and plenty of natural beauty. Carved over millions of years by wind and water, the Red River Gorge is a favorite place for forest visitors who seek outdoor adventure and enjoy canoeing, rock climbing and kayaking. The main attractions along the Red River Gorge National Scenic Byway are the natural stone arches and other rock features. The developed trails in the gorge lead hikers to various arches and waterfalls. The lands in and around the Red River Gorge were once home to ancient civilizations. The rock shelters were later used by early pioneers and settlers. Despite the challenges that this rugged land presented, mining and lumbering was once a way of life in this area. See what life in a historic logging camp was like at the Gladie Historic Site. Visit the Nada Tunnel, built from 1910-1911. The tunnel was developed with steam-driven jackhammers so trains could pass through with loads of lumber or minerals.
  • Zilpo National Forest Byway
The Zilpo National Forest Scenic Byway is a gently curving, eleven mile road with a travel time of approximately 20 minutes each way. The route winds through an eastern hardwood forest which provides opportunities to glimpse wildlife and view Cave Run Lake. The byway begins on Forest Road 129 at Clear Creek Lake and ends at Zilpo Campground. To access the byway exit US 60 in Salt Lick, take KY 211 south approximately four miles to Forest Service Road 129 on your left. Clear Creek Lake in approximately one mile is stop #1. Points of interest along the route include Clear Creek Lake, Clear Creek Picnic Area, Clear Creek Iron Furnace, Tater Knob Fire Tower, Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area and Cave Run Lake.

London Ranger District

The London Ranger District is best known for Laurel River Lake, a 5,600-acre reservoir. The district contains two state designated Kentucky Wild Rivers, the Cumberland and Rockcastle, and a portion of Lake Cumberland. Two wildlife management areas, Cane Creek and Mill Creek, are popular.

761 S. Laurel Road, London, KY 40744  -  606-864-4163

Latitude: 37.09691097  -  Longitude: -84.06777104

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday - closed on federal holidays

Office Directions: From I-75, take exit 38 and travel east on KY 192. Go 1.9 miles and turn right onto US 25 South. The London Ranger District office is located 0.8 miles on the right.

Counties: Laurel, Whitley, Rockcastle, Jackson, Estill, Owsley, Lee, Pulaski

Acreage: 208,044

London Ranger District Recreation Opportunities

  • Laurel River Lake
Laurel River Lake is 5,600 acres of deep, clear water and 192 miles of cliff-lined shore, making it one of the most scenic lakes in Kentucky. There are eight boat launching ramps on Laurel River Lake. A recreation permit is required at the following boat ramps: Flatwoods, Grove, Holly Bay, Marsh Branch and Laurel Bridge. Two full service marinas operate on Laurel River Lake. They are located near Grove and Holly Bay campgrounds. All marinas are operated by private interest under special use permits issued by the Forest Service.

The clear waters of Laurel River Lake provide opportunities for scuba diving. A swimming beach is located at the spillway of Laurel River Lake dam. The Goose Management Area on Cane Branch is closed to motorized boats but open to canoes, kayaks and rowboats; a unique opportunity to explore the lake at a slower pace.
  • Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is a park located just southwest of Corbin, Kentucky and is contained entirely within the Daniel Boone National Forest. The park encompasses 1,657 acres and is named for its major feature, 68-foot tall Cumberland Falls. The falls are one of the few places in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can frequently be seen on nights with a full moon. Amenities and recreation include Edward Moss Gatliff Bridge, Dupont Lodge, camping, Riverview Restaurant, Visitor's Center, Interpretive Center, mountain biking, 20 miles of trails and white water rafting and canoeing on Cumberland River. Events include Backpacking 101 (several times a year), Native American Weekend (March), Overnight Canoe Adventures (April, May, October), Nature Photography Weekend (April), Birding and Wildflower Weekend (May), Kentucky Hills Craft Festival (September) and Moonbow Trail Trek (November). Historic DuPont Lodge, one of the most beautiful state park lodges, has 51 rooms with beautiful views. Other accommodations include Cumberland Falls cabin rentals, cottages and campsites.

  • Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park combines the beauty of a rolling, wooded hills park with a historic site that honors the pioneers who braved the perils of the wilderness to settle Kentucky. The Mountain Life Museum brings visitors into a pioneer settlement. All buildings are filled with pioneer relics including tools, products of agriculture and household implements. The park offers visitors a 136-site campground, nestled in open woodland, open year-round. Between 1774 and 1796, more than 200,000 pioneers traveled over the Wilderness Road and Boone’s Trace during the settlement of Kentucky. Today, visitors to the park can retrace the footsteps of the early pioneers on eight-and-one-half miles of hiking trails that include original portions of these historic throughways. An 18-hole miniature golf course is located near the campground entrance, open April 1-October 31. The Russell Dyche Amphitheater seats 1,500 people and is host to many community events, including the week-long Laurel County Homecoming in August. Picnic tables, grills and playgrounds are located throughout the park for a perfect picnic outing. Four picnic shelters are available. Cool off on a hot summer day in the community swimming pool with water slides.

  • Picnicking

The Forest Service operates picnic grounds at Laurel Bridge and Flatwoods on Laurel River Lake. The picnic grounds at Laurel Bridge have flush toilets and a picnic shelter. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains a picnic area near Laurel River Dam.

  • Arches

Daylight Arch is a pair of delicate arches standing within a few feet of each other, one 7 feet high by 14 feet wide the other 6 feet high by 14 feet wide. From the junction of Forest Service Roads 119 and 56, travel west on 119 for one mile. The arches are on the right next to the road. Schoolhouse Arch, as its name implies, was used as a classroom for a short time. The arch is 7 feet high by 80 feet wide. From the junction of Forest Service Roads 193 and 88, travel west on 88 for 1.3 miles. The arch is 150 yards down a dirt road on the left.

  • Cumberland River
The Upper Cumberland River, KY 204 at Redbird Bridge to KY 90 at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park offers great canoeing and rafting opportunities. The canoe take-out for this section of river is 200 yards above Cumberland Falls. Paddlers failing to take out here could potentially be carried over the falls. After passing through the right arch of the bridge, take out immediately. Do not attempt this section when the river is high. Most of this section is rated Class I with Class II rapids at Pitch Rapids and the KY 90 bridge. The put-in is at the Redbird Bridge on private land. This 17-mile trip is often done in two days. Camping is allowed on national forest land if 300 feet from the water. Campers should make sure they are on national forest land, since some private land occurs along this section of river. The take-out location is at Cumberland Falls State Park. The Cumberland River is a designated State Wild River from Summer Shoals downstream to Lake Cumberland.
  • Boat Ramps

There are eight boat launching ramps on Laurel River Lake. A recreation permit is required at the following boat ramps: Flatwoods, Grove, Holly Bay, Marsh Branch, Laurel Bridge. Craigs Creek Boat Ramp and Hightop Boat Ramp do not require permits.

  • The Flatwoods Boat Ramp is located along the northern shoreline of Laurel River Lake off of Forest Service Road 758. Trails nearby include Flatwoods Trail #470 (2.25 miles) which follows the shoreline between the boat ramp and the picnic area. Nearby facilities include Flatwoods Picnic Area.
  • The Grove Boat Ramp is located at Grove Marina and provides boat access to the Grove Boat-in Campground. The ramp is located on Laurel River Lake on the London Ranger District. Trails nearby include Duff Branch Trail # 440 (0.75-mile), Spruce Creek Trail #441 (0.25-mile), Fishing Point Trail #442 (0.5-mile), Singing Hills Trail #443 (0.5-mile) and Oak Branch Trail #444 (0.5-mile). Campgrounds nearby include Grove Drive-in Campground and Grove Boat-in Campground.
  • The Craigs Creek Boat Ramp provides access to Laurel River Lake, across the lake from Holly Bay Marina. Trails nearby include Craig's Creek Trail #420 (0.75-mile). Campgrounds include Craig's Creek Group Campground.
  • The Hightop Boat Ramp is located along the southern shoreline of Laurel River Lake. Trails nearby include Hightop Trail #460 (0.5-mile).
  • The Holly Bay Boat Ramp provides public boat access at Holly Bay Marina. Camping nearby includes Holly Bay Campground. Trails nearby include Holly Bay Marina Trail # 482 (0.5-mile), Boat Ramp Trail #483 (0.5-mile) and Sheltowee Trace Trail #100 Section 26 (12 miles).
  • Laurel Bridge Boat Ramp provides access to the upper arm of Laurel River Lake. The Laurel Bridge Recreation Area is the nearest lake access point to I-75 and Corbin, Kentucky. Nearby facilities include Laurel Bridge Picnic Area and Three Sisters Rock Trail #450 (1 mile).
  • Marsh Branch Boat Ramp provides access to the nearby White Oak Boat-in Campground on Laurel River Lake. Trails nearby include Marsh Branch Trail #431 (0.25-mile).
  • Goose Management Area
The embayment at Cane Branch is the site of the Canada Goose Management Area. This area is closed to motorized boats and is clearly marked as such.
  • Camping

The Forest Service oversees two developed drive-in campgrounds open from mid-April through October, Grove Drive-in Campground and Holly Bay Campground. Forest Service boat-in campgrounds at Grove and White Oak are accessible only by boat. The campgrounds provide drinking water, vault toilets and trash bins. Boat-in campgrounds are open year round. Craigs Creek Group Camp is designed to accommodate parties of 12 or more people with three group sites, a picnic shelter, drinking water, vault toilets and trash bins. A short trail leads from the campground to the lake. Primitive camping is allowed at designated areas on the lake. These areas are marked with signs showing a tent symbol and the words "Primitive Camping". There are no facilities provided and campers must pack out their trash. Camping is also allowed in non-designated areas, but your site must be at least 300 feet from roads, trails, streams or shorelines.

  • Waterfalls
What is it about a waterfall that attracts us? Do we see power in the water as it falls? Could it be the freedom we sense, as each drop breaks away? If you could plot all the waterfalls within the Daniel Boone National Forest on a map you would notice an interesting pattern. Most of them are located near the mouths of small creeks that flow into larger streams. They form when a large stream cuts through the rock faster than a smaller stream, leaving the smaller stream hanging above it. The result is a waterfall where two streams meet. There are seasonal waterfalls that can only be observed in the spring, during or after heavy rains. So don’t let the weather dampen your hiking spirit. The next time it rains, grab your raincoat and hit the trail. Waterfalls work their magic even on cloudy days.
  • Vanhook Falls: You have to walk to see Vanhook Falls, but it’s well worth it when spring rains swell this tiny creek. The falls plummet nearly 40 feet in a thin stream that splashes on boulders at its base. To reach the falls, park at the Sheltowee Trace Trailhead at the junction of KY 192 and KY 1193. Take the Sheltowee Trace north for 2.75 miles. At 2.6 miles the trail crosses a bridge over Cane Creek. The falls are about 0.1 mile north of Cane Creek.
  • Dog Slaughter Falls: Don’t let the name deceive you. This is one of the most scenic waterfalls in the forest. It’s also one that you can count on being there even during the driest days of summer, when many other waterfalls have disappeared. The falls are nearly 20 feet high and lie at the bottom of a hemlock-sheltered cove. The falls can be reached by Dog Slaughter Trail #414. It is one mile from the lower trailhead off Forest Service Road 195, 2.7 miles south of KY 90.
  • Bark Camp Cascades: Just before emptying into the Cumberland River, Bark Camp Creek drops over a series of low, wide rock ledges and through massive boulders. The two-mile hike to the cascades passes beneath a wet-weather waterfall along the way. Bark Camp Trail #413 is located off Forest Service Road 193, two miles south of KY 1277.
  • Rockcastle River
The Rockcastle River got its name from the majestic cliffs that tower above the river. The Upper Rockcastle is normally suitable for the less experienced paddler. The Lower Rockcastle should be attempted only by those who are experienced and well-equipped. The hazardous "Narrows" is a precipitous gorge bounded by 100-foot cliffs. The Rockcastle River flows through portions of Jackson, Rockcastle, Laurel and Pulaski counties. The 15.9-mile segment from the KY 1956 (old Highway 80) bridge to the backwaters of Lake Cumberland is designated a Kentucky Wild River.
  • Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area

This 13,558-acre area is located in Jackson County on the London Ranger District. It is hilly with steep slopes and long, narrow ridges with some flat areas in the bottoms and on the tops of ridges. Mostly wooded with nearly 30 acres of openings. No developed facilities.

  • Cane Creek Wildlife Management Area

This area is 6,672 acres, located in Laurel County on the London Ranger District. Primarily hilly, steep terrain, mostly wooded with a few openings. No developed facilities.

Stearns Ranger District

The Stearns Ranger District is the southernmost district of the Daniel Boone National Forest. On this district, nearly 148,000 acres of national forest land are managed across four Kentucky counties. The developed recreation areas include campgrounds, trails, shooting ranges, picnic areas, boat ramps and scenic areas. The district features two state Wild Rivers - Cumberland and Rock Creek - and two federal candidates for National Wild and Scenic River designation - Marsh Creek and Rock Creek. The district surrounds the northern portion of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

3320 US 27 North, Whitley City, KY 42653  -  606-376-5323

Latitude: 36.76931751  -  Longitude: -84.47829912

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday - closed on all federal holidays

Directions to Ranger Station: From Somerset, travel south on US 27 for approximately 22 miles. The ranger station will be on your left. From Whitley City, travel north on US 27 for 3.7 miles. The ranger station will be on your right. From I-75, take exit 25 for US 25W toward Corbin. Turn right at US-25W S/Cumberland Falls Road and go 7.4 miles then take a slight right at KY 90 W. Go 20 miles and turn south onto US 27 for 5.7 miles. Ranger station will be on the left.

Counties: McCreary, Wayne, Whitley

Acreage: 171,185

Stearns Ranger District Recreation Opportunities

  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. Big South Fork was designated as both a National Recreation Area and a National River and offers the opportunity to engage in a wide range of healthy outdoor recreational activities. Whatever type of outdoor recreation you enjoy, chances are Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has a place you can do it. The hardest part of your visit may be deciding which trail, overlook, historic site, natural feature or program to try next!
  • Natural Arch Scenic Area
The Natural Arch Scenic Area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. The main attraction is a spectacular sandstone arch that spans nearly 100 feet. An overlook provides visitors with a panoramic view of the arch. Picnic sites, group picnic shelters, playgrounds and hiking trails provide year-round enjoyment.

The amphitheater and group picnic shelters may be reserved for special events. Trails include Natural Arch Trail #510 (1 mile), Buffalo Canyon Trail #508  (5 miles), Panoramic View Trail #528 (0.5 mile). Take US 27 south from Somerset for 21 miles. Turn right on KY 927 and follow the signs for 2 miles.

  • Lake Cumberland 
As part of the Cumberland River, this 50,000-acre lake is a travel destination for thousands who enjoy water sport and recreation. Visitors enjoy swimming, hiking, canoeing, skiing, camping and picnicking. It is located on the London and Stearns ranger districts.

  • Alpine Picnic Area

This roadside picnic area provides picnic shelters, a play area with horseshoes, a playing field and a short loop trail  - Alpine Loop Trail #520 (1.5 miles). Take US 27 north from Whitley City for 11 miles. From Burnside, take US 27 south for seven miles. Look for signs.

  • Cumberland River
The Cumberland River flows through the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest and offers great canoeing and rafting opportunities. It is also known for the Cumberland Falls, which divides the river into two distinct segments. The 16.1-mile section from Summer Shoals to the backwaters of the Lake Cumberland has been designated a Kentucky Wild River. The River "below the falls" is one of the few white water runs that can be made year round. It is rated as a Class III with several difficult rapids that should be attempted only by intermediate and advanced paddlers. It is 11.6 miles from the put in at the state park beach below Cumberland Falls to the mouth of the Laurel Boat Ramp which is within the national forest. The last several miles are flat water. Plan on 4 to 6 hours for the trip. A private concessionaire also runs guided raft trips on this section of river.
  • Rock Creek

Rock Creek is a beautiful stream with magnificent boulders, riffles, glides and pools. Flowing through southeastern Kentucky on Stearns Ranger District, it is a Kentucky Wild River.

  • Appletree Shooting Range

The Appletree Shooting Range has two large sheltered benches; one target holder at 25, 50 yards, and two target holders at 100 yards. Long-rifle loading supports are provided at each bench. 1.4 miles south of the junction of US 27 and KY 478 in McCreary County.

  • Barren Fork Horse Camp
The Barren Fork Horse Camp was once the site of a coal mining town operated by the Barren Fork Mining and Coal Company. The mining activities occurred from 1881 to 1935, producing what was considered some of the best quality low-sulfur coal in McCreary County at the time. The Barren Fork Horse Camp is a popular campground for horseback riders who enjoy the forest setting. Several interconnecting trails provide miles of riding pleasure. The campground offers 41 campsites that accommodate horse trailers and RVs up to 35 feet. A picnic shelter at the campground is available for group-use. Area trails include Arabian #622 (4 miles) and Canter #625 (2.75 miles) and connect with other trails such as the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail Section 30 (10 miles), Belgian #624 (3 miles), Flat Rock Ridge #616 (1.5 miles), Draft #617 (.75 miles), Indian Creek #626 (1.75 miles) and North Flat Rock #627 (3 miles). Nearby facilities include Barren Fork Picnic Area. Take Barren Fork Road (next to the Stearns Ranger District office) for 0.8 miles. Turn right at the split in road. Go 0.1 mile. The campground is on the right.
  • Beaver Creek Wilderness

Beaver Creek Wilderness towering sandstone cliffs, natural arches and rippling streams are some of the special features that led to the designation of this 4,877-acre area as a wilderness in 1975. The wilderness provides visitors a place where they are free to explore nature's solitude and scenic beauty. No motorized or mechanized equipment is allowed. The wilderness is remote and the terrain is rugged. Several trails occur throughout the area, but be prepared for strenuous hikes. Much of the area is nestled below spectacular sandstone cliffs. In keeping with the wilderness concept, signage is kept to a minimum. You should not expect trail signs or markers to guide you. Primitive camping is permitted in the Beaver Creek Wilderness as long as you remain 300 feet away from any road or stream and out of site from any trail. Camping and firebuilding in rock shelters is prohibited. Before becoming a wilderness, this area was settled as a small coal mining town during the early 1900s. Signs of the past remain visible with old roads, stone fencing, exotic shrubs and grave sites scattered throughout the area. Over time, nature is slowly erasing some of these signs that man left behind. Cell phone communications and emergency rescue services may be limited in the wilderness. From Whitley City, take US 27 north 12.5 miles; turn right onto Bauer Road for 2.25 miles; turn left onto Forest Service Road 51 for .8 mile. The trailhead will be on your left. From Somerset, take US 27 south for 13 miles; turn left onto Bauer Road for 2.25 miles; turn left onto Forest Service Road 51 for .8 mile. The trailhead will be on your left. 

  • Bell Farm Horse Camp

Bell Farm Horse Camp is a popular place for wagontrain riders who come to "rest a spell." The nearest hiking and horse trails in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Rock Creek, a State Wild River, runs along the camp. In the early 1900s this area was a logging and mining town. During the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was located here. The walnut trees you see here today were planted in 1953. Take US 27 to KY 92. Go 5.3 miles to KY 1363; turn left and go 11.4 miles to the end of the blacktop. Turn left and go 0.2-mile. The campground is on the left.

  • Hemlock Grove Picnic Area

Hemlock Grove was named for the eastern hemlock trees that surround the picnic area. Their shade provides a cool respite from the summer heat. Rock Creek, a Kentucky Wild River and federally proposed Recreation River, flows adjacent to the picnic area. Trails nearby include Gobblers Arch Trail #636, Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail #100 Section 37 and Section 38.

  • Keno Shooting Range
The Keno Shooting Range has a 50-yard pistol range and a 100-yard rifle range. The lanes are surfaced to the targets and shooting benches. From Somerset, take US 27 south about 10 miles. Turn right onto KY 751. After about 5 miles turn left onto Forest Service Road 5099 and follow to the end.
  • Great Meadows Campground

The Great Meadows Campground is developed on both sides of the road. Deer Loop is on the right; Raccoon Loop is on the left. Deer Loop is open April 1 - November 15; Raccoon Loop is open year round. Rock Creek, a designated Kentucky Wild River, runs along the Raccoon Loop. Campsite availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Trails nearby include Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail - Section 37 and Section 38,  Mark Branch Trail # 635 and Gobblers Arch Trail # 636.

  • Rock Ridge OHV Trail #506
This trail is developed for off-highway vehicles less than 50" wide. Motorcycles and hikers are also permitted on the trail. OHV riders should be experienced with sharp turns, hills and general forest hazards. Trail Connections include Rock Ridge OHV Trail # 506A (0.75-mile), Forest Service Road 5181 and Forest Service Road 5186. Take US 27 south 20 miles from Somerset or US 27 north 8.5 miles from Whitley City. Turn east onto KY 90 for 5 miles, and then turn left onto KY 3257 for 2.5 miles to KY 3256. Go 1.4 miles. Continue on County Road 46 for 1.8 miles. Turn right on Forest Service Road #5186 and then on Forest Service Road #5181 to the trailheads.
  • Sellers Ridge OHV Route #6296
Sellers Ridge OHV Route is considered easy to moderate with mostly ridgetop to rolling terrain. Hikers must use caution when crossing a narrow dryland bridge. Nearby facilities include Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Alum Ford Campground and Yahoo Falls Scenic Area. From US 27 near Whitley City, turn west on KY 700 and go right for 2.3 miles. Turn onto Forest Service Road 6296. Parking is available 1/4-mile down the road.

  • Yellow Cliff OHV Route #68B
Yellow Cliff OHV Route is considered easy with flat to gently rolling terrain. Riders should be alert for two narrow passages (dryland bridges) with vertical dropoffs on both sides. These sites offer beautiful views but must be crossed with caution. From US 27 south of Whitley City, take KY 92 west for approximately 11.2 miles, crossing the Big South Fork River to County Road 69 (Cowhorn, Stallion Fork, Jones Hollow sign). Turn right onto 69  (Jones Hollow Rd.) for 0.6-mile, taking the right fork onto Forest Service Road 650 (Stallion Fork Rd.) for 2.7 miles. Bear left onto Forest Service Road 651 (Pilot Rock Rd.) for 1.2 miles, and then bear right onto Forest Service Road 68 (Cowhorn Rd.) for 2.5 miles. The trailhead is on the left. 
  • Arches
  • Yahoo Arch is 17 feet high and 70 feet wide. There is a smaller arch on the left. From US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 700 west. Travel approximately 3 miles. The trailhead to Yahoo Arch Trail #602 is a gated road on the right. Follow the old road along the ridgetop. After one mile, the trail begins to descend. Stairs with railings mark your approach to the arch. Turn left and follow along the base of the cliff for one mile to reach the arch.
  • Markers Arch. From the Yahoo Arch trailhead, follow the old road along the ridgetop and take a right at the fork in the road on Markers Arch Trail #603. A sign directs visitors to the arch. The trail follows a pine-oak ridge before descending.
  • Koger Arch is 54 feet wide, 18 feet high and 91 feet across. South of Whitley City, follow KY 92 west to Yacacraw Bridge. Turn left just past the bridge onto KY 1363. Travel approximately 3 miles to the sign for Bald Knob and Wilson Ridge. Turn left and follow county road 582 to the trailhead for Koger Arch Trail #633 on the left. From 582, rock steps lead down to a seasonal creek. Cross the creek and follow the trail up to the arch. The arch is within 0.3-mile from the trailhead.
  • Buffalo Arch. Native Americans once used the height of this arch as an advantage when hunting buffalo. The arch, located at the end of a ridge, is approximately 19 feet high and 82 feet wide. The ridgeline drops along the back of Buffalo Arch into a valley created by a nearby stream. To reach the arch, take US 27 in Whitley City to KY 92 west. Just past the Yamacraw Bridge over the Big South Fork River, turn left onto KY 1363. Follow the signs to Great Meadow Campground. When you reach the fork for Forest Service Road 137 and 562, take 562 to Parkers Mountain. Follow 562 until you reach Forest Service Road 6305 on your left. Access to this trail is from the Parkers Mountain Trail #634. The trail follows an old road for 0.2-mile and then turns right to follow a ridge for 0.2-mile before reaching the arch.
  • Gobblers Arch is a sandstone arch that stands 12 feet high and 50 feet wide. From US 27 in Whitley City, take KY 92 west. After crossing the Yamacraw Bridge over the Big South Fork River, turn left onto 1363. Follow the signs for Great Meadow Campground. At the intersection of Forest Service Road 562 and 139, go left, following 139 to Forest Service Road 569. Go about a mile to Forest Service Road 6105 on your right. Gobblers Arch Trail #636 ascends from Rock Creek until reaching the cliffline. The trail then follows the ridgetop until reaching Gobblers Arch.
  • Natural Arch is an impressive 50 feet by 90 feet. The arch and surrounding 945 acres, once home to prehistoric groups and later Cherokee hunting grounds, were set aside to conserve the area's natural beauty. Natural Arch Loop Trail #510 begins on the north end of Natural Arch Picnic Area and runs along a paved pathway to the base of Natural Arch, passing two scenic overlooks along the way. At the arch, you may climb steps to the arch itself or continue along a dirt pathway that loops around the northwest end of the arch. The fenced area underneath the arch is closed.
Redbird Ranger District

One of the most significant federal land purchase programs after World War II was the Red Bird Purchase Unit in Kentucky. These lands today are part of the Redbird Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest offering many recreational opportunities from hiking, picnicking, backpacking, horseriding and OHV trail riding.

91 Peabody Road, Big Creek, KY 40914  -  606-598-2192

Latitude: 37.13892191  -  Longitude: -83.59016977

Directions to Ranger Station: From the Hal Rogers Parkway, take Big Creek Exit #34. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto KY 66. Go 0.7 miles (passing under the parkway) to the intersection with US 421/KY 80. Turn right and go 0.8 miles, and then turn left onto KY 66. Continue on KY 66 for 1.7 miles. The Redbird Ranger District office is on the right.

Acreage: 145,850

Counties: Clay, Leslie, Owsley, Perry, Harlan, Bell

Redbird Ranger District Recreation Opportunities

  • Redbird Crest Trail
The Redbird Crest Trail System is a 100 mile trail system which is located in Clay and Leslie counties. The trail generally follows the ridgetops. Some parts may be steep and rough. Some areas are so narrow that only single track vehicles can drive on them. It is a multiple-use trail, which means that hikers, horses, mountain bikes, motorcycles and ATV's under 50 inches wide are welcome. One portion of the route on Sand Hill Road is open to licensed vehicles only. The trail is marked with orange-painted, diamond-shaped blazes spaced no further than 1/10th of a mile. Trail symbols are used at road intersections and as a reminder. Intersecting trails are identified with signs. From the Hal Rogers Parkway, take Big Creek Exit #34. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto KY 66. Go 0.7 miles (passing under the parkway) to the intersection with US 421/KY 80. Turn right and go 0.8 miles, and then turn left onto KY 66. Continue on KY 66 for 1.7 miles. The Redbird Ranger District office is on the right and the Peabody trailhead is on the left. 
  • Redbird Wildlife Management Area

Redbird Wildlife Management Area is hilly to steep with gentle slopes in bottomlands and on ridge tops; mostly forested with approximately 100 acres of openings and 25 miles of improved hiking trails. No developed facilities. Mobility impaired access to permit holders on designated area, which is currently the Redbird Crest Trail.

  • Big Double Creek
A picnic area is located near Big Double Creek. The picnic area contains two large fields suitable for baseball, volleyball, football, and kickball. There are also in-ground grills, picnic tables and toilet facilities. It is suitable for community picnics, family outings, reunions, weddings, birthdays, and school events. There are no developed trails in the area, but lots of room to explore. Take KY 66 south from the Big Creek interchange with the Hal Rogers Parkway for 3 miles. Turn onto Forest Service Road 1501 (first right just past ranger district office). Follow the signs for 2 miles along Big Double Creek.
  • Buckhorn Lake State Park
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park is a park located in the northwest corner of Perry County, Kentucky. The park itself encompasses 856 acres, while Buckhorn Lake, a mountain reservoir lake which serves as its major feature, covers approximately 1,230 acres. The park is adjacent to the northern edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Buckhorn Lake offers both boating and canoeing. The marina has 95 open slips, two launching ramps and rental boats. The self-guided Moonshiner's Hollow Interpretive Trail winds 1.5 miles past 18 learning stations that teach hikers about the geology, flora, and fauna of the area. More experienced hikers may prefer the more difficult Leatherwood Trail, which connects with the Moonshiner's Hollow Trail. The park features basketball, bird watching opportunities, elk watching, a gift shop, horseshoes, miniature golf, picnic areas, grills, playgrounds, shuffleboard, bath house and a public beach (open Memorial Day through Labor Day). Surrounded by rolling, tree-covered hills, the lodge overlooks the lake and has 36 rooms, two 2-bedroom cottages and one 3-bedroom cottage. Open year-round.

  • Cawood Recreation Area
A picnic area is by a hemlock shaded creek at an old Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. Cawood Picnic area is also used for weddings, birthdays, church socials, reunions and Boy Scout outings. In-ground and pedestal grills, picnic tables, horse shoe pits and toilet facilities are available. There are no developed trails in the area, but lots of room to explore. Located approximately 3 miles north of the junction of KY 221 with US 421 in Leslie County, just north of the Harlan County line.
  • Elk Country Corridor
The Elk Country Corridor, located in southeastern Kentucky’s Cumberland Plateau, consists of the counties of Clay, Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, Letcher and Perry. Major routes through the region include US Highways 119 and 421 and KY Highways 15 and 80 (Hal Rogers/Daniel Boone Parkway). The landscape, featuring some of Kentucky’s most remote and unspoiled areas, includes rounded mountains, rolling hills, valleys and hollows. Elevations vary from 3,273 feet in the mountains to 675 feet in the valleys. Major towns include the county seats of Manchester, Hazard, Hindman, Hyden, Jackson and Whitesburg. Small towns dot the landscape. The region is known for its fantastic array of natural environments. The small towns, scenic parks, rugged terrain and plentiful wildlife play an important role in the character of Elk Country Corridor, but the largest factor remains the people. They are dedicated to their mountain heritage and are willing to share it with visitors. Throughout the corridor, there are opportunities to hear their music, view their architecture, study their history and experience their craft-making traditions.
  • Barns & Bridges
Nothing evokes such notions as do the county's numerous swinging bridges across Goose Creek, Red Bird and the South Fork rivers. The brooding colors of the old bridge over the Red Bird near the mouth of Bar Creek are the very stuff of soulful memories, and are worth seeking out as you drive around Daniel Boone National Forest. A good many of the bridges remain, but many have succumbed to aging and are continuing to do so year after year. Keep your camera handy as you pass these reminders of a simpler time. It may be your last chance.

Proud guardian of the countryside, the barn stands solemnly as a lasting reminder of America's rural heritage. But the barn has begun to disappear from the American landscape. Obsolete for modern farming needs and too expensive to maintain as family heirlooms, old barns appear destined to be preserved only in photographs and memories. Old farm buildings of the countryside contribute to the landscape, and help define the history of the location, i.e. how farming was carried out in the past, and how the area has been settled throughout the ages. They also can show the agricultural methods, building materials, and skills that were used. Most were built with materials reflecting the local geology of the area. Barns are working buildings; they are the largest tool on a farm. Like any tool, their shape and size reflects the way in which they are used. Just as the tip of a screwdriver will tell what type of screw it is meant to be used with, a barn's shape, size and attributes reflect the job it was intended to do. As farming practices developed over time, the types of barns that farmers built also changed. Although family farms continue to operate as suppliers for local population centers, the middle of the twentieth century heralded the decline of small farms. Changes in the way American's ate, increasing property values, and the growth of giant agribusinesses meant that family farms had a difficult time making a living. As farms went out of business, many of their barns became unused. Since the buildings were no longer needed, they were no longer maintained. The result was demolition by neglect. Another threat to the farms and barns also appeared in the second half of the 20th century - development. Since the farms could no longer generate enough income through their produce, a new way of getting money out of the land was sought. The result was the process, which continues today, of turning farmland into developments that have no place for a barn.

  • Quilt Trail
There is a quality about quilts that evokes a feeling of comfort, of home and family. Quilting is a tradition that thrives in Kentucky, not as a nostalgic reminder of days gone by, but as a vibrant part of community life. Grandmothers still sew quilts for grandchildren; quilters still get together to share patterns and gossip; family members still cherish the quilts that were made for them by loving hands. In the past, quilts might have been seen warming a bed, gracing a couch or flapping on a clothesline, but with the advent of the Kentucky Quilt Trail, images of quilts now blossom as bright patterns on the sides of weathered barns and other buildings across the commonwealth. The Quilt Trail project has taken deep root in Kentucky and spread quickly. The project has spread as a grassroots movement with each community introducing its own twist, painting quilt squares not only on barns, but also on floodwalls, craft shops and restaurants. Volunteer leaders and painters include extension agents, teachers, school children, senior citizens, homemaking clubs and tourism committees. The local utility company often provides a bucket truck and workers, who hang the quilts on barns, delighted to be part of this heartwarming community project. Many Kentucky literary artists weave the imagery of quilts throughout their stories and poems as symbols of family unity through hard times or as an expression of the connection that Kentuckians feel to their home-place. Kentucky painters often include quilts in their landscapes.

Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail

In the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Sheltowee Trace is considered the “backbone” of an expansive interconnecting trail system. Many other trails link to the Sheltowee Trace. Some trail connections provide loops for a short day hike, while others offer opportunities for multiple days of recreational challenge.

Come and explore nature along the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. The Sheltowee Trace is 307-mile back country trail through Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork NRRA, Natural Bridge State Park, Cumberland Falls State Park and Pickett State Park in Kentucky and Tennessee. The trail is open year round, so you can enjoy outdoor adventure in every season.

From north to south, the trail travels from the Knobs region to the Cumberland Plateau in southern and eastern Kentucky. Old homesteads, oil and gas wells and logging tracts can be seen along the trail, representing the remnants of past land uses that have occurred over time. 

In 1979, the Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the Daniel Boone National Forest trail system. The trail is named in honor of Daniel Boone. Sheltowee (pronounced shel-toe-ee) is the name given to Boone by Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee tribe, meaning “Big Turtle.” 

White diamonds bearing the image of a turtle mark the trail route. Trail junctions may also be marked with the national recreation trail symbol as shown on the map.

Hiking is allowed on the entire trail. The terrain is mostly rugged, so be prepared for strenuous travel in some areas. Horses, mountain bikes and off-highway vehicles less than 50 inches wide are permitted, but only on sections designated for those uses. Trail signs will indicate use permitted. You can customize the length and difficulty level of your trip by incorporating recreation areas and using trailhead parking lots along the route.

Discover Daniel Boone Country

Daniel Boone Country is Kentucky's southeastern most region, along the Appalachian border with Virginia and Tennessee. Its territory is dominated by Daniel Boone National Forest. Expect the unexpected in our corner of Kentucky!

Southeastern Kentucky is the perfect vacation destination whether it is for a weekend trip to one of our festivals or a relaxing stay on a houseboat. Explore rock shelters and arches, encounter elk, discover the first frontier of Daniel Boone or enjoy country music and a variety of watersports.

A trip to Southeastern Kentucky is an exciting adventure any time of the year. The drama of nature’s untamed splendor offers adventure and excitement in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone Country.

Towns & Counties in Daniel Boone Country

Bell County
Middlesboro, Pineville & Frakes

Bell County Tourism Commission
2215 Cumberland Avenue, Middlesboro, KY 40965
606-248-2482 or 800-988-1075

Breathitt County

Jackson Tourism Commission and Convention Board
329 Broadway St., Jackson, KY 41339

Clay County
Manchester & Oneida

Clay County Tourism Commission
212 Main Street, Manchester, KY 40962

Estill County
Irvine & Ravenna

Estill Development Alliance
141 Irvine St., Irvine, KY 40336

Harlan County
Benham, Cumberland, Evarts, Harlan, Lynch & Verda

Harlan Tourist Commission
201 S. Main St., Harlan, KY 40831 

Jackson County
Gray Hawk, Mckee, Sand Gap & Tyner

Jackson County Tourism
P.O. Box 274., Annville, KY 40402 

Knott County
Hindman, Pippa Passes & Sassafras

Knott County Tourism Commission
Hindman, KY 41822 
606-785-5881, 606-785-4095 and 606-785-0223

Knox County

Barbourville Tourism and Recreation Commission Visitor Center
P.O.Box 1766, 117 High St., Barbourville, KY 40906

Laurel County
Corbin, East Bernstadt & London

London-Laurel County Tourism Commission
140 Faith Assembly Church Road, London, KY 40741

Lee County

Lee County Tourism Commission
Hwy. 11 (Caboose), Beattyville, KY 41311

Leslie County

Leslie County Tourism Commision
341 Main Street, Campton, KY 41301
606-668-6475 or 606-668-3574

Letcher County
Blackey, Fleming-Neon, Jenkins & Whitesburg

Letcher County Tourism and Convention Commission
229 Main St., Whitesburg, KY 41858

Owsley County

Owlsley County Tourism Commission
Booneville, KY 41314

Perry County
Hazard, Buckhorn, Chavies, Ary & Cornettsville

Hazard/Perry County Tourism
124 Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Hazard, KY 41701
606-487-1580 or 888-857-5263

Powell County
Clay City, Stanton, Natural Bridge & Red River Gorge

Powell County Tourism Commission
Stanton, KY 40380

Rockcastle County
Brodhead, Livingston, Mt. Vernon & Renfro Valley

Mt. Vernon-Rockcastle County Tourist Commission
US 25, 2325 Richmond Street, Mt. Vernon, KY 40456
606-256-9814 or 800-252-6685

Whitley County
Corbin & Williamsburg

Corbin Tourist & Convention Commission
805 South Main St. #106, Corbin, KY 40701-1864

Whitley County Tourism

Williamsburg Tourist Commission
650 South 10 St., Williamsburg, KY 40769
606-549-0530 or 800-552-0530

Wolfe County

Wolfe County Tourism
341 Main Street, Campton, KY 41301
606-668-6475 or 606-668-3574

Appalachian Mountain Retreat For Sale

27+ Beautiful Acres in Daniel Boone National Forest

6 Cabins, Pond, Creeks, Waterfalls, Forest, Wildlife, Trails, Private Road, Gated, Security, Secluded, Easy Paved Access


Nestled in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the property provides habitat for wildlife: large, small, endangered and common. Experience a diverse array of forest, aquatic, wetland, and upland habitats right outside your door. Numerous outdoor adventures are nearby. Discover the back-roads, forests, swinging bridges and natural treasures of Appalachia and the Daniel Boone National Forest. Explore the nature, culture and wildlife of Clay County, Owsley County, and local, state and national parks.

Own your own wildlife sanctuary and mountain deep inside the Daniel Boone National Forest. Situated on over 27 acres along the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, this unique property includes two homes, 4 camping cabins, an office/efficiency apartment, a large garage, professional landscaping, a bamboo "forest", a pond, creeks, bridges, waterfalls, trails, picnic areas and many nearby attractions. Located along a well maintained paved state highway, the gated sanctuary is nestled in a hollow...offering private seclusion with its own private road. Use as a year-round residence, vacation home, family retreat, church retreat, camp or turn-key cabin rental business. You won't find a more beautiful location than Oneida, Ky in Daniel Boone Forest!


The property houses a two bedroom, one bath cabin; a one bedroom, one bath historic home (fixer-upper); 4 camping cabins with electric, air, ceiling fans, heat, cathedral ceilings, finished walls and floors; an office/efficiency apartment with two full bathrooms; a 2 ½ car garage; a large goldfish pond; several creeks and waterfalls; fenced areas; picnic areas; arbors; and numerous hiking/ATV trails. Most buildings on the property are newer construction. The hollow is professionally landscaped with stunningly beautiful, yet low-maintenance flowers, plants and trees. The property features dozens of established fruit trees, fruit bushes, a bamboo "forest" and a fenced area. City water and well water are located on the property, as well as cable and high speed internet.



2 Bedroom Cabin

900 Sq Ft - 2 Bedrooms - Security - Electronic Locks
Living Room - Dining Room
New Kitchen - Breakfast Bar - Hickory Cabinets & Pantry - 1 Bath - Laundry Room - New Shelving - New Mud Room - New Laminate Floors & Linoleum - Wood Paneled Walls - New Ceiling Fans - Air Conditioning - Large Porch

Woodland Cabin

12 x 20
Sleeps 2
Cathedral Ceiling - Finished Walls
Electric - Heat - Air Conditioning
Ceiling Fan - Electronic Locks
Fenced Area

Creekside Cabin

12 x 16
Sleeps 4
Cathedral Ceiling - Finished Walls
Electric - Heat - Air Conditioning
Ceiling Fan
Fire Ring
Electronic Locks

Creekside Cabin 2

12 x 16
Sleeps 4
Cathedral Ceiling - Finished Walls
Electric - Heat - Air Conditioning
Ceiling Fan
Fire Ring
Electronic Locks

Hilltop Cabin

12 x 16
Sleeps 4
Cathedral Ceiling - Finished Walls
Electric - Heat - Air Conditioning
Ceiling Fan
Fire Ring
Electronic Locks

Original Homestead (Fixer-Upper)

Needs TLC Inside
Currently Used for Storage
Newer Siding
Newer Porch
Newer Roof
1 Bedroom
Living Room
Well Water


New Construction
38 x 30 - Room For All Your Toys
2 Bay Doors
Office/Efficiency W/Kitchenette
Spacious Work Area
2 Full Baths
Large Deck
Security - Electronic Locks

Property Details

Listing Type: Single Family/Multi Family/Commercial
Bedrooms: 6+ Bathrooms: 3
House Size: 900 sq ft
House 2 Size: 800 sq ft
Cabin Sizes: 12 x 20, 12 x 16, 12 x 16, 12 x 16
Garage/Office Size: 38 x 30
Lot Size: 27+ acres (784,080 sq ft)
Listing Status: Active
Year Built: 2006, 2012, 2015
County: Clay
Full Bath: 3
Subdivision: Rural
County School District: Clay County
School District 1: Oneida Elementary School
District 2: Clay County
Exterior Features: Trees, Mountains, Hollow, Porches, Decks, Creeks, Pond, Waterfalls, Bridges, Storm Windows, Storage Sheds, Fencing, Trails, Arbors, Picnic Areas, Picnic Tables, Park Benches, Landscaping, Gardens, Park-like, Outdoor Lighting
Garage Description: 2 1/2 Car, Office/Efficiency
Cooling: Electric
Heating: Electric
Construction: Wood Framed
Flooring: Laminante, Vinyl, Wood, Cement
Sewer/Septic: Septic Systems
Roofing Shingle: Composition
Miscellaneous Features: Separate Utility Room, Attic Access, Multiple Out-buildings


​27+ Forested Acres
City & Well Water, Natural Springs
High Speed Internet, Wi-Fi, Cable, Phone Service
Gated (Remote) - Private Road
Professionally Landscaped Hollow
Wooded Mountain With Trails, Picnic Areas & Camping Areas
Large Goldfish Pond with Dock
Creeks & Waterfalls
​Dozens of Established Fruit Trees
Dozens of Established Fruit Bushes
Bamboo "Forest"
Most Landscaping is Edible
2 Large Picnic Arbors
Fire Rings & Fire Pit
Fenced Area
Outdoor Sensor Lighting
6 Porches, 1 Deck
Stone Landscaping