Backpacking Trails

Use our Map to find backpacking trips of the length you are looking for.

Most backpackers begin at the Martin's Fork parking area, on Route 77 shortly after you pass through the Nada Tunnel. This means that this lot is often filled to capacity on weekends, so be prepared to start elsewhere.

Remember that camping is allowed just about anywhere as long as you are out of site of roads, trails, and water sources (check the bulletin boards for current rules, they vary). Because of this, you don't really have to spend a lot of time planning where you will set up camp.

One thing to note is that there are not very many possibilities for multi-day loop hikes, most loops are day-hike sized. By creatively joining trails together in the Gray's arch area, you can achieve loops of up to approximately 14 miles, but if you are looking for a longer hike, you may have to hike a trail for some distance one day, then turn around and come back the way you came the next day. This is not really a problem though since the trails tend to reveal new vistas when hiked in the other direction.

The three longest trails are Rough Trail 221(the most common backpacking trail, with many variations), Swift Creek Trail 219, and Sheltowee Trace (which is blazed with a white turtle logo on the trees). Sheltowee Trace is a huge trail that runs from Tennessee almost to the Ohio River, the section of it that crosses Red River Gorge is probably the most scenic section of it.

I would love to see a route completed that would connect the Silve Mine Arch area to Chimney Top Road. If there is a way to do this, it would create an incredible trail system linking most of the best sites in the Gorge... Starting at Gray's Arch parking area, you would take Rough Trail to Swift Creek trail to Wildcat Trail, then less than a mile hike along Route 715 to Chimney Top Road, then to Silvermine Arch. Then Silvermine Trail to Koomer Ridge trail to Buck trail to Pinch 'em Tight trail back to your car! But as far as I know, no one has tried to create the critical missing section.

Short Hikes Day Hikes Backpacking Climbing Fishing Canoeing

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ACCOMMODATIONS camping, cabins, & lodging.
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ACTIVITIES things to do while there.
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