As soon as I became old enough to be outside on my own, my love for nature began to grow like a young sapling. I immediately wanted to go camping, but had a lot to learn. Luckily, my dad grew up in an era of spending 75% of his time outside. He imparted a wealth of knowledge to me from the time I was 7 or 8 until I became a young man. There are hundreds of great camping locations in the Daniel Boone National Forest. These are my three favorites.
According to the USDA Forest Service there are 25,520 acres of Federal Land in the District and an overall total of 145,850 acres. Much of the Redbird District is held by private property owners, so be cautious where you camp. Always check with the District Ranger Station located on KY HWY 66 south of the Hal Rogers Parkway, 606-598-2192 for permit requirements and campfire notices. This area is the least visited, so you should experience little to no competition for the best camping spots. Elk, deer, bear, coyotes, and many other wildlife viewing opportunities abound here. The Redbird Crest Trail is an off-road ATV route, so I advise staying well away from it to avoid noise. Some of the best camping is on privately held portions of the forest, check with the Ranger Station for possible accessible areas. I always camp on my family’s property within the District.
The Koomer Ridge Campground is directly accessible to the Red River Gorge Geological Area. It is located in Wolfe County just off of the Mountain parkway, it is easily accessible and the most heavily visited, so be sure to make reservations in advance. Overnight camping passes are required and may be purchased at several vendors. Breathtaking rock formations, rock climbing opportunities, and grand views await your visit.
The Great Meadows Campground has no fees and is secluded. From US 27 take KY 92 and turn left on KY 1363 and go to the end of the blacktop, then turn right onto Forest RD 564 go 1.2 miles and turn left on Forest Rd 137 and follow it for 4.4 miles. Parking is available at the campground. This area is covered with pristine hardwood/mixed forests of the southeastern US. This is true gem of rural camping.