Of the many things Kentucky is known for, the many hiking trails that crisscross the state may be the most underrated. The varied topographies of the regions that make up the Bluegrass State are perfect places to hike and get reacquainted with the natural aspects of the world we call home. Here are some of the best places to hike and get back to nature in Kentucky.
The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail winds over 300 plus miles from Pickett State Park in Tennessee to Rowan County in northern Kentucky. Hikers get treated to spectacular views of hills, valleys, rivers and creeks and many miles of unspoiled forest as they make their way along a sometimes demanding trail.
Red River Gorge
Sheltowee also winds through this spectacularly beautiful gorge that’s also a big hit with seasoned rock climbers. Visitors can choose a trail that suits their level of physical condition and can every trail offers fantastic vistas of rock formations and forested hills.
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
This place is a few miles east of Harrodburg is well suited for hikers of any skill level to go because the many miles of trails that run around the property intertwine at several points allowing hikers to choose their own level of difficulty. Visitors can also stay at the inn for a quiet evening in the Bluegrass State.
Though just a few miles south of Louisville, the unspoiled beauty of the forest trails can make hikers feel they’re in the middle of a beautiful wilderness. There’s also an arboretum on the property that’s full of beautiful trees and flowers.
Land Between the Lakes
This vast expanse of land between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake is full of epic trails that wind their way through the rugged terrain. This is a great place to see wildlife in a natural setting including Bald Eagles. If you’re not an experienced hiker, don’t venture too far away from your vehicle without someone who’s familiar with the area because it’s easy to get turned around in the huge undeveloped areas between the lakes.
Mammoth Cave National Park
The beauty and fun isn’t limited to the huge underground caves in one of Kentucky’s most popular destinations. Miles of hiking trails criss cross the large expanse of woods within the boundaries of the park. Deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife are abundant and can be seen from many of the trails.