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The 15 Best Mountain Trails in Kentucky

From its rolling hills to the beautiful mountain trails, Kentucky is a state full of diverse and majestic landscapes. In recent years it’s become a popular destination for outdoor adventurers from all over the country, who come seeking an escape from their daily lives and the chance to explore some of the best mountains in America. Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a more rugged challenge, there are plenty of options available – with something that should fit everyone’s needs!

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring 15 of Kentucky’s most stunning mountain ranges. Read on to find out which one might provide you with your next unforgettable journey into nature!

The Best Mountain Trails in Kentucky

Red River Gorge Geological Area

  • Address: Robbie Ridge Rd, Stanton, KY 40380, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (609)
  • Phone: +1 606-663-8100
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: Closed
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Best mountain trail in Kentucky
Best mountain trail in Kentucky

5 Replies to The 15 Best Mountain Trails in Kentucky

  1. We drove the 33 miles of the Scenic route. And we stopped to do some short hikes. What a beautiful place to get away from the city and be one with Nature. Unfortunately we didn’t have to to get in some more of points of interest in. But what we got to Experience was absolutely Breath taking.

  2. Amazing drive through the gorge. Wish we had more time to stop at other stuff but we will be back to stay a couple days and explore 5he whole area more. But even with just the drive we experienced some awesome stuff. One of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever taken!

  3. Went to Red River Gorge for a day trip. There is soany activities to do here. Many place with fantastic views!! We decided to do the Nada Tunnel because we couldn’t do any hiking this day. I wanted to walk through it but it was narrow and there is plenty of traffic so I didn’t get the opportunity but I did get some pictures! The few I got inside the tunnel are hard to see details but they will give you an idea of the inside. We also went throught from both sides.

  4. Went with friends for an epic weekend at RRG. We ended up doing 18 miles spanned over 6 hikes. Best weekend of the year!

  5. Beautiful area to hike and backpack! Have been a few times and it’s always a treat. Has gotten a lot more crowded over the years though so I recommend you start early because the parking lots at the more popular trailheads can be a nightmare to navigate. Would recommend the Sheltowee Trace as a backpacking trail! Definitely be prepared for steep terrain and beautiful views!

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Top 15 Scenic Mountains in Kentucky

Best mountain trail in Kentucky
Best mountain trail in Kentucky

Tioga Falls Trail

  • Address: Louisville Nashville Turnpike, West Point, KY 40177, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (492)
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Thursday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Friday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    Saturday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Fun family friendly outdoor adventure. You can walk the trails or go Hiking and exploring. Great exercise for you and the entire family. Just another one of Kentucky’s hidden gems. If you love nature this is your place!!! The falls are beautiful and worth the hike. Its time to turn off all of the electronic gadgets and be at one with nature again. Dont forget other nature parks around Kentucky like Bernheim forest and Broad Run Park. I give this park 4 crown’s👑👑👑👑. If you like my reviews please like and follow.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Eazy Money (9 months ago)
    The portion of the trail i went on was generally user-friendly. A family pushing their loved one in a wheelchair was out enjoying the sun as well and they didn’t seem to have any problem since the path was paved and mostly flat. Plenty of shade to enjoy although there weren’t benches or pavilions along the way to sit down on so you will need to bring your own portable seating. There were a few well worn places to go off-trail but I wouldn’t recommend it due to unstable terrain.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lindsay (3 months ago)
    Moderate terrain hike with some of trail off limits with a detour. Roots and rocks can be slippery and path narrows at high point with no guard rail to prevent falls. Rocks near falls are slick.
    ✭✭✭✭ By GRAMS (5 months ago)
    If you want a hike then going to this trail is what you’ll get. It’s a good walk just to get there. About a mile or so. Then once you go up the slight hill you’ll turn around at the tracks and have this amazing view over the trees. We went off script a bit and went further than the trail took us. What you find it you go past the creek is a small waterfall. You gotta go Laura croft on it to get up to the second fall. (This pic was taken with my bad cameras 😔 sorry)
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By marcel woodard (8 months ago)
    Easy to walk trail, well marked and very scenic. Ample parking and the section that goes on the base has some very interesting bridges. They are best seen from the underneath side. Phenomenal craftsmanship.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Michael Dawes (2 months ago)

Auxier Ridge Trailhead

  • Address: Tunnel Ridge Rd, Stanton, KY 40380, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (418)
  • Phone: +1 855-296-9078
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: Open 24 hours
    Tuesday: Open 24 hours
    Wednesday: Open 24 hours
    Thursday: Open 24 hours
    Friday: Open 24 hours
    Saturday: Open 24 hours
    Sunday: Open 24 hours
  • Reviews:
    This trail is one of my favorite!
    We’ve hiked it with our three and a half year old son. It was easy, nice and not scary at all.
    I loved it!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Anastasia Dias (7 months ago)
    Super rewarding trail if you are willing to commit to the miles and hours. You will experience diverse forest and desert feeling areas. Spend special time exploring the two or three features around and take in the views. The area is not busy, the trails are thin, but you have to love it because they are one with nature. Two opportunities to scramble, one pictured – Super worth it for the views. Parking can get very packed on a busy day although there is a lot to offer, bathroom available, bug spray necessary. Decent amount of backcountry camping spots available with purchase of a pass.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Madison Miazgowicz (3 months ago)
    This is a really fun day hike, with great views and plenty of spots to rest along the way. I highly recommend doing Double Arch, then head to Court House Rock, and finish with the views on Auxier Ridge. If you start in the Auxier Ridge parking section you will head left of the main trail head, and travel clockwise around the loop. Along, the way there is a small stream to cross, so I recommend water proof hiking boots. Also, make sure to bring water, and have fun!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Codyo1995 (a year ago)
    Perfect day and awesome hike! There was so much to see and do. Definitely moderate in that there was some sections that were harder but worth every minute. Go early!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chanel Jonas (5 months ago)
    An awesome, autumn trail with stunning views, a peaceful, elevated hike with all the autumn colours to greet you (as well as a beautiful butterfly 🦋 maybe as one flew and landed on my foot for a while!)
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Becca Nicholson (a month ago)

Chimney Top Rock Trailhead

  • Address: Pine Ridge, KY 41360, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (391)
  • Website: Link
  • Reviews:
    Quick and easy “hike” to a great over look. Perfect spot for a nice sunset picnic. Parking spots, bathroom (but hold your nose because the bathroom pits are pretty terrible) the over look fits about 10-15 people comfortably but there’s also a few side lookout spots if it’s crowded.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By travis leonard (a month ago)
    Great hike. Marked easy and a relatively easy walk out to the overlook. Definitely with the hike! Be warned that your car will get dusty on the way out the gravel road to the trailhead.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Diana Noelle (a month ago)
    Short, rewarding walks to both Princess Arch & Chimney Rock. Dirt paths, not a lot of elevation change. Both have very pretty views. You can go under Princess Arch and explore that area a bit more while Chimney Rock is more of a platform although some people do go beyond the fence onto the rock. Highly recommend stopping by these areas that are perfect for the family with small kids. Worth it, but a bit underwhelming for adults compared to other spaces. Bathrooms and plenty of parking at the trailhead.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Madison Miazgowicz (4 months ago)
    Parking lot at the trailhead with restrooms. It is an easy 1/2 mile hike to the viewing area. The overlook area is very safe with small rock walls and wooden handrails. It is advised to not wander off the trail or climb outside the viewing area. It is a beautiful panoramic view of the Gorge. Well worth the trip. Okay for escorted kids. I think it is okay for pets but check and make sure. It was not crowded at all when we went but I imagine it would be as the leaves change color.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Bo Ledford (a year ago)
    Short easy hike with a mostly paved pathway and an absolutely gorgeous view at the end!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Michelle (3 months ago)

Rock Bridge Hike Trail Head

  • Address: Rock Bridge Rd, Campton, KY 41301, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (387)
  • Reviews:
    Nice trail. We were alone for short periods, so it’s not overcrowded. It just needs more signage. We weren’t sure we were on the right track a few times, although we tried to follow the paved trail. Definitely go clockwise if just walking the trail for a less strenuous exit. And if just going to the waterfall/rock bridge, go counterclockwise to get to them faster.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Catherine Kasler (6 months ago)
    We love this trail, and appreciate that it’s a loop. I’ve hiked it with children and senior citizens, and it’s been manageable for them. There are lots of fun things to climb- ridges, the rock bridge, the waterfall. We’ve packed a lunch and hung out for the whole day at the waterfall in the summer. The water is clean and great for kids to play. It’s also beautiful in the fall to see the colors of the leaves.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Mary King (2 months ago)
    This hike was awesome! I feel like there are so many cool rocks to look at and areas to check out along the way. It is a bit rocky in areas so walk with care.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jessica Short (6 months ago)
    Nice hike to a creek, small waterfall and large rock bridge. Great hike for small children. Not much for a vertical view from a cliff like other hikes in the area. This hike is more wooded.
    ✭✭✭✭ By Jillian (8 months ago)
    By far the busiest trail we’ve ever seen in KY with tons of families with kids on the trail. Rock Bridge is super cool, as arches are, and the little waterfall further along the trail is cute too. We found the journey to be very quick taking probably 20-30 minutes to the waterfall. Be prepared to get your feet wet! It was gorgeous on this pre-autumn day. Be sure to eat at Patriot Kel’s and get a coffee from Shebrews nearby. What the Fudge (inside Shebrews) was cute as well. We were really impressed by how good these local spots were.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Pamela Code (a year ago)

Natural Arch Scenic Area

  • Address: Parkers Lake, KY 42634, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (374)

Jessamine Creek Gorge

  • Address: 1232-1406 Corman Ln, Nicholasville, KY 40356, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.4 (206)

Vanhook Falls Trailhead

  • Address: 13307 W Laurel Rd, London, KY 40741, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (124)

Asbury University Hiking Trail

  • Address: 985 Shanty Hill Rd, Wilmore, KY 40390, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (109)

Rudy Mines Mountain Bike Trails At Ben Hawes Park

  • Address: 101-, 137 Overstreet Rd, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (97)

Bad Branch State Nature Preserve

  • Address: KY-932, Eolia, KY 40826, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (88)

Canal Loop Trailhead at Kentucky Lake Scenic Drive

  • Address: Kentucky Lake Dr, Grand Rivers, KY 42045, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (68)

Indian Fort Mountain Hiking Trail Parking

  • Address: 2047 Big Hill Rd, Berea, KY 40403, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (58)

Big Beech Woods

  • Address: Louisville Loop, Louisville, KY 40299, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (52)

Lily Mountain Nature Preserve

  • Address: 551 Little Rock Rd, Irvine, KY 40336, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (30)

Big Beech Trail

  • Address: Louisville, KY 40299, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (17)
Best mountain trail in Kentucky
Best mountain trail in Kentucky

Thank you for reading! If you have any additional information on the best scenic mountains in Kentucky, please leave a comment above. We would love to hear from you!

Posted by
Kazan Aldrich

I used to be a pilot, but ended up being just a mediocre writer.