Daniel Boone National Forest

Quick Facts

Daniel Boone National Forest

Kentucky

(859) 745-3100

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Daniel Boone National Forest encompasses 635,000 acres in eastern Kentucky. The forest is noted for its recreational opportunities, including an extensive network of lakes and trails. Good fishing, hiking, and camping amidst the backdrop of rolling hills and cove hardwoods are a great attraction. The Daniel Boone National Forest boasts a Pioneer Weapons Hunting Area on the Morehead Ranger District. Other areas of interest include the Natural Arch Scenic Area, Beaver Creek Wilderness, and the Red River Gorge Geologic Area. It was originally named the Cumberland National Forest, after the core region called the Cumberland Purchase Unit. It was later named after Daniel Boone a frontiersman and explorer in the late eighteenth century who contributed greatly to the exploration and settlement of Kentucky. More than 600 miles of road and trail provide tourists an escape back to nature. Hikers, horseback riders and bikers enjoy breath-taking scenery.

Map of Daniel Boone Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 37.852554, -83.691939

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Activities

  • Boating

    For boaters, Scott Creek and Longbow Marinas offer boat rentals, groceries, fishing supplies, gas and oil, off-shore moorings, slips, boating accessories, and pump-out stations. Cave Run is best known for its excellent muskie fishing.

  • Bird Watching

    The Daniel Boone National Forest offers birders wonderful opportunities to see most of the birds that nest or winter in Kentucky. Birders from all over the state visit the forest every year to add new species to their "life lists" or just to enjoy seeing some of the less common birds, such as the cerulean warbler, in areas where they are plentiful.

  • Bicycling

    There are miles of roads and trails that are available for mountain bike use. Visitors may use any of these routes year round. There are no permits, fees, or registration required for individuals and small groups. Expect to carry and walk your bike for considerable distances on most of the trails on the national forests. Most trails were constructed for hiking, and are not maintained for continuous mountain bike riding. Trails are narrow and sometimes steep and are always pretty rough due to rock.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    There are currently about 150 miles of trails open to use by ATV's (3 & 4 wheelers) and motorcycles. Many of these trails are also open to horses, mountain bikes and hiking so caution and courtesy must be exercised. There are trails for such motorized use on most of the districts. Additional trails may be opened in the future, following analysis of potential environmental impacts and opportunities for public comment.

    Your compliance with rules that protect the land and streams will help keep these trails open. Resource damage due to illegal use is documented and can negatively affect the process that determines if future trails are developed.

  • Camping

    The Daniel Boone National Forest offers two types of camping opportunities: developed campgrounds and undeveloped or dispersed campsites located throughout the general forest area. These sites are within easy reach of many of the forests' recreational opportunities.

  • Caving

    The Daniel Boone National Forest has approximately three zones where limestone comes to the surface and caves are found. There are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 caves on National Forest System lands in Kentucky.

  • Fishing

    The lakes, streams and rivers on the Daniel Boone National Forest are for your use and enjoyment. All fishing must be done in accordance with state laws and regulations set by the Kentucky Dept of Fish and Wildlife. A state fishing license is required to fish on the national forest. Licenses may be acquired at local stores. Trout fishing requires a trout stamp.

  • Hiking

    The Daniel Boone National Forest features over 600 miles of developed forest trails, including nearly 300 miles of National Recreation Trails. Some trails are easy and fun for families with small children; other paths make great half-day hikes. Trails can lead to a backpacking adventure for a night or much longer. Wilderness trails are the most primitive and should be used by experienced hikers who enjoy strenuous activities.

  • Historic Sites

    Please contact park services to learn about this park's rich history!

  • Horseback Riding

    When you mention Kentucky, most people think of fine horses. So it's not surprising that outstanding opportunities for horseback riding abound in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

    The horse camps on the forest provide facilities uniquely suited for riders. Most will have water for your horses, trail access, and parking.

  • Hunting

    Thinking about hunting somewhere new this fall? Then visit the Daniel Boone National Forest. Most of the forest is open to the public for hunting free of charge.

    A variety of game is hunted each year on the Daniel Boone National Forest. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, quail, woodcock, squirrel, rabbit, fox, raccoon, waterfowl, elk and more can be found on the forest.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    There are currently about 150 miles of trails open to use by ATV's (3 & 4 wheelers) and motorcycles. Many of these trails are also open to horses, mountain bikes and hiking so caution and courtesy must be exercised. There are trails for such motorized use on most of the districts. Additional trails may be opened in the future, following analysis of potential environmental impacts and opportunities for public comment.

  • Picnicking

    The Daniel Boone National Forest features many picnic areas for you to enjoy in the districts. Some are roadside areas, while others feature more wooded settings, and some have recreation facilities such as playing fields, volleyball, horseshoes, trails and more.

  • RVing

    Several campsites are RV-friendly.

  • Water Sports

    You may also enjoy wading or cooling off in one of the many creeks, streams and rivers in the forest. The "old swimming hole", however, does pose some danger. There may be strong currents and undertows in even the most placid-looking river. Submerged rocks pose a serious danger if you jump or dive in. Sharp drop-offs are the norm, not the exception. Never let a child play, wade or swim in a river or stream without an adult right there, preferrably in the water with them. Some rivers are perfect for the inexperienced canoeist--gentle stretches that give you time to enjoy beautiful scenery. Others can provide whitewater challenges to even the most experienced river rat. Use the following information and charts to help you find the sections of streams that match your expectations and ability. The district office in each area will be able to provide you with maps and vital information about water levels.

  • Winter Sports

    Please contact park services for a list of winter sports.

Directions

Driving

Located east and south of Lexington, most of the forest is easily accessible by Interstate Highways I-64 and I-75.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(859) 745-3100

Links