Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky is a hidden gem for horse enthusiasts, offering a plethora of scenic trails to explore. With over 700,000 acres of pristine wilderness, equestrians can embark on unforgettable horseback adventures. From lush forests to picturesque waterfalls, here are some of the best horse trails at Daniel Boone National Forest.
1. Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail: As the longest trail in Kentucky, the Sheltowee Trace is a must-visit for horseback riders. Spanning 319 miles, it winds through various terrains, including rolling hills, tranquil streams, and enchanting forests. This trail offers plenty of scenic overlooks, perfect for capturing breathtaking vistas and spotting wildlife.
2. Rock Bridge Trail: Located near the Red River Gorge Geological Area, the Rock Bridge Trail showcases the natural beauty of the forest. This moderate 2.1-mile trail leads riders through stunning rock formations, moss-covered cliffs, and unique geological features. The highlight of the trail is a natural stone bridge, a perfect backdrop for memorable horseback photos.
3. Natural Bridge State Resort Park: Nestled within Daniel Boone National Forest, Natural Bridge State Resort Park boasts a diversity of horse-friendly trails. The Original Trail, a moderate 2.5-mile trail, rewards riders with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Sal Hollow Trail and Whittleton Branch Trail are other popular options, providing peaceful and scenic routes for horses and riders alike.
4. Red River Gorge Geological Area: Located within the national forest, the Red River Gorge Geological Area is a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers, and horseback riders. With over 100 miles of designated horse trails, it offers a wide variety of routes to suit all skill levels. From challenging climbs to leisurely rides along the river, this area never fails to impress with its awe-inspiring beauty.
5. Laurel Lake Trail: Situated near the London Ranger District, the Laurel Lake Trail is a hidden gem that meanders through lush forests and along the tranquil shores of Laurel Lake. This breezy 11-mile loop is perfect for horseback riding, with ample opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the serenity of the lake. The trail offers several scenic overlooks, making it a great choice for nature enthusiasts.
6. Cave Run Lake Trails: Located in the northern part of the national forest, the Cave Run Lake area provides an excellent horseback riding experience for riders of all levels. With more than 50 miles of interconnected trails, equestrians can explore the beautiful woodlands surrounding the lake. Be sure to visit the Zilpo Horse Trail, which offers a mix of rugged terrain and peaceful meadows.
7. Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area: For those seeking a more remote and challenging riding experience, the Pioneer Weapons Wildlife Management Area is an ideal destination. This 25,000-acre area located in the northern part of the national forest offers over 60 miles of horse trails. Riders can enjoy a backcountry adventure, come across abundant wildlife, and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature.
Daniel Boone National Forest is a true equestrian paradise, offering a vast range of horse trails to explore. Whether you are a seasoned rider or just starting out, the forest's diverse landscapes and natural wonders will leave you in awe. So saddle up, take in the breathtaking views, and embark on a horseback adventure you won't soon forget.