The Kentucky Adventure Tour is a 900+ mile loop (not counting the hard sections) in southeastern Kentucky. About 40% rural narrow twisty paved roads with the rest being gravel, dirt roads and trails, it will take five full summer days of riding to complete the main loop without the hard sections and up to six days with the hard sections. Some of these areas are very remote so do not go alone, and keep in mind that the average distance between gas stops is around 60 miles. Keep reading for more resources to help you plan your own Kentucky Adventure Tour!
Kentucky Adventure Tour Discovery Points
- DP1 – Southfork Elk view
- DP2 – North Fork Kentucky River
- DP3 – Nada Tunnel
- DP4 – Red River Gorge Geological Area
- DP5 – Red River Jump Rock
- DP6 – Wildcat Battle Monument
- DP7 – Natural Arches
- DP8 – Laurel River Lake
- DP9 – Dog Slaughter Falls
- DP10 – Wagon Arch
- DP11 – Yamacraw Historic Bridge
- DP12 – Princess Falls
- DP13 – Twin Arches
- DP14 – Pickett Fire Tower
- DP15 – Oscar Blevins Historic Farmstead
- DP16 – East Rim Overlook
- DP17 – Pineville Overlook
- DP18 – Cumberland Gap
- DP19 – Pinnacle Overlook
- DP20 – Hensley Settlement
- DP21 – Black Mountain
- DP22 – Birch Knob Observation Tower
- DP23 – Mill Rock Point Overlook
Kentucky Adventure Tour Camping Recommendations
Dispersed camping is permitted in various areas within Daniel Boone National Forest. We encourage adventurers to take advantage of the exquisite wild camping, wherever permitted. RV hookups, cabins, primitive camping spots, and a lot of opportunity for dispersed camping. Trails are OHV oriented and better suited for the motorcycle riders on the KAT, though the main section of the park is worth the excursion for overlanders (and is free to sightsee).
Kentucky Adventure Tour Route Overview
- Season: Year round, but Spring – Fall recommended.
- Technical Rating: Mostly green, blue on the alternative “hard trails”.
- Typical Terrain: 60% gravel and dirt roads, 40% paved backroads.
- Recommended Vehicle: Truck/SUV w/ 4×4 and AT tires.
Kentucky Adventure Tour Routes
KAT Segment 1 (254 mi)
Segment 1 travels from the Hindman area to just outside of the small village of Livingston through the Daniel Boone National Forest, which contains numerous campgrounds and side trails to explore. The Red River Gorge Geological Area is definitely worth a visit, and provides tons of swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities.
KAT Segment 2 (242 mi)
Segment 2 travels from Livingston to Newcomb, and also traverses through the Daniel Boone National Forest. In addition, the route also passes through the 125,000 acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Segments 1 and 2 of the KAT both offer several recreational opportunities, especially those involving water (boating, swimming, fishing, etc).
KAT Segment 3 (215 mi)
Segment 3 passes through a combination of forest service roads and county roads and byways. This section does pass through the Cumberland Gap area, but recreational opportunities are fewer compared to segments 1 and 2, although we definitely recommend checking out Pineville Overlook and Chain Rock.
KAT Segment 4 (222 mi)
This section of the route begins in the Clintwood, VA area, and makes its way back across the Kentucky border and concludes near Hueysville. This segment travels primarily through county roads and byways. Be mindful of private property, as dispersed camping opportunities on this segment are far and few between.
The route features numerous “hard trails” along the route. If you’re looking for something bit more technical and challenging, then you’ll want to check these out!