Red River Gorge has been our favorite weekend camping and hiking spot for years and we make an effort to visit at least a couple times a year. Earlier we wrote about how much we enjoyed Whittleton Campground, but the winter season begins November 1 for the Kentucky State Park system and Whittleton shuts down immediately. Fortunately, Middle Fork is only about a mile away and stays open until mid-November.
Middle Fork is always a less preferred campground for us. Route 11 runs immediately above the sites and traffic noise persists throughout the night. The bathhouses are nice and relatively clean, but located at distance (and over a hill) from the tent sites. And many of the sites are awkwardly placed. So this was our first attempt at camping there with the trailer. And we soon discovered a couple other quirks of which campers should be aware.
But first, the “pros”. We selected site B28. This is a relatively large site that borders the water. Wander Woman joined us for the weekend and got site B30. A footbridge behind that site allows access to the main loop and the bathhouse. The sites were pretty and clean. Both sites had a large gravel pad for the picnic table area. Both also had a nice fire pit although the pit on B28 was so close to the river bank, only two people could comfortably sit around it – and only if the wind is blowing in the right direction.
But the quirks were many. First, there is the entrance to the campground. The turn into sites B27 – B35 is incredibly sharp and steep. We decided to turn around in the parking lot by Hoedown Island and approach from the other direction. Note that the bridge by the parking lot is one lane and has a weight limit of three tons so be sure to turn before crossing the bridge if towing a large trailer. And we turned around late in the evening when the lot was empty; it may become much more difficult during peak visiting times. Similarly, there is no where to turn around to back into sites B27 to B29. There is a small loop in front of B31 and the best bet may be to back down the road. The entire layout is definitely not recommended for very large rigs or inexperienced drivers.
The trailer sites do have water and electricity. But the placement is awkward and shared between sites. Many sites require hooking up from the passenger side of the trailer – sometimes at a distance of more than a dozen yards. If water and electricity are a must and you can’t confirm the location of hook-ups, I would suggest bringing plenty of extra cords and hoses.
Finally, it is important to note the weather. The Middle Fork does experience flash flooding on occasion. We have heard stories of campers being forced to evacuate in the middle of the night.
But all the quirks were well worth a beautiful, crisp fall weekend!