Frequent visitors of the Red River Gorge will tell you that some of the best trails in the region are unofficial trails. Anyone who is truly interested in hiking the gorge must buy Jerrell Goodpaster’s Hinterlands book. It has long been considered the Red River Gorge hiking bible and without a doubt, it your best bet for finding Hanson’s Point and other great features.
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. Continue reading “Middle Fork Campground”
One of the greatest benefits of the new trailer is not needing to check the weather before booking a campground. Previously, the summer months had been off-limits unless unseasonably cool weather blew in. We can power through the heat and humidity while on the trail, but sleeping in 70 degree mugginess is nearly impossible. But now, 110V to power the AC and we can go anywhere!
It’s been a while since we visited Red River Gorge – our favorite weekend spot. We love Koomer Ridge campground, but that is all first-come-first-served and there are only a handful of spots I would consider appropriate for a trailer. Nearby Natural Bridge State Park has two campgrounds – Middle Fork with 86 sites and Whittleton Creek with 94. They sit on opposite sides of Route 11 for easy access to the town of Slade. Both have sites with electricity and decent bathhouses. The tent sites at Middle Fork are dispersed along a road that parallels the creek. This is great for privacy, but makes a long walk to the developed bathhouse should you decide to forego the port-a-potties. The trailer sites are larger, but crowded. Our biggest complaint about Middle Fork campground is its proximity to the road. Be prepared for traffic noise all night long.
Mammoth Cave Campground is the main developed campground at Mammoth Cave National Park. The 105 sites are laid out in three loops through a nicely forested area. Shade should be plentiful in this campground. On recreation.gov sites did not seem to be reservable until mid-May, but plenty of sites were available when we arrived after 9:00pm. Of course the lows for the night were predicted to drop below freezing, so campsites may be more scarce in warmer temps.
We selected site 81 as it was dark when we arrived and seemed no better or worse than the rest. Next trip we may try to select one of the sites that run along Green River Ferry Road. There is a little valley just beyond those sites so the view and breeze seem like it would make those sites optimal. Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Campground”
This weekend we picked our hiking destination based on weather.com. Cold temperatures and light snow were predicted for most of a three hour radius of Cincinnati, so we aimed for as far south as we dared go on a Friday night. We had avoided this park on previous trips because the reviews of the trails were not particularly positive. Much of what I had read was that the trails were nearly ruined by horses. But we figured muddy trails were better than snowy trails and got into the campground late Friday evening. There was the added bonus of crossing into the central time zone on the way.
Our first stop in the morning was the ranger station to get the obligatory passport stamp and seek opinions on the best trails in the area. The visitor center was chaotic with those purchasing cave tour tickets. The rangers were not particularly helpful in selecting a trail, but informed us that over 70 miles of trail were available. This was very appealing already. So many of the longer hikes in the midwest take us from road bed to backyard with little wilderness in between. We looked forward to actually getting away from it all. Looking at the map we devised a loop with the Sal Hallow and Buffalo Creek trails and headed for the Maple Springs trailhead.