A Kentucky Outdoor Adventure: Explore the Daniel Boone National Forest

JC Phelps

Kentucky is widely-known as a state chock-full of horses, exquisite culinary experiences, and bourbon. That said, the Commonwealth also boasts some of the nation's finest terrain. One of the best examples? The Daniel Boone National Forest!

USDA Forest Service

A Kentucky Outdoor Adventure: Explore the Daniel Boone National Forest

About the Daniel Boone National Forest

In February 1937, a national forest for Kentucky was officially established under a proclamation signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Originally named the Cumberland National Forest, the forest was renamed in 1966 as the Daniel Boone National Forest in recognition of the adventurous frontiersman that explored much of this Kentucky region. The Daniel Boone National Forest is one of 155 national forests, all of which are managed by the USDA.

Territories and Features

The Daniel Boone National Forest is expansive, as it occupies land in 21 counties throughout Eastern Kentucky. To aggregate the land, it covers more than 708,000 acres.

The forest is most known for its varied terrain, which boasts more than 3,400 miles of sandstone cliffs, gorges, and ravines cut by rivers and streams, and the Natural Bridge, which measures 65 feet high and 75 feet wide.

One of the most visited areas of the Daniel Boone National Forest is the Red River Gorge (learn more here).


Passes and Permits

The Daniel Boone National Forest offers many activities such as hiking, biking, camping, birding, driving for pleasure, harvesting plants and gathering firewood. Many of the facilities and services associated with these opportunities are free; however, some do require fees and/or permits.

Types of Permits

There are four types of permits for the Daniel Boone National Forest: Recreation, Forest Products, Event & Commercial, and Special Use Permits/Authorizations. To check to see if you need a permit, click here.

Contact Information

Cumberland Ranger District
2375 KY 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351

Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380

London Ranger District
761 S. Laurel Road
London, KY 40744

Stearns Ranger District
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653

Redbird Ranger District
91 Peabody Road
Big Creek, KY 40914

Additional Information

Learn more: http://www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf

Contact (administrative office): Daniel Boone National Forest, 1700 Bypass Road Winchester, KY 40391; 859-474-5093.

Have you ever visited the Daniel Boone National Forest? If not, start planning your trip right away!

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JC Phelps is a Kentucky-based food + southern lifestyle writer.

Louisville, KY

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