The Best Backpacking in Kentucky

Looking for the best backpacking in Kentucky? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Kentucky. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Kentucky

  • Slade, Kentucky

    Hike the Indian Staircase Loop and Cloudsplitter

    5.0
    10 mi
    Starting at the Bison Way Trailhead #210. You'll take this until you come to the intersection of the Sheltowee Trace Trail #100. Go left. You're going to turn right on the unmarked trail just past the sign that says stay on trail. This is quite the incline. Keeping going until you get to the base...
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  • Stanton, Kentucky

    Hike the Auxier Ridge Trail, KY

    5.0
    4 mi / 1300 ft gain
    This can be done as a quick hike, or as an overnighter so you can catch both sunset and sunrise.  Park at the Auxier Ridge Trailhead and take the Auxier Ridge Trail (#204).  Do NOT take the branch on the left for the Courthouse Rock Trail (#202), which you will see after about 1 mile.  In about 2...
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  • Pine Ridge, Kentucky

    Backpack Chimney Top Loop

    4.0
    10.7 mi / 40 ft gain
    Start out on Koomer Ridge Trail to see Hidden Arch. You will then head into the Right Fork Chimney Top Creek watershed, where you'll spend the night. The next day, hike along Buck Ridge to Sheltowee Trace Trail. Gray's Arch is located off of this trail. After stopping at the arch, rejoin Sheltowe...
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  • Grand Rivers, Kentucky

    Backpack the North - South National Scenic Trail

    59 mi / 3362 ft gain
    For 59 miles, the North-South National Scenic Trail winds up and down wooded hollows as you make your way along the length of Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. A National Recreational Trail, the North-South has a great mix of coastal views of Kentucky Lake (one of the largest artif...
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  • Pine Ridge, Kentucky

    Indian Staircase and Adena Arch Loop

    2.27 mi / 656 ft gain
    Indian Staircase and Adena Arch Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Denniston, Kentucky.
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  • Middlesboro, Kentucky

    Shillalah Creek Trail

    11.02 mi / 1955 ft gain
    Shillalah Creek Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Calvin, Kentucky.
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  • Stanton, Kentucky

    Martin's Fork to Sheltowee Suspension Bridge

    7.84 mi / 1375 ft gain
    Martin's Fork to Sheltowee Suspension Bridge is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a river located near Stanton, Kentucky.
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  • Morehead, Kentucky

    Sheltowee Trace NRT - Northern Terminus to Cave Run Lake

    38.17 mi / 3760 ft gain
    Sheltowee Trace NRT - Northern Terminus to Cave Run Lake is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Morehead, Kentucky.
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  • Livingston, Kentucky

    Sheltowee Trace: Section 23

    13.59 mi / 1588 ft gain
    Sheltowee Trace: Section 23 is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Livingston, Kentucky.
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  • Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

    Buffalo Creek and Saw Hollow Loop

    11.47 mi / 814 ft gain
    Buffalo Creek and Saw Hollow Loop is a loop trail where you may see local wildlife located near Brownsville, Kentucky.
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  • McKee, Kentucky

    Sheltowee Trace: S Tree Campground to Turkey Foot Campground

    18.67 mi / 1401 ft gain
    Sheltowee Trace: S Tree Campground to Turkey Foot Campground is a point-to-point trail that takes you through a nice forest located near McKee, Kentucky.
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  • Campton, Kentucky

    Swift Camp Creek Trail and Rough Trail

    14.96 mi / 2930 ft gain
    Swift Camp Creek Trail and Rough Trail is a point-to-point trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Pine Ridge, Kentucky.
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  • Campton, Kentucky

    Rock Bridge and Lower Swift Camp Creek Trail

    4.05 mi / 738 ft gain
    Rock Bridge and Lower Swift Camp Creek Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Campton, Kentucky.
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  • Pine Ridge, Kentucky

    Koomer Ridge and Gray's Arch Loop

    11.21 mi / 1785 ft gain
    Koomer Ridge and Gray's Arch Loop is a loop trail where you may see local wildlife located near Pine Ridge, Kentucky.
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  • Stanton, Kentucky

    Red River Gorge Loop

    12.29 mi / 2438 ft gain
    Red River Gorge Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Stanton, Kentucky.
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  • Williamsburg, Kentucky

    Sheltowee Trace Trail to KY 192

    21.03 mi / 2136 ft gain
    Sheltowee Trace Trail to KY 192 is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a river located near Corbin, Kentucky.
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