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Weekend Getaway - Looking for camping & bike trails in Kentucky area

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Weekend Getaway - Looking for camping & bike trails in Kentucky area

Old 11-02-10, 12:48 PM
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Weekend Getaway - Looking for camping & bike trails in Kentucky area

Hello,

Sorry if this is a bit off topic, but I think Mountain Biking is probably the most relevant group to post this in...

My wife and I are looking to get away this weekend, and wanted to go somewhere a bit warmer than Southern Ontario. We're looking to tent camp, and bring our mountain bikes with us so we can do a bit of biking. We've both ridden for years (decades!) but I'd still categorize us as intermediate riders, since most of our time is either spent on the road touring, commuting, etc. Not much off-road single track lately.

Surfing around, we found Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky.

There's mention of trails - from their website:

Hiking Trails
Discover the above ground beauty of Carter Caves on 26 miles of wooded nature trails. Trails range from easy to difficult hiking level ability. The Kiser Hollow Trail is a multi-use 10-mile trail for horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking. There is a parking area at the trailhead for trucks with horse trailers. Guests bring and ride mountain bikes. No ATVs allowed, and no overnight camping on the trail.
Has anyone ever stayed here, or biked the trails?

If not, does anyone from the southern Ohio / Kentucky area have other suggestions? Not trying to turn this into a 'my trail is better than your trail' flame war - we're just looking for a quiet weekend of trail riding and camping. We're hoping to go far enough south that we can bike comfortably, but don't really want to spend more than 8 hours in the car, so anything further south than Kentucky is a bit of a reach.

Thanks to all for your advice and suggestions!
Brawny
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Old 11-03-10, 11:29 AM
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Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

We're heading out tomorrow afternoon for the Bluegrass State. Looks like there aren't many mountain bikers in Kentucky...
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Old 11-11-10, 08:28 PM
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If you have more time you could stop at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington if you would like to be near a city and ride around on some beautiful, even though i'm from Kentucky I do not know that many places in that i just got into Mountain Biking. Another place to check out is the Red River Gorge. Another place that would have less people but still equally as great would be the Big South Fork though that is on the KY/TN border. All places you could possibly find some bike paths or roads with great scenery. Any state park is probably a good bet. I've never been to Carter Caves state park but i'm betting you could easily find something.

I just realized that you posted this about a week ago. But here is some info if you ever want to visit kentucky again

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Old 11-15-10, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for responding, iron wren!

We did get to Kentucky the weekend before last - and stuck to our original plan of going to Carter Caves. Great weekend, although a bit cool for tent camping. The water in our pot had a good layer of ice in the morning both Saturday and Sunday... Great park - the caves were really worth the price of admission, the hiking trails were awesome - and we had them mostly to ourselves because of the time of year! :-) The trails in the park were good, but there's only one that's open for mountain biking. It had some really nice single track through the bush - beautiful ride with the leaves covering the trail. Kentucky being Kentucky, there are a LOT of hills valleys, and we decided to bail on the trail before it descended a few hundred feet to a valley floor. It looked like it would be a great ride - we just weren't keen on the idea of having to spend half an hour or more in granny gear to get to the top again...

The park was absolutely spectacular. I can imagine that during the summer it's probably next to impossible to get a campsite or a room at the lodge. I'd highly recommend it for a peaceful weekend away in the off season though. :-)

Thanks for the pointers to the Red River Gorge, Big South Fork and the Kentucky Horse Park. I'm sure we'll be back in the area at some point, and will have to do some more research and check them out!

Thanks again!
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Old 11-15-10, 08:00 AM
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Red River Gorge. The scenery is great, I haven't personally taken a bike out there but I've been camping and it's great for that, the terrain is super diverse, and there's even a nice (if a bit narrow) road that leads through most of the pertinent parts of the park, so you can get from one place to another without having to worry about riding off a cliff.

from the web:
Cycling Around the Gorge
For a rather unique way of exploring the Red River Gorge, perhaps you’ll consider a bicycling trip. The gorge’s spectacular network of hiking trails is off-limits to mountain bikers, but Lexington’s Bluegrass Cycling Club organizes a number of area bike rides, including the annual autumn “Red River Rally”; this magnificent 27-mile loop tour takes the cyclist right through one of the most scenic and significant geological areas in the nation. Of course, you can do this ride on your own at any time, but be prepared for narrow, shoulder-less, twisting mountain roads (where you’ll face several tough climbs and steep descents).
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Old 11-15-10, 08:59 AM
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Kentucky doesn't have a great number of trails unfortunately. Capital View Park in Frankfort is a decent option, but its a city park. No camping.

As mentioned above, Red River Gorge is beautiful, but not mountain biking allowed.

I believe Louisville and Northern KY (Cincinnati area) have some decent trails, but I'm not sure about proximity to camping.

The Knoxville area (2-3 hours further south) has better trail options. Haw Ridge in Oak Ridge (just west of Knoxville) is a great system, but again, no nearby camping.
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Old 11-15-10, 06:42 PM
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East Fork Lake has nice scenery its over in ohio. about 30 min from cincy. it has great mtb trails and a good campground. I frequent Versails which is about an hour from cinicnnati. It has really nice scenery and a really nice campground.
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Old 11-16-10, 12:22 PM
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Louisville has some decent trails that I've seen. Cherokee Park, Waverly Park, and Briar Hill (Residential Community with trails all around). There are others that I've heard of, but never been to. Camping is a little hard to come by, but there are some KOA areas around. Hotels can be found for reasonable rates though all over the city.

Also, I hear that Brown County, IN (Just south of Indianapolis) has great trails. I've been to Versailles, IN as well and it definitely has some great trails to ride. Both I think offer tent camping.
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