Daniel Boone National Forest

Bicyclists take over a forest road.

Everybody wants to see the Red River Gorge Geological Area. Perhaps the best way for bikers is to ride State Highways 77 and 715, which together create a nice 30-mile loop, taking you through the Gorge and back out. It's a great ride through an area that's a transition zone between northern and southern ecosystems.

Not in the Gorge but off the highway, the Sheltowe Trace from Highway 192 to Laurel Lake dam makes a terrific trip. It's an easy-rolling nine miles one way. Part of it runs along the lake—always a relaxing proposition. Riders normally go across the dam and then ride the road back. Be especially careful while on the part of it that goes through the Holly Bay Campground—you don't want to run into any preoccupied anglers or playing children. Ned Branch Trail and Lakeside South Loop are superior off-road experiences. Combined with the Twin Branch Trail, they make a nifty seven-mile loop. Most people walk the Twin Branch part. This ride is mostly through forest, with some stretches near the cliff line.

As at most national forests, you'll find miles of rough riding logging roads that are not earmarked for recreation, but are fun nonetheless. Your best bet for getting the lowdown on satisfying rides is to stop in at a ranger district office and ask for their recommendations. Advance word is that there's tons of good riding in the London District.


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