Featured Photo by Natural Bridge Campground

5 Top Kentucky Camping Experiences In The Red River Valley

As spring grows nearer, the possibilities for outdoor adventures and recreation creep closer with each passing day, especially along the many river valleys. Stunning sunsets, days spent on the water, and nights around a campfire are some of the best parts of spring and summer. Camping is one experience to look forward to when the warmer weather hits. A great location for camping in Kentucky is along the Red River, which flows east from the Kentucky River near Trapp. Located near central Kentucky, the Red River is a great source for recreation, as many campgrounds and parks have popped up along its riverbanks. Here are five of the top camping experiences in the Red River Valley.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River
With beautiful natural rock formations, the rolling Red River, and many amenities, Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a little bit campground and resort and a little bit state park. The striking views of the Natural Bridge and the Red River Gorge make the area a best-kept vacation spot in Kentucky and draw plenty of visitors each year with a mix of overnight campers and day-trippers. The resort is large enough to accommodate some great amenities, including a skylift to the top of the Natural Bridge, the mountainside Hemlock Lodge, a miniature golf course, and a swimming pool. If you’re looking to camp, the park also has two campgrounds with both improved and primitive sites and two service buildings with showers and restrooms. With restaurants nearby, hiking trails, fishing and boating, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding, and great spots for picnicking, the Natural Bridge State Resort Park is a great campground for everyone with endless possibilities for fun.
5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Developed in 1955, Callies Lake and Campground in Red River Gorge is a family owned and operated full camping facility just a few short miles from Natural Bridge and Red River Gorge. Centrally located between Stanton and Slade Kentucky, Callies offers a full RV park and campground right on the lake, including RV hookups, lakeside camper locations with water and electricity, and plenty of primitive camping surrounded by peaceful, serene nature. Callies is ideal as a short drive will take you to some of the best hiking, climbing, zip-lining, canoeing, fishing, and four-wheeling that Kentucky has to offer. Complete with a Country Store, a playground for the kids, and a private restroom facility with showers, you will find one of the best camping experiences in the Red River Valley at Callies.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Surrounded by mountains, cliffs, and gorges, Natural Bridge Campground is a top camping experience in the Red River Valley for everyone, from primitive campers to those staying in RVs. Natural Bridge Campground is smaller than other campgrounds in the area but very peaceful with just the right amount of amenities. The campground is perfect for nature lovers and sustainable travelers alike while offering some helpful additions such as a large shelter, electricity, and restroom facilities with shower houses. This campground also offers the opportunity to stay in one of their waterfront cabins, if you would rather take a break from sleeping in a tent. Natural Bridge, one of the area’s most beloved features is less than a mile away, and the Clifty Wilderness Area, the Red River Gorge, and the Kentucky Reptile Zoo are also nearby. Whatever you choose to explore, Natural Bridge Campground is a great place to stay and enjoy the beauty of the area in a clean and fun environment.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Located in the Red River Gorge and the Daniel Boone National Forest, Koomer Ridge Campground offers a semi-primitive camping experience in a tranquil forest setting, making it one of the top camping experiences in the area. One of the best features of the campground is its access to hiking trails within the Red River Gorge, which is a unique, scenic natural area with spectacular rock features, including sandstone arches and towering cliffs. The Red River Gorge also offers a must-try kayaking or boating adventure where a guide will take you underneath the Red River Gorge for a unique river experience. You will also have access to picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and drinking water, which will make your stay much easier if you are camping. Being located in such a prime location, sites are only available on a first-come, first-serve basis with no reservations accepted, so if you do plan on staying at Koomer Ridge it is best to call ahead and check for availability.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

A family-friendly campground within driving distance of many of the area’s popular attractions, but the real appeal of the Lago Linda Hideaway is the privacy and security the campground offers to campers. Located in Beattyville and hidden almost a mile from the main road on a private drive, the Hideaway offers a gorgeous setting for campers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and crowds at other campgrounds, while still offering a top camping experience. With 35 different campsites on the ridge tops, the sites are spread out enough to offer as much privacy as you wish. You will find all the campsites have electrical hookups, water, a picnic table, and a fire ring, as well as a graveled slab. Being pet-friendly, family-friendly, and offering hot showers, restrooms, and wifi, the Lago Linda Hideaway is the perfect place to sit back and relax and have a top camping experience.

I am a student, aspiring writer, and avid reader of books. My favorite things in the world are my German Shepherds and hiking in Colorado.

Maeve Miller

Writer , River Travel Magazine