What is Red River Scramble?
Red River Scramble is a free admission, grassroots Adventure Rally. While riding off-road is encouraged, the intent is to bring together like-minded adventure enthusiasts in one of the best riding locations in Appalachia, be it paved or dirt. Participants are responsible for their own food, lodging, and expenses. Registration can be found here.
Where can I stay in Red River Gorge?
The host(s) will be staying at the Natural Bridge Campground in Slade, Kentucky. The Natural Bridge Campground has several tiers of lodging available, from cabins, to RV hookups and tent camping. Alternate accommodations can also be found at other nearby locations:
Where should I ride?
That mostly depends on interests and skill level. Road-fairing riders won’t want to miss at least one loop around KY-715 and KY-77 to Sky Bridge and the Nada Tunnel, but there is additional riding to be had south of the Gorge. Hardcore Dual Sport riders will be sure to check out the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway (DBBB) along with potential portions of the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT). Beginner to intermediate Dual Sport riders will want to check out the gravel forest service roads inside Red River Gorge, and select portions of the DBBB; I recommend stopping to see Chimney Top Rock while you’re out on a ride. I’ve covered more of the routes in detail, including maps here.
It is also important that attendees understand that the Red River Gorge area is littered with challenging roadways, especially for the unsuspecting; motorcyclists will encounter virtually all imaginable riding conditions in this part of Kentucky. The backroads surrounding the gorge are often less than two lanes wide, lack safety warning signs, run alongside sheer cliffs, have blind rises and curves, and are frequently occupied by wild life and occasionally debris; your riding skills will be tested. The before mentioned roads have been traversed by all kinds of riders and all skill levels, however I cannot emphasize enough, you must “Ride Your Own Ride”. If twisty rural backroads and majestic views sound like a good time to you, then this is an event you don’t want to miss.
Are there any maps of the area?
For tourists, hikers, and sightseers, there are a plethora of maps available, specific to Red River Gorge (like this one). REVER and Google Maps are also good resources for finding your way around, assuming you have a good internet connection; beware, cell service and data is often limited or non-existent throughout most of the gorge area. In addition to ride descriptions, I have also posted links to Rever Maps and GPX files on my “Where to Ride” post.
Do I have to ride off-road?
No you don’t! If you want to come on down to the Bluegrass State to spend time with like minded motorcycle enthusiasts, we’d love to have you. The off-road riding and scenery is pretty incredible around this part of Appalachia, but the paved roads are also some of the best I know.
What is the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway?
The Daniel Boone Backcounty Byway (DBBB) is a 100 mile, OHV Recreational, route consisting of existing county roads. Adopting a similar concept to the successful Rubicon Trail in California, the DBBB utilizes a series of primitive county roads combined with existing paved roads to form a recreation loop around the Red River Gorge and Daniel Boone National Forest area in an effort to revitalize the tourism in the area. Approximately half of the DBBB loop takes place off-pavement, and provides challenges for all levels of dual sport riders. Be advised, only licensed vehicles are permitted on the DBBB; the official maps can be found here, Rever maps and GPX files can be found on the “Where to Ride” post.
What is the KAT?
The Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT) is a (nearly) 1,000 mile dual sport loop around Appalachian Kentucky, including small portions of West Virginia and Tennessee. The main loop is approximately 60% off-road, but it also includes optional “Hard” sections for the more skilled off-road riders. The entire loop typically takes about 6 full riding days to complete, however the northern sections are very accessible from Slade, Kentucky, where many riders also start the loop. Additional information and map downloads of the KAT can be found here.
Where’s a good place to eat nearby?
A visit to Miguel’s Pizza is an absolute must for first time visitors to the gorge. Don’t just take my word for it, ask last year’s attendees about breakfast and lunch at Miguel’s. I will also recommend stopping at Sky Bridge station for local craft beer and sandwiches if you’re on the east side of the gorge; although make sure you plan a little extra time for lunch and be advised, there’s no beer on Sundays (welcome to the driest state of the Union). While I have not yet had the pleasure, Red River Rockhouse is allegedly a common dinner destination and is said to have good food. The breakfast buffet at the Hemlock Lodge is also decent, and there are a myriad of chain fast food locations in Slade, Campton, Beattyville, Stanton, and Frenchburg. There are also a few nearby grocery stores if you want to start a fire and grill out; IGA in Beattyville and Frenchburg, and Save-A-Lot in Campton and Stanton.