Motorcycle Kentucky
Touring Information

Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State". It offers motorcycle riders multiple scenic environments from which to explore. Tour scenic roads past  horse farms and check out the Bourbon distilleries, explore Mammoth Cave, Cumberland Gap, and the historical sites related to Abraham Lincoln & Daniel Boone. Ride the twisty roads along the  Appalachian Mountains and explore the southern and western waterland regions.  Kentucky is a great place for camping and enjoying the outdoors. You'll finds lots of nice state park resorts and National Forest campgrounds.

 

 

MOTORCYCLE LAWS

Helmet Use: Required Under Age 21

Riding Two Abreast: Not referenced in Administrative Code or Statutes

Eye Protection:  Required

Daytime Use of Headlight:  No Restriction

 

More Information on Laws

 

 

BEST RIDES IN THE STATE

Red River Gorge Scenic Byway  The Red River Gorge Scenic Byway follows KY11, KY715, and KY15 from Stanton to Zachariah. Directions:  From the west, follow KY15 southerly to the intersection of KY 15 and 77. Turn left and go northerly on KY77 to the intersection with KY715.  Follow KY715 southerly to KY15 in Pine Ridge. Turn right and follow KY15 to the intersection with KY11. Turn left and follow byway to its end at the Wolfe County line in Zachariah. Motorcycle Road Write-up

Wilderness Road Heritage Highway   Directions:  From the south, begin at the Tennessee/Kentucky border traveling north on US 25 E.   The byway follows US 25 E for 30 miles through Middlesboro and Pineville until the junction with KY 229 just north of Barbourville.  Go north on KY 229 for 21 miles to the junction with US 25 in London.   Go north on US 25 through Laurel and Rockcastle counties until reaching Berea in Madison County, where the byway ends.

Country Music Highway  The Country Music Highway follows US 23 south from Ashland to Whitesburg.  Directions:   The byway passes through Paintsville, Prestonsburg, and Pikeville.   South of Pikeville, US 23 joins with US 119.  At Jenkins, follow US 119 west to Whitesburg where the byway ends.  This Byway has been home to over a dozen well-known country music stars, including Loretta Lynn, Wynonna Judd, Naomi Judd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, and Patty Loveless

Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway  This corridor exhibits significant historic and cultural resources around every turn. It embraces a set of four strong aspects: Abraham Lincoln, U.S. History and the Civil War, Bourbon Heritage, and Religious Heritage.  List of Stops Along The Way.  The Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway corridor is approximately 71.2 miles traveling through the central part of the Bluegrass State.  It begins just south of Hodgenville where US 31E hits US 31 E/KY 2426/KY 210.  The corridor travels northeast along US 31E (SR 84, SR 46) from just south of Hodgenville to Bardstown.  The corridor then heads east on US 150 (SR 52, SR 605, SR 152) from Bardstown to Danville.  The corridor ends in Danville where US 150/US 127/KY 52/KY 34 intersects with S 4th Street/N 4th Street/W Main Street.  The corridor passes through the towns of Hodgenville, New Haven, Bardstown, Springfield, Perryville, and Danville.

Woodlands Trace  Running along a ridge of land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, Woodlands Trace is a beautiful, easy drive in rolling terrain with opportunities to pull off and explore on your own or at developed interpretive facilities. List Of Stops Along The Way. The byway begins at the border of the Land Between the Lakes and the end of SR-461 near Dover, TN. Here the roadway name changes to the Trace.  The route continues north 13.5 miles to the KY line.  Still known as the Trace in Land Between the Lakes, the route also becomes SR-453 in KY.  This section continues 29.5 miles to the northern border of the Land Between the Lakes near Grand Rivers, KY.  SR-453 continues through Grand Rivers to Interstate 24, where the byway ends.

Ride to Blue Heron "Ghost" Mining Town: Start at Williamsburg, KY. Take highway 92 to Pine Knot. Continue through the stoplight at the 127 & 92 junction. Take highway 1651 to highway 742. Follow highway 742 to the Blue Heron "Ghost" mining town. Twisties:You can scrape foot pegs on this ride! More Information about Blue Heron

Ride to Cumberland FallsFrom London or Somerset, take highway 192 to highway 1193. Follow the signs to Holly Bay, (the road is not well marked so follow the signs!). Follow 1193 to highway 25. Turn right on 25 to highway 90. Take highway 90 to Cumberland Falls. Dupont Lodge usually has  a buffet and the food is good.

Eastern Kentucky:

  • State Route 7   Sandy Hook to Grayson - 24 Miles continue on Rt 7/1 Grayson to Greenup - 24 Miles road is not as twisty, but it's a nice scenic ride.
  • State Route 30  East Bernstadt to Salyersville - 106 Miles
  • State Route 32  Morehead to Louisa - 63 Miles
  • State Route 52  Ravenna to Beattyville - 25 Miles continue on State Route 587 from Beattyville to Bradshaw  - 23 Miles

Twisty Eastern Kentucky Roads:  Jackson Kentucky (south east of Lexington) is the home base of these great rides.  The Rattler, The Fatal Fiddler, Copperhead Road and The Black Widow.  

Northern Kentucky:

  • State Route 10  Alexandria to Maysville - 56 Miles
  • State Route 22  Williamstown to Willow - 30 Miles of twisty fun
  • State Route 227  Owenton to Georgetown - 32 Miles - Twisty
  • US Route 68  Bowling Green to Maysville - 231 Miles  Scenic countryside with rolling hills, light curves, and many miles of shaded road.

Southern Kentucky:

  • State Route 70 Greensburg to Central City - 116 Miles Mammoth Cave Area
  • State Road 100  Franklin to Waterview - 85 Miles Scenic Farm country with mild sweeping curves and a few very nice twisties

Western Kentucky:

  • The Trace Road (Land Between The Lakes) Grand Rivers to Dover, TN - 50 Miles  Beautiful Ride - Watch for Deer!

 

MOTORCYCLE FRIENDLY CAMPGROUNDS AND LODGING

Blue Heron Campground  Located in the Kentucky portion of Big South Fork, 9 miles west of Stearns off Highway 742.

Cumberlin Falls State Resort Park  Corbin, KY On Highway 90.  Lodge, Cottages, Campsites 

Dogwood Lakes Camping Resort  Dunmor, Kentucky  Campsites, Cabins, Showers  Motorcycle Friendly

Indian Ridge Campground   Located 12 miles south of Campbellsville, Ky, off of Kentucky State Road 55.  Campsites, Cabins, Pool, Showers, Laundry, Store, WiFi  Motorcycle Friendly

Jailer's Inn Bed & Breakfast  Bardstown, Kentucky  Old Jail Turned into a B & B  6 Guest Rooms, Motorcycle Friendly 

Lil" Abner's Motel  Slade, Kentucky  Pool, WiFi   Motorcycle Friendly

Red River Gorge Cabins  Pine Ridge, Kentucky    Motorcycle Friendly Cabin Rental

Red River Inn   Red River Inn is an authentic log cabin structure housing economical single and double rooms. Red River Inn property is conveniently located adjacent to the Natural Bridge State Park property.

Wispering Pines  Located in the Natural Bridge area  Cabin Rental sleeps 6

Bee Rock National Forest Campground  Located on scenic Hwy 192 in the Daniel Boon National Forest, on the Rockcastle River.  From London go west on state hwy 192 approx. 18 miles. Primitive Camping

Clear Creek National Forest Campground  From US 60 take KY 211 south from Salt Lick for 4 miles. Turn left (east) on Forest Road 129. Go 2 miles to Clear Creek. Primitive Camping

Grove National Forest Campground  Grove Campground Sits on a ridge above Laurel River Lake about 10 miles from Corbin, Kentucky.  From Corbin go south on Hwy 25W approx. 3 miles to state Hwy 1193. Go north on 1193 approx. 2 miles to forest route 558. Go NE on 558 approx. 3 miles to campground.  Nice wooded sites, Showers and Restrooms

Holly Bay National Forest Campground  Holly Bay Campground is located on the west side of Laurel River Lake, about two miles south of Laurel River Dam.  From I-75 at the London interchange (exit 38), take KY 192 west for 14.2 miles, turn left (south) on KY 1193, go 3 miles.  This campground has restrooms and showers.

Koomer Ridge National Forest Campground  Located just off the Mountain Parkway, Koomer Ridge is within the Red River Gorge Geological Area.  It is also near Natural Bridge State Resort Park. Koomer Ridge features primitive tent camping, 19 trailer sites, vault and flush toilets, bath house with showers, drinking water, grills, lantern posts, and picnic tables.  From Mountain Parkway at Slade exit, take KY 15 east for 5 miles to the campground.

Rockcastle National Forest Campground  Rockcastle Campground is located on the backwaters of Lake Cumberland at the mouth of the Rockcastle River. The campground is bounded on one side by the lake and on the other side by massive sandstone cliffs. From I-75 at London exit 38, turn west on KY 192, go 14 miles, then turn south (left) on KY 1193 for 1 mile, turn west on KY 3497, go 6 miles to end of road. Most of the campsites are designed for tent camping although a few are large enough to accommodate pop-up campers. Each site has tent pad, grill, picnic table, and lantern poles. The sites are near the water’s edge. Primitive camping, Central water and Vault toilets.

Twin Knobs National Forest Campground  Located by Morehead, Kentucky.  Scenic shorelines and camping on 700-acre wooded peninsula on Cave Run Lake.  showers, sandy beach, trail, group use area. Boat moorings. From I-64 at Exit 133 (Farmers) proceed south on KY 801. Campground is 9 miles on the right.

Zilpo National Forest Campground Take KY 211 south from Salt Lick 4 miles. Turn left (east) on Forest Road 129. Go 2.5 miles to Forest Road 918. Follow 918 approximately eight miles to Zilpo Recreation Area.  Scenic vistas of Cave Run Lake on 335 acres. Lakeshore camping, sandy beach, country store, showers.

Kentucky State Parks  Wherever you travel in Kentucky, you are never far from one of 52 State Parks.

 

NATIONAL PARKS

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace  The Park focuses on Lincoln’s life in Kentucky. The Birthplace Unit demonstrates Lincoln's humble beginnings with a symbolic birth cabin enshrined within a neo-classic Memorial Building. The Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek Farm was home to Lincoln during his formative years. Events in Kentucky helped mold a young boy into the man who became the nation’s sixteenth President.  Located on  US 31E south.

 

Big South Fork  Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.  Located along Hwy 297.

When driving HWY 297 through the Big South Fork River gorge, you will encounter steep grades (up to 13%) and sharp hair-pin curves. Similar steep road conditions also exist when driving into Blue Heron on Hwy 741.

Highlights:  Big South Fork Scenic Railway 16 mile round trip into the Daniel Boon National Forest

Blue Heron Mine  Blue Heron, or Mine 18, is an abandoned coal mining town and was a part of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company's past operation. 

East Rim Overlook off Hwy 297 in Tennessee and Devils Jump Overlook off Hwy 742 in Kentucky    Two of many scenic overlooks where one may stand on the edge of the Big South Fork gorge and look down hundreds feet to the river below.

 

Cumberland Gap  Discover rich history, spectacular overlooks, unique rock formations, cascading waterfalls, and an extensive trail system in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park's 24,000 acres.  Cumberland Gap is located 50 miles south of Corbin on 25E.  

Highlights:  Skyland Road and the Pinnacle Overlook
Leaving the visitor center, park visitors can drive the winding, four-mile-long Skyland Road up the mountain to the Pinnacle Overlook (elevation 2,440 feet) for a spectacular view into Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. 

Gap Cave Tours  Join park rangers on an exciting two-hour adventure exploring this majestic underground cathedral! Discover glistening stalagmites and flowstone cascades, or catch a glimpse of a bat.

 

Mammoth Cave  This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 367 miles explored.

Highlights:  Cave ToursCamping 

National Park Highlights
Fifty-six steps, one for each year in Lincoln's life, lead to the entrance of a granite temple at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, established in 1959. Big South Fork Pinnacel Overlook At Cumberland Gap Mammoth Cave

 

ATTRACTIONS TO SEE / DESTINATIONS

Big South Fork Scenic Railway  Runs April - October. This trip is full of spectacular scenic vistas, lush vegetation and mountain streams as it descends 600 feet into the gorge before stopping at Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp.

Fort Boonsbrough State Park  When Daniel Boone and his men reached the Kentucky River on April 1, 1775, they quickly moved to establish Kentucky's second settlement--the site still known as Fort Boonesborough.  Fort Tours availalbe and visit the Kentucky River Museum. Located in Richmond, KY.

Perryville Battlefield  Located in Perryville Kentucky. Civil War Site, holds re-enactments in October. A self-guided walking tour on the battlefield interprets battle events.

Harland Sanders Cafe & Museum   This is the original KFC   Located at 688 U.S. Highway 25 West in Corbin.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail  Explore the rich tradition and proud history of “America’s Official Native Spirit” on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, featuring six signature distilleries nestled among the most beautiful scenery the Bluegrass has to offer.

Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park combines the beauty of a rolling, wooded hills park with a historic site that honors the pioneers who braved the perils of the wilderness to settle Kentucky.  Explore the Mountain Life Museum and McHargue's Mill.  Located in London, KY. 

Torrent Falls  Torrent Falls is located alongside KY 11, just south of Natural Bridge State Park.

Yahoo Falls, Kentucky's highest waterfall with a drop of 113 feet. Located in the Big South Fork Rec. Area near Whitley City, Kentucky. From Kentucky 27, head west on 700 for 4 miles. Signs indicate how to get to the falls.  The trail to the falls is about 1 mile long, and is quite scenic. You can walk right up to the base of the falls, and behind the falls.

White Hall Historic Site  Explore the restored mansion of Cassius Marcellus Clay: emancipationist, newspaper publisher, Minister to Russia, and friend to Abraham Lincoln. Clay’s daughter, Laura Clay, was politically active for women’s suffrage and states’ rights. In 1920, Laura Clay became the first woman to be nominated for U.S. President by a major political party.   Located in Richmond, KY near Fort Boonesborough.

 

Roadside America Kentucky Off Beat Attractions

 

RALLIES AND EVENTS

Dogwood Rally  Dunmor, Kentucky   Spring Rally Held in May   Fall Rally Held in September

Held at the Beautiful Dogwood Lakes Campground. 7777 Hwy 973, Dunmor, KY.

 

Little Sturgis Rally  Sturgis, Kentucky   Held in July

Newport Motorcycle Rally    Newport, Kentucky  Held in July 

 

RESOURCES & LINKS

Motorcycle Roads of Kentucky

Sunday Morning Rides - Kentucky

Motorcycle Roads.US - Kentucky

Kentucky Sport Bike Roads

Knott County Kentucky Adventure  Map of Motorcycle Roads around Hindman in Eastern Kentucky.

Martin County Kentucky Motorcycle Route

Tour Southern & Eastern Kentucky

Venom Tours  Information for Jackson in Breathitt County, Eastern Kentucky. Information includes motorcycle roads, lodging, food and gas recomendations.

Central Kentucky Motorcycle Information

Motorcycle USA Ride Guide for Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky Visitors Guide    

Kentucky Tourism Guide

Tourist Information Directory

Biker Up Magazine   Read on-line issues for events and biker friendly businesses