The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Kentucky

Auxier Ridge Trail/Double Arch Trail
Daniel Boone National Forest • Slade

There are more than 500 miles of trails in the 700,000-acre Daniel Boone National Forest and save for a few designated swimming areas your dog is welcome everywhere. The first destination for many canine hikers is the Red River Gorge Geological Area where 300-foot sandstone cliffs and overhangs are decorated with gnarly rock formations. The more than 100 natural stone arches in the gorge represent the greatest collection east ofthe Mississippi River.

Unlike most arches in the American West, Red River’s natural bridges are tucked among a vibrant deciduous forest and are best viewed up close, often via a short trail from the scenic driving road. Double Arch, with one opening on top of another, takes longer to reach than most, maximizing Seaman’s adventure in the rock formations.

Start this loop on the Auxier Ridge Trail, a narrow clifftop that delivers splendid views of the Red River Valley from multiple vantage points, including the landmark Courthouse Rock, a massive tree-covered monadnock where the two-mile route ends. Seaman can scramble up the sides of the massive boulder for a ways and a staircase gets you closer as well.

The Auxier Branch Trail trips under towering cliffs through a wooded canyon to provide access to the Double Arch with its own postcard views and climbing steps to the top. The Double Arch Trail uses an old forest road to close out this fascinating six-mile canine hike.

HIKING TIME: 3-4 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
Dogs are allowed anywhere outside park buildings

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Mammoth Cave National Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails but not in the cave

Hiking With Your Dog Kentucky