What is Red River Scramble?
Red River Scramble is a free admission, grassroots adventure motorcycle 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 Lago Linda Hideaway in Beattyville, Kentucky. Lago Linda has several tiers of lodging available, from cabins to RV hookups and tent camping. Alternate accommodations can also be found at other nearby locations:
- Lago Linda Hideaway
- Air BnB
- Lil’ Abner Motel
- Middlefork Campground
- Hemlock Lodge
- Cliffview Lodge and Resort
Where should I ride?
That mostly depends on your 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 Red Bird Crest OHV, White Sulfur OHV Trail, and potentially other portions of the Kentucky Adventure Tour (KAT). Beginner to intermediate Adventure 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 wildlife 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?
I have put together downloadable “Adventure” and “Pavement” paper maps for your convenience. These maps are 18″x24″ if you want to print them out full-size at a local printing store. 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 is often limited or non-existent throughout parts of the gorge area. In addition, to ride descriptions, I have also posted links to Rever Maps and GPX files on the “Where to Ride” page.
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.
How do I know my off-road riding skill level?
If you’ve looked at the paper maps, you’ll find the “Adventure” map is color-coded according to difficulty. These difficulty levels are based on Bret Tkacs’ “Adventure” Scale; thus it’s assumed that you’re riding a 500-pound adventure bike, and that you’ll need to be comfortable traversing an obstacle of given difficulty on that bike. For more information, see more details on the “How To Measure Your Off-road Skills” page.
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. A little less than half of the DBBB loop takes place off-pavement, providing challenges for all levels of dual sport riders. Be advised, only licensed vehicles are permitted on the DBBB; Rever maps and GPX files can be found on the “Where to Ride” page. My detailed breakdown of the DBBB for adventure bikes can be found here.
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. La Cabana is also one of my local favorites, some of the best Mexican food you’ll ever have. I will also recommend stopping at Sky Bridge Station and Hop’s Fork for local craft beer and sandwiches; be advised, there’s no beer on Sundays (welcome to the driest state of the Union). Red River Rockhouse is another great destination that has delicious breakfast and burgers. 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.