Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) is located along the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian foothills. The National Forest encompasses over 707,000 acres of mostly rugged terrain and is characterized by steep forested ridges, narrow ravines and over 3,400 miles of sandstone cliffs. Visitors come to enjoy the scenic beauty and abundant wildlife.
There are also hundreds of miles of trails for hikers, horseback riders, ATVers and other trail users to enjoy. There are winding rivers and streams that provide everything from trout fishing to white water rafting. DBNF offers three large lakes, many rivers and streams, abundant wildlife, lush vegetation,and magnificant scenery. Keep an eye out for elk, black bear, eagles and peregrine falcons that are making a comeback.
Eastern Kentucky is unique because many of the neotropical migrant birds nest here in the summer and many of the northern nesting birds, such as dark-eyed juncos, pine siskins, and evening grosbeaks, spend their winters here. Also, abundant are the songbirds, shorebirds, raptors, game birds, and owls in their native habitat.
Daniel Boone ATV Trail U.S. 421
This trail offers over 100 miles of trails in Leslie County's portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest, continues into Clay County and connects into the Redbird Crest Trail. Whether riding in the valleys or on the ridge tops, there's something for everyone here. The trails are open to dirt bikes, utility vehicles such as Rhino's, Rangers and Mules. Don't be surprised to encounter deer, elk or turkey. You might want to bring a camera.
The trails are also used for hikers, horseback riding and bicyclists.
Daniel Boone Trailblazers ATV Club P.O. Box 1525, Hayden, KY 41749
Based in the beautiful eastern Kentucky Mountains in Hyden, the club not only includes local 4wheeling fans but others from across the United States in over 20 states. Whether it is taking a group of 2 to 200 on scenic tours of the beautiful trails or taking a group to view the wonderful, beautiful, wild elk, they offer FREE guide services to tourists. There are 3 levels of riding trails (easy, medium, and hard).
Trace Branch Campground and Recreational Area 105 Campground Rd., Confluence, KY
GPS Coordinates: 37o 16' 15.736"N/83o 22' 07.273W
Located 13 miles from Hyden near Buckhorn Lake. Hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking and swimming are some of the activites available to do here. There is a picnic shelter, electric, water, boat ramp, boat dock, showers and restrooms. 14 reservable camp sites with electric and water. Other things to do include: playground, horse shoe pit and fishing area.
Leslie County Horse Park 4048 Leeco Road
GPS Coordinates: 37o 06' 23.924"N/83o 18' 51.161"W.
Was designed with the intent of providing a quality faclity for the residents of Leslie County and anyone interested horse back riding, horse shows, rodeos or just experiencing the beautiful mountains of Eastern Kentucky. It began in 2002 with the construction of an outdoor show ring. The goal is to provide a family atmosphere with entertainment, trail rides, horse shows, and rodeos. Enjoy the gorgeous trail along the Leeco Pond.
Contact: 606-672-8030, 606-279-4484, or 606-279-2297
Willie Begley Memorial RV Park 26369 Hwy 421
Located at the entrance of the Daniel Boone National Forest trailhead you will find the Willie Begley Memorial RV Park. The park has 27 slots with electric, water and cable tv. Each slot has its own picnic table and fire ring for camp fires. Bathrooms and showers are located in the Witt trailhead building.
Kenneth R. Witt ATV Trailhead
Leslie County is home to miles and miles of ATV trails throughout the county and portions of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Kenneth R. Witt Trailhead is located just off Hwy 421 and offers plenty of parking, restrooms and showers. It is also strategically located next to the Willie Begley Memorial RV Park for overnight stays.
Confluence/Trace Branch Boat Ramp
Recreation area managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Access to Buckhorn Lake. Picnicking, camping, fishing and boating.
Redbird Crest Trail and the Redbird Wildlife Management Area (606) 598-2192
Suitable for ATVs less than 50" in width, mountain bikes, motorcycles, hiking and horseback riding. Camping and picnicking. Considered one of the most beautiful trails in Leslie County. Click here for a map of the Redbird Crest Trail.
Day's Powersports (606) 279-2442
Gary Day, Owner
5943 Hwy 80, Wooten, KY 41776
Sell atv, motorcycle, dirtbike, Japanese mini truck parts and accessories. Brands include: Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris, Kawasaki, KTM, Harley and China units. www.dayspowersports.com
Wildlife & Elk Viewing
After 15 years of effort by the KY Department of Fish & Wildlife, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Kentucky, Leslie County has a healthy and robust elk population. Visitors can sign up for an Elk Tour at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.
Elk can also be found in the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Redbird Wildlife Management Area and at other locations throughout the county.
Leslie County Park System
Leslie County is home to numerous roadside parks, almost all of which is also located near a waterway. Be sure and check them out.
Riverfront Park Hwy 257, 60 Dryhill Road
GPS: 37o 09' 46.648"N/83o 22' 26.209"W
Located along the Middlefork River. This park has a pavilion, picnic area & tables, playground, basketball courts,and grills.
There is also a skatepark, walking trail and wading area in the river. Summers offer music and movies in the park.
Located in Riverfront Park in Hyden is one of the park's newest features.
Other Parks/GPS Coordinates
Pine Patch Park
GPS: 37o 02' 55.447" N/83o 23' 56.125"W
This park is named after the beautiful pine trees in the area. Has several covered picnic tables that line the banks of the Middle Fork River.
George Wooten Park 30190 Hwy 421
GPS: 37o 09' 14.426"N/83o 38' 51.572" W
This unique park has picnic tables cut from native stone with a shelter for large groups. Bridge connects to secluded pathway.
Greasy Creek Park 4692 Greasy Creek Road
GPS: 37o 02' 00.075"N/83o 21' 57.131"W
Located in a tree lined area located by Middle Fork River. Offers picnic tables, grills and large grassy area for various activities.
Grover Sizemore Park 5681 Dryhill Road
GPS: 37o 12' 28.826"N/83o 22' 22.278"W
Large grassy area, small picnic shelter and a play area near Middle Fork River.
Mary Breckinridge Park 10791 Dryhill Road
Offers a view of the Middle Fork River and has play equipment and restrooms.
Confluence Boat Ramp & Picnic Area
Picnicking, camping, fishing, boating, recreation area managed by Army Corps of Engineers.
Cawood Park 522 Hwy 431
A portion of Kentenia State Forest is located on the border of Leslie County. Beautiful scenic park set in a backdrop of rugged terrain. Hiking and wildlife viewing.