Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Kentucky. Our Top 5 Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. Exploring the popular sights is something we love to do too, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different, and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. We love to “Opt-Out of Normal”. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, complete with pictures and GPS coordinates. 

Ahhhh Kentucky! One of the states we are sure we could spend a year in. We definitely will be going back. There is so much to see, and do! Who knew? Most of our finds listed are going to be nature finds (as that’s what we like to do). We know there is so much more in Kentucky to see. The whole state is just a hidden gem in our opinion. 

Grayson Lake / Grotto Falls (Hidden Falls)

Grayson Lake Kentucky

The scenery at Grayson Lake is just incredible. The sandstone cliffs, the waterfalls, the rare eagle flying overhead and if you love kayaking, this is candy for you! You’ll love this lake and the hidden falls you can only get into by a narrow short rock cave where you can paddle through a crack in the sandstone to go into a secret cove in the back, where you’ll think you’ve left one world for another. It’s magical and unbelievable.

Grayson Lake, KY

 By far our favorite place in Kentucky (so far). Also dropping onto Grayson lake are many waterfalls. We kayaked so much of the lake and I’d bet we passed 10 or more waterfalls just cascading off the side. It’s just amazing!

John A Roebling Suspension Bridge

This might not be considered off the beaten path, but it’s just a really amazing part of our US history not to mention a beautiful bridge!

John A Roebling Suspension Bridge

This bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky. It opened on December 1, 1866. If you happen to be near it, or if you just like bridges, check it out.

Angels Window Trail

Double Arch Angels Trail Kentucky

Located in Daniel Boone National Forest. This is a phenomenal almost virtually unknown little gem. The bigger more popular arches here always win. From the forest service site: Angel Windows Trail begins at the Parched Corn Overlook off KY 715. The trail extends along a wooded ridge that leads under a high cliff to Angel Windows – two small arches clustered together at the end of the cliff. You will pass a number of overhangs and continue along the ledge. The official trail ends here, where there are some lovely views of the cliffs. Just beware of the drop-off to the right as you go past Angel Windows and use caution when exploring the area. Angel Windows Trail is located in the Red River Gorge in the Cumberland District of the Daniel Boone National Forest. 

The Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship in Petersburg KY

Abandoned in Petersburg, Kentucky, the ship that is now a favorite destination for kayakers was once an award-winning navy ship that served proudly during both world wars.  Fun Fact: It served as the backdrop in a Madonna video (if you’re old enough to know who she is Ha!). So how did this vessel end up abandoned in the river? I’m going to leave you to experience this! This is definitely a fascinating thing to see. If you’re looking for something different, definitely check this out. 

Mantle Rock

mantle rock, Kentucky

A very large natural sandstone bridge. Spanning 180 feet and 30 feet high, Mantle Rock is an impressive natural sandstone bridge. A very short hike from the parking area. It’s definitely something easy to access and it’s one of those formations that make you not quite understand gravity as you know it. 

I know first hand there are many more amazing things to do and see in Kentucky. Make sure you check out Mammoth Cave and all of the Red River Gorge hikes and rivers and cliffs and arches. There are so many! They are more populated and can get pretty busy in the Summer, but if you want to discuss some other areas that aren’t necessarily off the beaten path, send us a message and we’ll try to steer you in the right direction. Or … we’ll meet you there! We do plan to go back to Kentucky at some point in 2019. We’d love to hear your hidden gems in Kentucky too!


Ask any questions you need regarding the boondocking area shown. I’m including a map with GPS coordinates. 

(Daniel Boon National Forest Boondocking)

Paragon, KY boondocking
Boondocking in Kentucky

Thank you so much for visiting our little corner of the internet. We appreciate each and every one of you! Let us know where your favorite hidden gems are in Kentucky. We’d love to hear from you!

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16 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Path in Kentucky. Our Top 5 Hidden Gems!”

  1. You and Justin got some great photos of Grayson Lake, really love the one shot from the side up in the horseshoe cove….I’ve taken a lot of shots of that waterfall but have never shot it from this angle but I will…. lol. Since you all were here last year and visited the Grotto Waterfall its become very popular with kayakers…..almost every time I go past the Clifty Creek ramp *(where you put in) there are kayakers going or coming. Great that you included our little slice of heaven in your blog and that I had the privilege of meeting you two and help introduce you to it.

    1. Thank you John. Not only do I wonder if we would have ever even found it without meeting you that day, but I honor whatever brought us together at that boat ramp that day. You and Jane are very special to us! 🙂

  2. Hello! We’re full time rvers also! We still pretty new at this, 1 year in, traveling with our 4 children whom we homeschool. I wanted to thank you all for your posts! When I’m mapping out our next state I always search for your posts, so helpful! We’ve completed 25 states at this point, here’s to another 25!

    1. You made my day! Thank you! And I’m so happy my posts have helped. We’re on our 6th year of being full-time RVers, though now we have been stationary for about a year, as we opened an RV Solar Installation company in Mississippi. Safe travels! You’re really giving your kids such a gift!!

  3. I found you on Pinterest and we boondocked for the first time at the place you shared on your Kentucky post. We loved it! Thank you for sharing. We are not full timers just yet…. Still working stuffs that like to get away whenever we can.
    Michele B

    1. That’s fantastic!!!! Super excited you got to enjoy that spot. I know exactly which spot you’re talking about. So awesome!

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