3 Of The Most Scenic U.S. Drives For Leaf Peeping Are In Kentucky

3 Of The Most Scenic U.S. Drives For Leaf Peeping Are In Kentucky

Have you been craving to enjoy the dazzling fall colors and a bit of adventure in the great outdoors? Now is the right time to do so. Where? Nowhere else than in the wooded Kentucky.

Why? The fall foliage is about to peak there soon. What’s more, the Bluegrass State is home to the 3 best drives to fall in love with this fall, according to a recent survey conducted by the Florida-based Gunther Volkswagen. About 3,000 people participated in it and revealed the 140 best fall foliage drives to take this year.

Red River Gorge Scenic Byway Map

So what are the drives you definitely shouldn’t miss on your road trip through Kentucky? The most stunning one seems to be the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway.

This 46-mile-long byway took the 6th spot, right after the popular Colorado’s Rimrock Drive. Set in Daniel Boone National Forest, it boasts deep canyons, sandstone arches, dense hardwood forests, and multiple hiking trails. It takes about an hour to get through, but better allow yourself some more time, as there are plenty of interesting spots to stop by along the way.

Learn more about the gorge and its history in the Gladie Visitor Center, explore the banks of the Red River, or breathe in the mystery of the Nada Tunnel. Be careful, though, if you’re bringing along a camper or traveling in an RV larger than 12 feet wide or 13 feet tall – it won’t pass the tunnel. Instead, enter the gorge from KY 715 or from the north side of KY 77.

Nada Tunnel
Country Music Highway MAP

Another breathtaking drive that appeared on Gunther Volkswagen’s list is the Country Music Highway. It took 45th place and will surely be appreciated by music fans.

As the name suggests, it’s home to a number of country musicians. In fact, it gave birth to the most country music artists than any other region, such as Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, and Patty Loveless. And, of course, it offers an amazing scenery.

Bluegrass Parkway Map

Last but not least, Bluegrass Parkway ranked 104th on the list. Some of its bits are a part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It’s a good idea to stay somewhere overnight and sample some local spirits and wine. It also offers plenty of outdoor activities, including rock climbing, whitewater canoeing, and mountain biking.

Here are some places worth visiting around the Bluegrass Parkway:

Bardstown: Known as the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” Bardstown is famous for its bourbon distilleries, historic downtown, and My Old Kentucky Home State Park.

Elizabethtown: Explore the historic district, visit the Schmidt’s Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, or enjoy outdoor activities at Freeman Lake Park.

Versailles: Home to beautiful horse farms, visit the Kentucky Horse Park or enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside.

Harrodsburg: Discover history at Old Fort Harrod State Park and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, one of America’s most complete historic communities.

Danville: Explore the historic downtown, visit the Constitution Square Historic Site, and enjoy cultural events at Centre College.

Mammoth Cave National Park: Although a bit off the Parkway, it’s worth the detour to explore the world’s longest cave system and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Lincoln Homestead State Park: Learn about Abraham Lincoln’s early years at this historical site in Springfield.

Lebanon: Visit Maker’s Mark Distillery and enjoy the charming atmosphere of this small town.