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US Forest Service shuts down public access in some parks

Red River Gorge temporarily shut down to public access. In addition to the Thursday March 27 shutdown of multiple recreation areas in the Daniel Boone National Forest, public access and back country camping in the Red River Gorge are also temporarily suspended.

The shutdown of the gorge includes all roads and trails on national forest lands. These measures are temporary but effective immediately. A date for reopening the gorge and other recreation areas in the forest is currently undetermined.

“Our decision to shut down recreation areas is in compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for social distancing, as well as current Kentucky state orders to help protect health and safety,” said Forest Supervisor Dan Olsen. “In addition to employee and visitor safety, we are committed to serving in the best interest of our local communities and the local residents who live near or adjacent to national forest lands.”

Across the forest, developed recreation sites such as campgrounds, picnic areas and shooting ranges are also temporarily shut down.

Some areas remain open for public use, including the general forest area and trails outside of the Red River Gorge. Other recreation areas that remain open are several campgrounds under contract management by concessionaires.

All boat ramps at Cave Run Lake and Laurel River Lake are open for continued lake access. The Daniel Boone National Forest manages nearly 709,000 acres across 21 counties in eastern Kentucky. The forest has four ranger districts that provide multiple outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors can learn more about the forest at or on the forest Facebook page at

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