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In our trip from Arkansas to the east coast we reserved two nights here based on reviews. I’m sure COVID-19 had a lot to do with the park being in shut down mode but we found the park to be so bad we left after one night. Sites we were assigned were very difficult to get in, extremely unlevel and the sites were unkept and showed a lack of maintenance. We were there on 9/22/20 and the flying knat’s and bugs wouldn’t let you out of the door. My water hookup required a set of pliers to operate and the 30amp plug was installed upside down making it impossible to plug in due to the box being jacked up. Had to use the 50 amp plug/converter. We won’t be back. Hope things change for the better.
The Tarr Ridge parking area is located on highway 77 on Tarr ridge rd in the red river gorge. Here are the coordinates for the parking lot. 37.85293, -83.64191 Just type it in your gps system and it will take you straight there! From the parking lot I suggest using the ALL TRAILS app to stay on the right trail. Here are the coordinates for the lookout at Tarr Ridge 37.83655, -83.63935.
The hike in is around 2 miles and pretty flat for the most part. It’s totally worth it once you see the view!
Don’t forget to stop at the Shell gas station in Slade Ky to get your parking permit. Enjoy!
The Breaks are considered the “Grand Canyon of the south”. Great mountaintop views, hiking, geocaching, kayaking, paddle boats, a zip line, and seasonal white water rafting all available. A few miles from the campground you’ll even find river access with a sandy beach for summer fun. A wonderful getaway when you want to be away from it all. Several campground sections to choose from with primitive sites to full hookup with electric, water, and sewer. Dump stations are available also. There are laundry facilities and bathhouses (didn’t use either so not sure on condition), playgrounds, picnic shelters, cabins, and inns. Each campsite had a fire ring and picnic table. Spots are definitely not level, so bring a variety of blocks—you’ll need them. No outside lights at the sites so when it’s dark it’s d-a-r-k. Beautiful campground.
Star Gap Arch at the Red River Gorge has two designated campsites on the trail, to the arch. We camped in the closest spot to the arch which is about 250 ft away.
This is a dispersed camping area. So bring EVERYTHING you need!
From the parking lot of the Auxier Ridge Trailhead, Star Gap is a 1.25 mi easy hike with some small obstacles along the way.
Bring your camera with, you’re going to want to take some family pics. Enjoy the view!! ✌🏻
This park is listed as a resort so I took my pandemic bound family here in a mini vacation. Perhaps it was back in 1967.
The camping spaces were not very deep but that was ok because we are in the mountains. What’s odd is that you share a water spigot with a neighbor so you have to have a long hose to go across your whole section. There was only one hole for grey and black water, which I’ve never seen.
The other section of the grounds seemed more family and that everyone reserved spaces across multiple sections for reunions and parties.
The restrooms and showers were good although I still wear a mask at all parks and inside areas and others do not. You get no cell service in the campgrounds and no reception. Also, the trails are not quite right for the Jenny Wiley Trail that starts from the campgrounds. You have to go immediately up when you take the trail from there vs the natural worn path.
As for the rest of the park, it’s left in 1968. The lodge is nice but the food is all frozen and fried. Camping guests are not permitted to use the pool even though the reservation site sort of implies that you can. The marina was very busy and you could call and reserve boats but we had no service so we just went in person. We did reserve a small boat and went swimming off of it but do regret it after a UTI and seeing all the trash and debris in the lake. I’ve never seen so much garbage in a lake in my life. It was actually sad and broke my heart.
Had I read one of these reviews earlier, we would not have stayed at this park. Lesson learned!
I spent a Friday night there in late June 2020. Most of the campers were in RVs. I found a site at the end of a cul-de-sac away from the other campers. It appeared that the campers observed the quiet hours rules. Sites are close together so there’s not a lot of privacy. Modern amenities, showers, flush toilets. There’s a large lake at the park that accommodates speed boats and jet skis so I didn’t put my kayak in.
This park has some nice campsites, which can make your camping experience an awesome time, but that’s not why you should go there. Like a lot of state parks, it’s got the usual wooded picnic table, fire ring, the electrical hook-up thing if you need it (or BYOS - bring your own solar), even nice bathrooms with showers and everything. What it offers in terms of a get away from it all makes it the go to destination for everyone who’s just about had enough of everything average.
First of all, where the heck is it? About 200 miles from anywhere you’ve ever heard of, unless you’re lucky enough to have been born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or you’ve just nursed along a love of two-lane winding roads, it rewards the traveler who says“let’s take a road trip.” The closest town is Haysi, Virginia, which offers a selection of small regional grocery stores, gas stations and a few restaurants…but not much more.
The park sits atop an ancient canyon cut through time by the Russell Fork River some 1000 feet below. The trails wonder through sandstone formations laid down some 250 million years ago when the area was covered by a shallow inland sea. The views as well as the geological significance instills awe in the best sense.
The park offers a short scenic drive loop with a dozen or so stops all offering some look into the amazing scope of natural science. But in case that doesn’t inspire your 10-year-old, the mountain bike trails near to the campground will sure take some energy out of them. And in case they want to just go to the outdoor pool, or sit in the well-appointed cabin or guestroom, these are also available at this park offering a widely diverse accommodations for nearly anyone willing to make the drive to get there. The Russell Fork is also a world class river offering everything from class 2-3 fun to serious Appalachian creekin’ paddling. But don’t tell anyone about this place, because I don’t want anyone else to find out about it.