19.4 miles, National Wild and Scenic River, some rapids Class III+, multiple access sites & outfitters, fishing for smallmouth & kentucky bass, rainbow & brown trout, & various pan fish
The Red River is the only National Wild and Scenic River that lies completely within the commonwealth. Totalling over 97 miles in length, the 20 mile stretch from the KY 746 bridge, downstream to the mouth of Schoolhouse Branch is the section highlighted in this Kentucky Bluewater Trail designation. This stretch of river features some great paddling, as well as good fishing. The upper stretches of the Red River are considerably more swift, and include some Class III+ rapids. Some spots of the Red can be tricky and inexperienced paddlers should take caution. All paddlers should use floation devices and helmets while on the Red. Fishing is best in the more gentle middle section of the float, but it can test even the most experienced anglers. The water is very clear for the majority of the year in the Red River, and it recives a good amount of pressure for the size of the water. Downsizing and using more subtle presentations often yield the best results. Anglers can pursue brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth and Kentucky bass and sunfish. The float may be split into two by taking out, or putting in at the KY 715 bridge. Float trips are a great way to experience the Red River Gorge, which offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the commonwealth. There are two outfitters in the area, Red River Outdoors and Red River Adventures.