Red River & Nada Tunnel

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 24 visitors


State: Kentucky
Date Submitted: February 1, 2007
Submitted by: Chopper King
Motorcycle Road Length: 25 Miles

Written Directions

Get yourself to the starting point of Stanton, KY (about 35 miles southeast of Lexington, KY) then just head south on the Bert Combs Parkway until you get to Rt 77 (also known as Nada Tunnel Rd) where you need to go east (turn left). Keep following 77 until Rt 715 turns off to the right. This will take you back to the Bert Combs Parkway at Pine Ridge, Ky. If you take 77 to the right off of Bert Combs Parkway you will enter Natural Bridge State Park.

Scenery  

I think this is one of the most unique rides I have ever been on. You will be riding along the Red River. This was a logging river at one time. There are numerous rock formations and outcroppings to amaze and amuse. Make sure you stop to get a drink at the spring coming out of the pipe along the road (on Rt 77 before the Nada Tunnel). It is the best water I have ever had. The day we rode was very hot and still, a cool drink and head dunk felt mighty good. Riding along the river allows many opportunities to pull off to explore trails or take a dip. Keep your eyes peeled and you will see some big rocks with a ladder on them which you can climb on and jump into river. Now you will come upon the Nada Tunnel. My friend who told me about this route didn't tell me about the tunnel. I really don't call it a tunnel. I say it is a 12 ft. by 12 ft. by 900 ft. hole in a mountain. Take your sun glasses off after the spring as this tunnel isn't lit. This is a slow cruise road, stop often and enjoy nature.

Road Quality  

This is just your regular 2 lane black top road. It was in good shape in 06. It has the usual repaired potholes but nothing out of the ordinary for this type of road. The road is quite twisty and hilly, I think it follows and old Indian trail. I would caution to take it easy as it is a local road and some are just putting along. Watch for the Nada Tunnel which is after the spring a little bit. Keep watching for the 12 ft. clearance signs. Each entrance to the tunnel is out of a small curve so go slow and peek in first. I made a lot of noise going through the tunnel i.e. blowing my horn, revving my motor, and such. I told my wife it was for safety, but she didn't believe me.

Roadside Amenities  

This route is not populated so no shopping or such. The area does have some nice attractions. Make sure you stop at visitors center and look around. We got a fridge magnet with picture of Nada Tunnel in winter with icicles hanging off it. Also much area history. Look for the story of Old 96, cracked me up. Make sure to take side trip through Natural Bridge state park. It has some wonderful lookouts and trails. We haven't stayed at this State Park Lodge but if they are as nice as the rest I'm sure it would make a great stay, and their restaurants always have good food if you need a bite to eat. We are going back this way next summer and hope to stay at lodge and explore some more of the area. Maybe even take that swim this year.

Going east through the Nada Tunnel

This is the Gladie House that can be found off of 715. You can't go inside it but you can walk around the property

Here is Sky Bridge. I would recommend taking the 1 mile loop hike to see it in person. Be prepared for the stairs at the end of the trail! :)

Additional Info

I looked this up in the Scenic Byways book I have and it says takes 1 hour to drive and 5 hours to enjoy. That is the best I can tell you. Take your time and explore here as it is so beautiful and peaceful. We are going back again this summer and doing more exploring of our own. - View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) Chopper King

 

Photos/Videos

Add a Photo Add a Video











Ratings/Reviews

 

Reviewed by Guest on September 23, 2009
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Junior
motorcycle_year: 1997
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: There was thee other bike with my group. We rode in 11 differ state a total of 2260 mile this was the best 20 mile of the ride.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on June 21, 2009
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Hal Ridley
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Thank you for posting this route. It was fantastic. The entire route was worth the trip. There were three motorcycles in our group and everyone had a blast on this section of our trip. We missed the spring water but hopefully we will find it next time.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Mooseman on September 10, 2014
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mooseman
motorcycle_year: 2011
motorcycle_make: HD-Trike
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: One of the best kept secrets in Kentucky! Only passed two cars and three bikes the whole loop, great weekday ride. The video on YouTube does not do it justice! Roads are freshly paved and it was an absolute joy to ride.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on December 22, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Old Grid Iron
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki Voyager
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Great ride! Instead of taking the parkway, we rode St.Rd. 11 to get to Nada Tunnel. A lot of turns and scenery that makes riding fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on September 1, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: bikerchic
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Street Glide
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: We came from Ohio to Charleston and headed west on 64. We took 36 S. thru Frenchburg then took 460 E. to 77. We did ride on 715 and the view from Devil's Cliff was beautiful. We stayed in a log cabin and on Sun. headed E. on Bert Combs Pkw. Some local riders told us it was a nice ride into Breaks Park in VA., and they were right...it was breathtaking at points with tons of twists and curves. We eventually got on 81 and took it to 77N. We took 4 days for this ride and can't wait to do it again!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on April 4, 2012
(0 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: harley
motorcycle_type: Touring
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by GIJoe on January 3, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: GIJoe
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Great ride, we had such a good time doing this ride!! Nada Tunnel is ONE WAY, and it's a rush riding through the tunnel!! Great mtn roads in this area, have fun!!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on April 19, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Steve & Cassie Henry
motorcycle_year: 2010
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
Comment: We live in Lee Co. which neighbors Wolfe and Powell Co. where Nada Tunnel, Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge are located. We ride through there 7-8 times a year. Spring, summer and fall, this ride is gorgeous. The Shell station at Slade is like an oasis after the ride. The parking lot is always full of bikes. Almost looks like a bike show!!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on February 5, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: TRAVELER
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Victory
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: PICKED UP 460 AT PARIS AND THROUGH FRENCHBURG TO GET TO THE NORTH END OF 77. DOWN 77 TO 715 AND UP TO PINE RIDGE. DOWN TO THE LODGE AT NATURAL BRIDGE AND STAYED AT THE LODGE. NEXT DAY PICKED UP 77 AND WENT THROUGH NADA TUNNEL AND BACK TRACKED TO PARIS. CONDITION OF THE RIDE; DECENT ROADS BUT NEED TO WATCH FOR POT HOLES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY REPAIRED. THE GREAT PART OF THE RIDE WAS THE STRETCH BETWEEN PARIS AND FRENCHBURG. TRHLY A FANTISTIC TRIP THROUGH THE BACK LANDS OF KENTUCKY. GOOD IDEA TO START WITH A FULL TANK OF GAS AT PARIS SINCE THE FILLING POSSIBLITIES ARE REMOTE TILL YOU GET TO FRENCHBURG. IT IS A GREAT RIDE TO TAKE AND BE SURE AND TAKE YOUR TIME AND ENJOY THE SCENERY. TAKE A CAMERA AND KEEP IT HANDY.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on August 16, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Denny E
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I have to agree with the "one of the greatest roads" comment. My brother and I went down 77, thru the tunnel, on our way to "tail of the dragon". This road was fantastic. Great curves, nice scenery, and a nice 2 lane road. We were afraid that now the dragon would be a disappointment. We spent some time at the tunnel, drank from the spring, and enjoyed the coolness on a very hot day. I would return in a minute.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on August 5, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: richard allen reynolds
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: on july 3 2010 me my wife and my buddy and his wife did not plan anything. it turned out to be a great trip. red river gorge and nada tunnel was great. never been to eastern ky. will for sure go back. i live in florence alabama and we don't have good roads down here. it is to flat. love kentucky twisties. my old electra sounded good in them mountains.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on August 5, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: richard allen reynolds
Comment: on july 3 2010 me my wife and my buddy and his wife did not plan anything. it turned out to be a great trip. red river gorge and nada tunnel was great. never been to eastern ky. will for sure go back. i live in florence alabama and we don't have good roads down here. it is to flat. love kentucky twisties.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on August 4, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Danny D.
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I rode this route August 2010. It was absolutely gorgeous. It's part of the Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. I stopped for lunch at a little log cabin type of diner on Hwy 77, right off Hwy 15, when I spotted the "Home Cookin'" sign. The food was really good and the little, old lady who owned it gave me directions to the spring and a cup. She told me that the people who live in the area had been using the spring long before city water was ran to the area. The state wanted to close the spring water pipe but the locals protested. The state examined the water and found that it was good to drink, so they left it. I stopped and had a drink and it was indeed good and worth the stop. I'll be going back for sure.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on July 4, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: whopper
motorcycle_year: 2009
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: This was a great ride. Plan on returning with more time to spare. We left cabin and made our way to Exit 33 on Parkway, then on to 77 north. I would like to start on 715 first next time. There are many enjoyable sights to see on this ride. Go slow and take it all in, we missed the waterfall. This ride could easily take all weekend!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on May 28, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: BigGeo
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Just took this road as part of a larger ride. It was truly a great ride. There are many great rides in this area also.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on April 14, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Tom Burklow
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: OTHER
motorcycle_type: Enduro
Comment: Your review is spot in. I went to college about 45 minutes from here and spent many a weekend riding the roads of Red River Gorge. I took my Aprilia Caponord back last Spring and tried some of the forest roads and "less than paved" roads. For anyone considering a ride to this area, the Nada Tunnel ride is... one of many... great roads in the area for exploring.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on March 10, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Sheila
Comment: I remember many years ago as a kid riding through Nada tunnel many times in the back of my Dad's pickup with my brothers. The water would drip, it was very dark, scary for me, but Awesome !
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on August 18, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: John W.
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: This ride was awesome! Everything from the scenic views, the curvy roads, to the quick stops to walk some of the trails... it was all great. Make sure you bring your camera!!!! I'll be posting some of my pictures on here to share. I would highly recommend you bring some sort of water supply and a snack because you'll most likely end up staying a lot longer than you planned for. I didn't plan on staying but about 2 hours and ended up staying for 6 - 7 hours. I would recommend you stop at the Sky Bridge (1 mile trail loop.) There are plenty of areas to pull off on the side of the road if you decide to stop and park for a few minutes to take pictures, hydrate, or snack. Also, be prepared for the roads to be wet in some spots due to the moisture as well as vehicles stopped in the road. If you stop off to see the "Suspension Bridge" (1/2 Mile Trail Loop) there is a swimming hole on the way to the bridge if you want to cool off; there is also a huge rock to jump off of too. The fresh spring water is about a 1/4 -1/2 mile on the right before you get to the Nada Tunnel if you're heading east on 77, and yes... it's good! The only thing that freaked me out was the used bar of soap sitting on the rocks.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on April 27, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Otis/Teri
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: We started with the ride down AA/9 from Cincy to Mayville, then cut across Ky 11 to Mt Sterling, and continued on 11 to Stanton then took KY 15 to Red River & Nada Tunnel ride. It was great, we compared it to the Dragon's tail. Absolutely beautiful scenery. This is a ride to take you time with to take it all in, just don't take your eyes off the road......LONG way down to the river.... Ride it and enjoy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on February 9, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Chris
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I've live on 77, If possible I'd recommend making enough time to hike some of the trails, and if you get hungry stop at rose's dinner on natural bridge road. Neat little restaurant with some great food.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on October 8, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ron/Keiko
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: We took the ride coming in out of Ohio through Salt Lick on HWY 121. Definitely some pretty country and a great ride. We would also recommend taking HWY 15 back towards Clay City.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on July 3, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Brad
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Triumph
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Nada Tunnel is cool and scary at the same time! I would also recommend going south on Hwy 77 thru Natural Bridge State Park. Taking the 1/2 mile hike to see Natural Bridge. Nice restaurant at the lodge. KY at its best.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on May 29, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mike Bashor
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Ok, I got home from this trip today and it was Awsome!! Great view and the mountains were increadable...I hope to do it again next year!! I have some great pictures of the tunnel and the spring water was great. Have to watch for it or you will pass it. I just happen to pull over at the second pull off and looked across the road and it was right in fromt of us. Really enjoyed the ride and thanks to who ever posted this site.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Reviewed by Guest on May 26, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mike Bashor
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Thanks for posting this site, I am heading out in the morning to take this ride. I am leaving from Ohio and heading to Richmond, Ky. then next morning heading to the Tunnel and river. From there may head to Charleston, WV. and spend the night and back to Ohio. Alot to do in three days but I will let you know how it was. Thanks Mike Bashor
Was this review helpful? Yes | No
 

Visitors who liked this road trip also liked:

The Three Sisters (AKA The Twisted Sisters)- Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a (100%)
Tunnel of Trees Road (49%)
The Triple Nickle - Route 555 (47%)
Beartooth Pass (37%)
Arkansas Pig Trail - Arkansas 23 (35%)

     

Features

Top 100 Motorcycle Roads

See the top 100 rides & routes in the US according to the MotorcycleRoads.com - ''Riders' Rating'' voting system.

Click here

(New!) The Fabulous Five!

Our latest InfoGraphic shows you -

The Top 5 Motorcycle Roads in the USA!

How Popular is Motorcycling in Your State

See a state by state rundown of motorcycle popularity in each US state

motorcycle popularity infographic!