The gorge has climbs for all experience levels. Spring and fall are prime time. Summer is unpleasantly hot and humid, while many businesses close in winter. The Motherlode, in the Red's southern region, draws daredevils galore. It holds the most traditional and sport routes, and is known for its steepness and tests of endurance. Red River Climbing (www.redriverclimbing.com) offers detailed route information on its website.
The forest service maintains 60 miles of hiking trails in Red River Gorge. Good ones include the easy Rock Bridge Trail, which takes in a nifty arch and a little waterfall on its 1.5-mile loop. The moderate Double Arch Trail (4.5 miles round trip) descends through a hemlock forest beneath a sandstone cliff before arriving at an impressive overlook of the landscape. Find maps and info at www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf.