Much of the Gorge has been purchased as part of the Daniel Boone National Forest and has been subsequently reserved as the Red River Gorge Geological Area, an area of around 28,000 acres (over 11,300 hectares). It has been designated a National Natural Landmark.
Kentucky's Natural Bridge State Park is immediately adjacent to this area, featuring one of the largest natural bridges.
Because of its unusual and rugged nature, the Red River Gorge features a remarkable variety of ecological zones. It is the farthest southern site where the Canadian yew, Taxus canadensis, is known to grow.