Kentucky is known for its breathtaking scenery and natural beauty, making it an outstanding destination for outdoorsman of all interest levels. With its lush greenery, rolling hills, and top-rated national parks, there is plenty to do in the Bluegrass State. Next time you’re planning a trip into the wilderness, consider a one-of-a-kind destination from the following three.
Take a hike at Red River Gorge
If hiking is your hobby, then Red River Gorge should be at the top of your list. Located in Stanton, KY, Red River Gorge is nestled within the Daniel Boone National Forest, making it a popular destination for other park visitors too. No matter your skill level, you’ll find something to love on your hike through a canyon system as complex as it is beautiful. Take in the sights and appreciate soaring cliffs of sandstone, serene waterfalls, and impressive natural bridges. Avid rock climbers will also be excited to learn that Red River Gorge boasts some of the best climbing areas in the world. Additionally, the park is home to the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition, a group that works to keep climbing in the park sustainable and accessible. The wealth of options and activities makes Red River Gorge a strong contender to check out.
Go spelunking in Mammoth Cave
One of Kentucky’s top National Parks, Mammoth Cave, is a must-see for visitors to the state. With cave passageways stretching close to 400 miles, this underground cave system is one of the biggest in the country. Managed by the National Park Service, many of the chambers have their own unique features, such as Gothic Avenue, a portion of the cave with its ceiling covered in signatures from visitors dating back to the 1800s. Plus, Mammoth Cave is conveniently located near other attractions like the Cedar Sink sinkholes and the Nolin River. Both of these features are easily reached via trails from the cave.
Before going on your spelunking expedition, make sure your phone and cameras are in tip-top shape. You can use your phone to record videos as well as to take photos of attractions. You will want to remember Mammoth Cave, send pictures to family, and upload your videos to social media! You’ll find plenty of AT&T stores in Kentucky where you can make updates to your phone or purchase a new one that has more capabilities. Don’t forget accessories such as chargers and cases to make sure your phone is always ready to go and well-protected.
Take in the awe-inspiring Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Adjacent to Red River Gorge is Natural Bridge State Resort Park, a truly impressive natural phenomena. Kentucky’s most famous natural bridge, this sandstone arch is over sixty feet tall and close to eighty feet in length. Hiking trails offer multiple vantage points of the main bridge, as well as other unique geologic formations within the park, such as Balanced Rock and Lookout Point. In addition to promoting conservation at annual ecology events throughout the year, Natural Bridge State Resort Park also hosts Appalachian dances. These traditional square dances see hundreds of spectators and participants flocking to the park to experience all the fun. Best of all, the festivities all take place outside under the Kentucky stars. For dancers and appreciators of traditional dance, it’s worth planning your excursion around the Natural Bridge Hoedown calendar so as not to miss this charming tradition.
Kentucky has plenty to offer the outdoorsman in you. For the active wilderness lover, hikes and rock climbing abound, while more easy-going nature enthusiasts will find much to appreciate in the state’s unique national parks. Tourists can find and enjoy all sorts of activities in Kentucky, from ATVs and off-road vehicles, to horseback riding, hunting, and zip lines. More adventurous parties may even want to take a deep dive into the history and wonder of Mammoth Cave’s expansive caverns. You can even download the Mammoth Cave app on your cell phone to get details on the park’s unique points of interest. And with other highlights like the Appalachian Mountains and the Land Between the Lakes, these three options have only started to scratch the surface of all there is to discover in Kentucky.