Red River Gorge is just an hour plus away from Lexington, Kentucky.
This beautiful wilderness area tucked inside the Daniel Boone National Forest is full of outdoor adventure activities.
Here is a list of five of the best:
I took a zipline tour with Red River Gorge Zipline Adventures and had a blast. There are five zips and each one is better than the first. The first two are rather short, which is a good way to get acclimated. The third goes through a forest tunnel and is a little longer.
The fourth and fifth are where it really gets exciting. The fourth is almost 2,000 feet long across a wide canyon. Then then the last one is more than 300 feet off the ground, so the last two really get the blood pumping. The tour is $89.00 a person and takes about two hours.
I am not a rock climber, but many people come from all over the world to climb the rocks in Red River Gorge. A lot of people come from Europe to explore the rock cliffs. After hiking through the park I can see why. There are rock faces and cliffs all over the area just waiting to be climbed by adventurous folks.
The Red River created the gorge and runs through the park. It has been designated as a national scenic riverway from the Highway 746 Bridge to the confluence with the School House Branch, which is a stretch of 9 miles. There is also another 10 miles of recreational river miles. You can reasonably rent a canoe or kayak for $20-25 a day through Red River Adventure. For $50.00 you can get transportation and for $70.00 you can camp overnight along the river.
Hiking and or backpacking
Red River Gorge is actually a combination of two parks: The Daniel Boone National Forest and the Natural Bridge State Resort Area. Together there are approximately 70 miles of trail including part of the 280 mile Sheltowhee Trace Trail that passes through the park. Backcountry permits cost $5.00 for three days or $3.00 for one day. Hiking the Gorge is the best way to experience the beautiful backcountry and see amazing fauna and see many of the waterfalls, arches, and rock formations inside the park.
A beautiful system of backroad byways cross through the Red River Gorge. You can take a loop consisting of highways 11, 77, 715, and 402. Start your journey in Stanton, Kentucky and drive through the gorge. There are many arches, scenic spots, trails, and side trips you can make along the way.
The highlight is the Natural Bridge in the Natural Bridge Resort State Park. A one mile steep trail takes you to the top of the arch with a fantastic view of the surrounding forest from atop the bridge. One must see portion of the trip is Chimney Top. A five mile dirt road on 715 takes visitors to this fantastic overlook. The trail is ¼ of a mile long and paved, so this is one sight everyone can check out.
If you are looking for a place to stay for your adventure if you are not planning on camping, check out a cabin at Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals. It is conveniently located on site of the zip line tour and only a few miles away from the scenic drive and the Natural Bridge.
Travel tip shared by Traveling Ted