Host of one of the most impressive networks of mountains, tunnels, natural bridges and canyons in the area, Red River Gorge stands apart as an example of untamed natural beauty. What’s even better is that this unexpected oasis is practically in our backyard; a quick jaunt of two and a half hours, Red River Gorge makes for a great short weekend trip or longer outdoor adventure.
Stay in a Picturesque Cabin
Most, if not all, available rentals in the Red River Gorge area are mom-and-pop owned, lovingly created cabins. Experience the rustic charm of having a fireplace while taking in the beauty of nature right outside the door. There are even some treehouses, which are small houses on stilts, that make you feel like you are truly immersed with the wildlife of the Gorge.
Experience World-Class Rock Climbing
One of the biggest draws to “the Red” (as climbers call it) is the amazing opportunity to scale rock faces and see the breathtaking views from atop the craggy mountains. While most people don’t have enough experienced climbing buddies to climb on their own, the many guides in the area can help you select lower intensity climbing opportunities and can make sure you stay safe while you try your hands (and feet!) at a new sport.
Take a Thrilling Zipline Tour
One of the best ways to get a rush without having to put in too much physical effort is to take a zipline tour. Ziplines allow riders to clip into a safety harness and slide across long, secure cables, taking in the view from hundreds of feet above the ground. Red River Gorge Zipline Tours allows you to cover a lot of sights from above, with unforgettable memories of the first time you jumped out into open space to see the view.
Hike to Gray’s Arch and the Sky Bridge
The Red River Gorge is crisscrossed with a variety of hiking trails; most are well maintained and even passable when a little rain is coming down. While the general beauty of babbling brooks, picturesque bridges and greenery of all kinds is well worth the walk, Red River Gorge also boasts amazing geological structures. Both Gray’s Arch (which you can explore underneath) and Sky Bridge (which actually allows you to walk on top of the arch!) offer amazing views of the valleys surrounding them and have interesting geological features to learn about when you bring children along for the trip.
Kayak the Red River
For some wet summer fun, book a kayaking trip down the Red River; depending on how tumultuous the water is when you visit, you may be able to handle your kayak on your own or want to row with a guide. Either way, seeing the sights from the perspective of being on the water can help you to connect with the beautiful way that water has carved the Gorge over time.
Explore the Gladie Visitor’s Center
If you get a particularly rainy day or just want a break from the outdoors, stop by the Visitor’s Center. The interpretative exhibits will offer insight into what makes the Red River Gorge Geological Area so interesting and unique, as well as background on the cultural heritage of the area. If you stop by early in your stay, you can notice some of the geological formations described at the Visitor’s Center when hiking or kayaking through the wilderness.