Zip Lining at Red River Gorge
Happy screams ring out over Red River Gorge as travelers zip over the rock formations of this scenic area near Campton. The attraction is just outside Daniel Boone National Forest, which preserves approximately 29,000 acres of the Red River Gorge canyon system. The surrounding wilderness offers breathtaking panoramas, especially while zooming above the overlooks at up to 55 miles per hour.
“You are zip lining through the trees, so it sometimes looks like you are going to run right into them,” said Joyce Belcher, executive director of the Cliffview Resort and Red River Gorge Zipline. “On the long zip lines, you will zip above the gorge. You will see the rock formations. It is beautiful scenery.”
Participants who weigh between 70 and 250 pounds can go on the two- to three-hour tours. Guides lead groups down all five zip lines. The first stretches for 300 feet. The distances increase as the tour progresses until the final zip, which spans 1,900 feet.
Groups cross four canopy bridges as they walk from one zip line to the next. The final two zip lines, known as Dual Racing Zips, allow participants to race two at a time across the canyon.
Staying at the nearby Cliffview Resort earns groups a discount. The resort allows easy access to the surrounding hiking, rock climbing and geologic wonders of Red River Gorge.
Paddling with Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort
Half your travelers love the idea of rafting next to a giant waterfall; the other half find it terrifying. Not to worry: Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort (STAR) in Corbin offers the perfect compromise. Part of the group can raft through whitewater rapids, and the other members can take a leisurely ride aboard the Cumberland Star Riverboat.
The 65-foot, double-decker riverboat floats through Lake Cumberland for a relaxing journey. After the more adventurous group has ventured down the Cumberland River, the 100-passenger boat picks up the tired rafters. Then the entire group can reunite for a meal onboard the vessel.
The whitewater rafting trip begins at the base of Cumberland Falls, a powerful waterfall known as the Niagara of the South. After participants see the water pounding down into the river from the base of the falls, the raft continues down the river on Class III rapids. The trip works well for beginning rafters and children ages 6 and up.
“Some groups come back year after year,” said Dania Egedi, general manager of STAR. “We really try to experience the river and not just get down it. We let people out at a rock where they can jump in. We also stop and swim through some rapids, which is a neat experience.”
STAR offers groups many more rafting options, such as canoe and kayak trips down the Cumberland and Big South Fork rivers. The Big South Fork River draws many paddlers because of its striking views of cliff lines and enormous boulders. Both rivers offer chances to see wildlife, especially blue herons, eagles and deer.
The options continue from there to land adventures including zip lines, a climbing wall, geocaching, bike rentals and hiker shuttles. STAR can function as a one-stop shop with lodging and catered dining options. The wide range of accommodations includes rustic camping, resort cabins and covered wagons converted into bedrooms with electricity, heating and air conditioning.