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Add “Paddling Through an Abandoned Mine” to Your Bucket List!

red river gorge kayaking

When you think of Kentucky, what do you think of? The Kentucky Derby? The Louisville Sluggers and their famous baseball bats? Or the University Kentucky Wildcats? Some of the best bourbon you’ve sipped? Colonel Sanders and his famous Kentucky Fried Chicken? Red River Gorge kayaking?

You may not know that last one or that the Bluegrass State features some incredible landscapes. That includes forests, narrow valleys, mammoth caves, the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains, the state’s highest point, Big Black Mountain, as well as the breathtaking Red River Gorge.

So a Red River Gorge kayaking trip may be the next adventure you are looking for!

The Red River Gorge

Nestled in the Clifty Wilderness of the Pine Ridge Mountains, this area of the state is perfect for adventure lovers who want to camp, kayak, and explore the natural beauty. These Native lands boast many places to camp, fish, rock climb, hike, whitewater raft, and more. Still, your Red River adventure would not be complete without visiting Thrillsville Adventure Park.

The Gorge is actually a flooded limestone mine. The surrounding landscape is known for its natural stone arches, unique rock formations, and remarkable sandstone cliffs.

The Red River Gorge provides all calibers of outdoor activities. From scenic hikes to world-class rock climbing to fishing for rainbow trout to zipline courses to kayaking through caves to simply camping by a river, you won’t be bored!

Thrillsville Adventure Park

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Thrillsville offers an aerial park as well as incredible kayak tours below the Earth’s surface, where you can experience a kayak adventure like no other. With your group and an experienced guide, you will explore the Gorge underground through the darkness of the Gorge grotto. Witness the insane crystal clear waters below you and bring a headlamp to see fish in the water at the darkest spots of the cave system. Guides will even let everyone turn off their headlamp at the same time to experience complete darkness.

So if a cave boat tour in Kentucky was not on your bucket list already, we guarantee it is now!

What’s SUP Kentucky?

Suppose a kayak trip inside of a cave is not your favorite idea. In that case, paddlers can enjoy their sport above-ground on a stand-up paddleboard. SUP Kentucky offers a similar gorge paddling experience with LED lights on its boards.

Or you can even rent one of their clear-bottom kayaks to see what is underneath you while on the water. Other SUP Kentucky adventures include a trip to Grayson Lake or Jacobson Park in Lexington.

Ever explored the Red River Gorge? Share your adventure at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!

READ MORE: Salt Fork State Park: Ohio’s Sprawling Outdoor Oasis

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