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Entrance to Mammoth Cave at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky: Unbridled Adventures in the Great Outdoors

By: Jody Sidle Short

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The depths of Mammoth Cave Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky: Unbridled Adventures in the Great Outdoors

By: Jody Sidle Short

Amon Focus
2 of 5
Path by the Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky: Unbridled Adventures in the Great Outdoors

By: Jody Sidle Short

Amon Focus
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Views of Red River Gorge in Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky: Unbridled Adventures in the Great Outdoors

By: Jody Sidle Short

Amon Focus
4 of 5
Horse farm in Kentucky

Kentucky

Kentucky: Unbridled Adventures in the Great Outdoors

By: Jody Sidle Short

Amon Focus
5 of 5
  • States:
    Kentucky

I am a lover of spending time outdoors, whether taking long walks, riding my bike, rock climbing, horseback riding or taking the boat out on the water.

I prefer the sun to be out and temperatures warm, but even in cooler weather, you will generally find me outside. After some research, I discovered that one of the states that offered all of the above was Kentucky, but I hadn’t anticipated the extent of outdoor activities that this amazing state had in store for me.

Let’s Go Climbing

Kentucky has more than 405,000 hectares of unspoiled wilderness, and most of it is open to the public, so you can imagine all of the biking trails, hiking trails and stunning places there are to camp. What I was looking for was some rock climbing, and I found it at Red River Gorge in Stanton. They offer climbing for both the novice and the expert. There are so many different choices of climbs, including one that I had never done before called Via Ferrata, which is a climbing system that uses cables and iron hand and foot rungs. I did this at Torrent Falls, one of many areas to climb. The guides were fantastic, and the scenery beautiful. I had the choice of a night climb, two-hour climb or full day. It was a fantastic experience.

Rock climbing at Torrent Falls in Kentucky

Rock climbing at Torrent Falls in Kentucky
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Caving in the National Park

My next stop was the complete opposite of rock climbing, taking me underground into a cave at Mammoth Cave National Park. The cave system is the longest in the world and full of intricate labyrinths to discover. Again, the caves have several options for tours ranging from short to several hours. I have visited many caves, but this one was a real treat, not only because of the history behind the cave, but also thanks to the knowledgeable tour guides who were so much fun. I really wish I had a bit more time to explore. Outside the cave, you’ll find loads of trails and two rivers running through the park so you can do a little fishing or take out the kayaks.

Touring Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

Touring Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
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Living the Life on the Lake

As I mentioned earlier, I love the water, so my next visit was to Lake Cumberland for some fun. The lake is more than 160 kilometers long, and I couldn’t get enough of the scenery and the coves that are found all around the lake. I pictured the houseboats that they have to offer sort of like the caravans I used to stay in on holiday in Great Yarmouth, but much to my glee, these house boats are more like fancy hotels. The one I got to stay on had six bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a lovely kitchen and sitting room, and a dining area. Upstairs there was a huge hot tub, grill and bar and even a slide that drops you into the lake. Every night in the summer, the air is warm and the lake alive with live music and parties. I will definitely be booking a trip with the family and friends on one of these houseboats very soon.

For amazing adventures in the great outdoors, there are few places that offer as many choices as Kentucky. Leave your phones and gadgets at home and see life from the rocks, the water or underground.

Luxury house boats for rent on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky

Luxury house boats for rent on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky
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Musicians perform in a downtown gazebo

Destination

Paducah