23152
Kentucky

Outdoor Adventures in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

Enjoy active adventures in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky as you zipline, rock climb, kayak and more. Learn about history, culture, geology and nature from experts along the way.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23152RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999

At a Glance

Take learning to new heights on this elevated adventure above the beautiful Kentucky Red River Gorge. The Red River Gorge was sculpted by wind and water over 70 million years. Explore it from a bird’s eye view as you zipline, rock climb and walk across spectacular canopy bridges on daily active field trips. As you hike through the gorge, nature and geology experts clue you in on the flora, fauna and natural history of the region. Learn about history and culture with lectures, evening music and true Appalachian storytelling.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking up to eight miles for two all day hikes. Rock climbing 2-4 hours on 'via ferrata' course divided into different levels of difficulty. Kayaking about one hour on flat water. Ziplining about two hours on five consecutive ziplines.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy a rock climbing excursion on the Torrent Falls while experiencing Via Ferrata with commentary by your expert instructor.
  • Kayak underground through an abandoned limestone mine filled with clear limestone waters, and learn about the history of mining.
  • Hike through the scenic Daniel Boone National Forest with a nature expert.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Octavia Sexton
A native of eastern Kentucky, Octavia grew up in a rich tradition of storytelling. Her genuine Appalachian dialect and love for her Kentucky Mountains are the magic that brings her stories to life. She is a master storyteller and experienced teaching artist. Literary great Loyal Jones says, "Octavia is one of our few, true folk artists and her performances are authentic representations of the tradition from which she comes." Her stories carry the listener into the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Pat Sharp
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Octavia Sexton
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Rick Belcher
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Joyce Belcher
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Martin Douthitt
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Joe Bowen
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture, and Enlightenment to America
by Jeff Biggers
Few places in the United States confound and fascinate Americans like Appalachia, yet no other area has been so markedly mischaracterized by the mass media. Stereotypes of hillbillies and rednecks repeatedly appear in representations of the region, but few, if any, of its many heroes, visionaries, or innovators are ever referenced. Make no mistake, they are legion: from Anne Royall, America's first female muckraker, to Sequoyah, a Cherokee mountaineer who invented the first syllabary in modern times, and international divas Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, as well as writers Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, and Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck, Appalachia has contributed mightily to American culture — and politics. Not only did eastern Tennessee boast the country's first antislavery newspaper, Appalachians also established the first District of Washington as a bold counterpoint to British rule. With humor, intelligence, and clarity, Jeff Biggers reminds us how Appalachians have defined and shaped the United States we know today.
Rock Formations and Unusual Geologic Structures: Exploring Earth's Surface
by Jon Erickson
Clearly written and illustrated, this book explores the study of Earth's more unusual topographical formations and the processes that shape them. Learn about the effects of erosion, dating methods for specific geologic structures, fossil formation and fossil beds, geologic activities, and more. Illustrated with nearly 200 photographs and line drawings, Rock Formations and Unusual Geologic Structures is a thorough introduction to the changing world beneath our feet. Suitable for those with no or some prior knowledge.
Hiking the Red: A Complete Trail Guide to Kentucky's Red River Gorge
by Bluegrass Group Sierra Club
Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia
by Erik Reece
A new form of strip mining has caused a state of emergency for the Appalachian wilderness and the communities that depend on it-a crisis compounded by issues of government neglect, corporate hubris, and class conflict. In this powerful call to arms, Erik Reece chronicles the year he spent witnessing the systematic decimation of a single mountain and offers a landmark defense of a national treasure threatened with extinction.
Clear Springs: A Family Story
by Bobbie Ann Mason
Bobbie Ann Mason's marvelously tactile and textured memoir has the same blunt yet supple prose that distinguishes her novels. Examining her roots in rural Kentucky, where she was born in 1940, Mason unravels her family's history and considers its impact on her as a person and a writer. Readers of the New Yorker will recognize a few excerpts, most notably the magical chapter on a local pop group in particular, and the siren song of rock & roll in general. Mason has woven the pieces of her story into a seamless whole limning her ambivalent relationship to her country roots.
Hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge: Your Definitive Guide to the Jewel of the Southeast
by Sean Patrick Hill
Hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge is the definitive guide to trails in the Red River Gorge Geologic Area, Natural Bridge State Park, and Clifty Wilderness. The book showcases 25 of the best hikes in the Gorge, as well as a back-of-book bonus on nearby trails. Distinguished from other Red River Gorge guides, this book provides readers not only with detailed maps, sharp photos, and individual-trail details, this guidebook outlines definitive hikes--ways to explore the area and enjoy its flora, fauna, and history. The easy-to-use layout treats each hike distinctly, as its own adventure. Because of this, the routes are detailed with photographs, maps, trail gradient information and, most importantly, ratings for key elements that make a trail appealing to a wide variety of people. This allows the reader to make informed decisions about which trails they will want to hike, which ones will be appropriate for children, and so on. Further, readers will discover how to combine trails and routes for a great hiking day or backpacking trip. This book is ideal for people who've never been to the Gorge, or even beginner hikers.





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