Escape the boisterous crowds of the city and enjoy the remote canyons of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Located in the eastern-central part of the state near Winchester, the Red River Gorge area offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for nature lovers of all ages. Choose cozy cabin vacation rentals in Red River Gorge, or opt for spacious and isolated single-family homes closer to town. When planning your stay, consider these popular activities to fill your Red River Gorge itinerary.

1. Kayak with Red River Adventure

The only outfitter in the area, Red River Adventure leads kayak and canoe tours along the Red River. Take pictures and stop for the views at Creation Falls, or go swimming at the Jumping Rock Swimming Hole. There are several tours to choose from, including an 8-mile self-guided tour if you prefer to bring the family and go at your own pace.

2. Go Zip Lining with Red River Gorge Zipline Tours

If you’re looking for adventure, sign up with the Red River Gorge Ziplining Tour company for the thrill of a lifetime. Race at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour approximately 300 feet above the canyon floor. There are five different tours to choose from to suit beginners to experienced riders. Tours last between two to three hours and can accommodate individuals from 70 to 250 pounds.

3. Sign up for a Torrent Falls Climbing Adventure

Whether you’ve dreamed of going rock climbing or are a seasoned pro, Torrent Falls Climbing Adventures can help you learn the basics or take you on a challenging climb up the canyon walls. The company offers special trips for large groups. Just be sure to call ahead to schedule your trip.

4. Take a Mountain Horse Trail Ride with Cable’s Riding Stables

Family-owned and operated, Cable’s Riding Stables offers trail rides through the wilderness, beside the Red River Gorge, and down a dirt road. All rides last approximately an hour and are ideal for all ages. Children must be at least eight years old to ride alone, and individuals of all skill levels are eligible to ride.

5. Attend a Hoedown at the Natural Bridge

Located in the Natural Bridge State Park, the Natural Bridge offers a popular tradition every Saturday from May until October. Show up to learn some popular Appalachian square dancing, line dancing, polkas, and waltzes. The event is ideal for both couples and individuals or bring an entire group for a day of fun.

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6. View the Creatures at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade

Located just 5 miles from Red River Gorge, the Reptile Zoo is home to various snakes and other reptiles from around the world. Watch as the experienced guides milk a snake and listen to information about some of the most venomous creatures in existence. Walk through the three large buildings at your own pace, and be sure to ask questions along the way.

7. Learn Something New at the Wolfe County Historical Museum in Campton

Located just 2 miles south of Red River Gorge, the Wolfe County Historical Museum is the perfect place to learn a little history of the region. View the exhibits on famous people who have lived and influenced the region, and see a variety of equipment popular in various industries around the gorge.

8. Take Pictures at the Nada Tunnel

The Nada Tunnel is a 900-foot tunnel situated at the entrance to the Red River Gorge. Formerly a railway tunnel, this tunnel is on the Natural Registry of Historical Places, and it offers an excellent place to stop and take pictures.

9. Go Off-Roading at Thrillsville in Slade

Sign up for an off-road adventure up the mountain and through the wilderness with an experienced guide in a Hummer. Each vehicle holds up to nine individuals on an hour-long excursion over downed trees, through water, and across boulders. Thrill seekers can enjoy excellent views of Red River Gorge along the way.

10. Feed the Goats at Wild Things in Slade

Wild Things is an educational attraction with plenty of goats to feed. Families with children can take the kids gem mining for treasure, or stop by the candy store to pick up some fudge to take back to your vacation rental. The park has a snake pit and an aquarium with a variety of animals to enjoy.

11. Attend a Movie at the Mountain View Drive-In in Stanton

Escape your vacation rental for the evening, and take in a popular flick at the Mountain View Drive-In in Stanton. Located just 19 miles from Red River, the drive-in has two large screens and can accommodate 350 cars. There is also a car wash if you want to clean your car before the movie.

12. Bet on a Horse Race at Keeneland in Lexington

If you love horses, you’ll love the events held at Keeneland. Just a short 12-mile drive from the Gorge, this race track is the perfect place to place a friendly wager. Arrive early and meet the jockeys, and then stop by the gift shop for souvenirs. The track sells a variety of beverages and food to enjoy before heading back to your vacation rental.

13. Play a Round of Golf at the Meadows Golf Course in Clay City

Enjoy your vacation on the green at the Meadows Golf Course just 26 miles away in Clay City. This popular nine-hole course is perfect for beginners. It offers plenty of flat spaces and easy holes, which makes it the ideal place to go for practice or just a quick outing with friends.

14. Enjoy a Concert at the Meadowgreen Park Music Hall in Clay City

Tap your toes and dance at a local bluegrass concert at the Meadowgreen Park Music Hall in Clay City. This 100-acre park has an outdoor amphitheater with concerts held every weekend. During the concert, grab a bite to eat from a selection of home cooking.

15. Book a Fishing Guide at Cave Run Lake

Relax on the water and catch a bounty of fish on the Cave Run Lake approximately an hour north of Red River Gorge. Book a guide with the Musky Fishing Guide Service to learn the best way to catch musky. Sign up with a group, or opt to go the lake alone with a professional guide. Take your catch back to your vacation rental to enjoy a feast.

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