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Kentucky Travel Guide

Kentucky — Things to Do

Outdoor lovers won’t be lacking things to do in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky is literally covered in woodlands, mountains, and water. Underneath it all is the longest cave system on the planet, and plenty of other holes for spelunking. Over 50 lakes provide plenty of space for fishing and boating, two of the state’s top recreation activities. Kentucky’s rivers are also hugely popular for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing.

The woodlands and rolling hills hold hundreds of miles of trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Zipline adventures are one of the newest additions to the extreme sports offered here. Of course, there are less active pursuits such as golf, bourbon distillery tours, and relaxing rides through bluegrass country on the back of a horse.

Kentucky and horses are inseparable. The state is the core of America’s top breeding farms and the horseback riding is incredible. It’s not just the green rolling pastures and gentle trails through hardwood forests, but the sheer quantity of farms and stables. River Otter Outfitters and Whispering Woods Stables cam help you arrange a ride. Also home to the famed Kentucky Derby, grab your best floppy hat and plan for a raucous visit in April for some betting and a refreshing mint julep.

If you’re a whiskey aficionado, you don’t want to miss the Bourbon Trail. A trip that takes about two days driving across both Kentucky and Tennessee, tour the 6 famous distilleries, marking off your accomplishments on the provided souvenir passport. You get a free gift for making all stops in addition to the delicious tastings.

Nine of Kentucky’s rivers are protected from development, offering 114 miles of pure, natural waterway for all kinds of__ canoeing__ and rafting adventures. Whether you are looking for white water excitement or a lazy float trip - the state has dozens of outfitters like Red River Adventure and Setter Ridge Outfitters through which you can rent gear or hire a guide.

The perfect complement to a boating excursion is fishing. Only Alaska has more shoreline than Kentucky, so it’s natural that fishing is a major recreation activity in these parts. Bait shops can be found in even the tiniest towns, and large outfits like Rainbow Guide Service can arrange for a fishing license and show you where the sweet spots are.

Fifty state parks and hundreds of miles of trail ensure a good trek anywhere you go in Kentucky. The eastern corner is home to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and its famous hiking trail, while the Daniel Boone Wilderness is known for its waterfalls and scenic vistas. You can use the services of guides like those at Sheltowee Trace Outfitters or simply navigate yourself through the well-marked systems.

One of America’s most popular parks is the world’s longest running cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park is a truly astonishing subterranean environment. Rangers offer a variety of tours, from easy strolls to all-day caving adventures. Above ground, there is 53,000 acres of forest to explore, making this a fantastic spot to spend a few days.

One can only imagine the beauty of a Kentucky bluegrass golf course. With over 300 public and private courses in the state, the hardest dilemma is choosing where to start. The 19-course Kentucky State Golf Park Trail has everything you need to create one of the world’s top golf holidays.

The latest outdoor fad to hit Kentucky is zip lining. Zip the Bluegrass is a newly minted trail encompassing five locations around the state including The Big Zipper in Maysville and Black Mountain Thunder in Evarts. Landscapes range from mountains to gorges which is plenty of fun for all ages and abilities.

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