Adventure travel in eastern Kentucky
Going by bike
Because of the large swaths of natural and protected land and state parks in eastern Kentucky, mountain and road cyclists have found this part of the state to be particularly welcoming. Again, the Daniel Boone National Forest is a top destination with 423 miles of multi-use trails, offering something to challenge all skill levels of mountain bikers. The trails around Cave Run Lake in the Cumberland Ranger District, which has 143 miles of trails, are particularly popular.
Scenic road cycling tours that cross the state also make it easy to plan a self-guided trip. The Central Heartlands Tour, a 210-mile trip that passes several noteworthy destinations such as the town of New Haven (home of the Kentucky Railway Museum) and Maker’s Mark Distillery (the only operating National Historic Landmark in the country), also passes rolling hills and horse farms as it traverses from the Tennessee/Kentucky state line north to Indiana. The 500-mile Midland Kentucky Tour offers a wide range of terrain as the east-west trail crosses the state, passing from the flatter western Kentucky to the steeper terrain of eastern Kentucky. Bicycling clubs throughout the state provide additional information and occasionally organise rides. Consider visiting in autumn for your cycling tour,so you can enjoy the colourful scenery as you ride.
Into the caves
Though not in eastern Kentucky, the state's cave system is one of Kentucky’s most adventurous claims to fame. Mammoth Cave National Park, located in the south-central part of the state, has more than 390 miles of explored caves, making it the world’s longest known cave system. Though there are other caves in the state, each offering a specific experience (the Louisville Mega Cavern, for example, is 100 acres and features a five-line underground zip lining tour), Mammoth Cave has more than a dozen tours of varying lengths and difficulty. With five miles of trail on a six-and-a-half-hour hike, the Wild Cave Tour is the most challenging. It visits parts of the cave system no other tours visit, and participants must meet specific size requirements in order to squeeze through crawlspaces.