Kentucky February 23, 2017
Head To These 11 Places In Kentucky For Some Much Needed R&R
Sometimes, we work so hard for so long that we completely forget to slow down and take care of ourselves. Taking a vacation, no matter the length, allows us to hit the refresh button, and therefore helps us perform better in our busy lives. If you’re looking for places in your own state to escape to for some much needed R&R (rest and recuperation, that is), then check out these 11 places in Kentucky.
1. On top of a natural arch in Red River Gorge
There are hundreds of natural sandstone arches within the Red River Gorge, and some hiking trails take you on top of them. The Original Trail in Natural Bridge State Resort Park will take you on top of the arch pictured above, which is probably the most frequently visited one in the area. The view from the top is stunning, especially during a sunrise or sunset.
2. The Elk and Bison Prairie in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
The Land Between the Lakes is a gorgeous area in western Kentucky with plenty of places to hike and camp. Reconnect with nature by paying the $5-per-vehicle charge to take this peaceful driving tour. You'll see herds of bison, elk, and deer enjoying their grassland habitat.
3. Mammoth Cave
Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system known in the world. Descending into his subterranean wonder is like entering a different world. Leave your cares behind as you tour this massive and beautiful cave in Kentucky's only national park.
4. Carter Caves State Resort Park
If Mammoth Cave is too far and you would rather stay in eastern Kentucky, you can still explore the underground in Carter Caves State Resort Park. They also have beautiful natural arches and many hiking trails to explore.
5. Pine Mountain
Eastern Kentucky is mountainous, which makes for some great retreats into the wilderness. Check out Pine Mountain State Resort Park near Pineville. You'll get a challenging, but refreshing, workout as you hike up to the top of these peaks.
6. Daniel Boone National Forest
Daniel Boone National Forest spans nearly the whole state of Kentucky from north the south, and even reaches down into Tennessee. Thanks to its size, hiking trails in this national forest are a reasonable drive away for almost anyone living in the state. The forest includes the Red River Gorge, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Cumberland Falls, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and several other awesome destinations.
7. One of the many gorgeous waterfalls near Cumberland Falls
Cumberland Falls, known as the "Niagra of the South," is beautiful and mind blowing. However, it is a very popular attraction and can get quite crowded. If you're looking for someplace a little less traveled, try another nearby waterfall, such as Eagle Falls (pictured above) or Dog Slaughter Falls.
8. Horse Country
There's nothing more relaxing than a drive through the rolling hills of Kentucky's beautiful horse country. One of the best drives in the whole state is Old Frankfort Pike, which runs from Frankfort to Lexington, right through the heart of horse country.
9. Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley
These two massive lakes surround the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky. Taking a boat out during a sunset is sure to relax you, especially during the warm Kentucky summers. If you can't make it this far west, Kentucky has tons of other great lakes all over the state (Lake Nolin, Lake Cumberland, and Dale Hollow Lake, to name only a few).
10. Kentucky River Palisades
If the weather is warm, one of the most fun activities to do is canoeing or kayaking down the Kentucky River in the central part of the state. This series of limestone outcroppings and gorges stretches 100 miles along the river, and is a truly humbling site to look at as they tower over you and your boat.
11. The Ohio River
This massive river stretches along the northern border of Kentucky until it meets the Mississippi River. Even if you're in one of the more urban areas that lies along the river, walking along such a vast body of water is sure to destress you.
Of course, Kentucky is full of gorgeous natural places that are perfect for a vacation or long weekend getaway. List your favorite place in the state to escape to for some R&R in the comments!