Come take part in an innovative project: a stream corridor clean-up and creation of a blueway trail along Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Barren River that flows through Glasgow and greater Barren County! You're invited to hike or paddle to help clean up the stream corridor as we prepare for the launch of the initial portion of the trail, a 3 mile stretch that runs from Glasgow's VFW Club to the Beaver Trail Park. The resulting blueway trail is a community investment that will positively impact public health, stream ecology, and generate ecotourism for now and future generations to come.
Learn, hike, and experience Kentucky's most beautiful and bio-diverse wildlands during Pine Mountain's renowned Lucy Braun forest study workshop June 7-9, 2018. The workshop is named in honor of one of the first and foremost conservationists of the 20th century, E. Lucy Braun. Dr. Lucy, as she was called by her colleagues, devoted her life to the study of plants and to conservation campaigns to save wilderness areas and other natural sites.
**BCCDKY & Boone County Parks are now sponsoring a cleanup at Giles Conrad Park! Come join us for a fun and ENERGETIC cleanup! Please wear appropriate clothing - tennis shoes, jeans, tshirt, bug spray, and sunscreen. You will likely get dirty with us, but we also highly encourage it. There will be a contest, so be sure to hang out with us until noon!
This year we’re excited to be partnering with Kentucky for Kentucky, to host the 4th Annual Totally Tubular Tube-a-thon! The event goes down on June 15th and takes place on the scenic Elkhorn Creek. Meet us at the Still Water Campground near Frankfort for a day of fun on the water. The campground is perfectly situated along a horseshoe bend in the creek, allowing for lap after lap of awesome tubing action along a beautiful, mellow section of the Elkhorn. We’ll tube from 10 A.M until dark, and also have food and drink available for purchase at the campground —along with several awesome exhibitors and sponsors!
Blazing Paddles is a paddlesports race and float that's an on-the water celebration of how the Cuyahoga River has risen like a phoenix from its ecological low-point, 50 years to the day since the June 22, 1969 fire.
HOST: Share the River
Bottom out risk: No
Body of Water: Cuyahoga River
The Explore Kentucky Initiative is proud to host the 2019 edition of Western Kentucky Paddling Festival & Battle for the Paddle on Saturday, July 20th! This festival provides a unique opportunity to participate in a Kentucky Waterman Series event which relocates annually around the waterways of Western Kentucky. This intentional shift in race location helps to usher in awareness of our state’s natural resources while also providing an opportunity to showcase watersports through outdoor recreation. So with this in mind, bring your stand up paddleboards, canoe’s, kayak’s, prone boards and prepare to set sail from the glassy shores of Lighthouse Landing in Grand Rivers into the expansive waters of Kentucky Lake! Whether you’re in search of a day of leisurely paddling on the lake with friends and fellow paddlers or determined to test your racing mettle, come join our community of water enthusiasts for a day of fun and festivities.
We are offering a range of events this year! For those simply in search of a shorter paddle or delving into racing for the first time, there will be the 2 mile Little Grand Fun Race to participate in. Think of it as the 5K of paddling! For the moderate distance seekers, we have the 6 mile Kenlake Dash. Finally, for those who are on a quest for the ultimate challenge, we suggest the Kentucky Lake 12 mile Challenge. The overall top female and male finisher of the challenge will forever enshrined by having their name engraved on our traveling WKY Battle for the Paddle which will be displayed prominently in the Grand Rivers community from 2019- 2020.
HOST: The Explore Kentucky Initiative
BOTTOM OUT RISK: NO
BODY OF WATER: Kentucky Lake
Bring your SUP, Kayak, Prone, or Canoe and join the The Explore Kentucky Initiative, Project 908, & Stand Up Paddle Cincinnati at the world famous Ohio River Paddlefest 2018 for the Cincinnati Ohio River Paddlefest Races, an event apart of the 2018 Kentucky Waterman Series.
The Great Ohio River Odyssey is back again in 2019! Paddlers will have the opportunity to take on three unique courses on waterways (The Ohio River and Harrods Creek) in the Greater Louisville Area: The Westport to Downtown Louisville 22 Mile Race, 7 Mile Captains Quarters to Downtown Open Race, & the Harrods Creek Run 2.5 Mile Run.
The KR255 is the endurance race of a lifetime. Competitors will start in Beattyville and finish, some of them anyway, in Carrollton. Numerous towns along the course offer opportunities to resupply and recharge during the race. The Kentucky River is incredibly scenic and also incredibly isolated in some stretches. The beauty and scenery rivals that of any river in North America!
Welcome to Pikeville's 2nd annual Tour de Ville DUATHALON! This event will be held on Sunday, May 19th, starting at 2:00 pm at the Pikeville Farmers Market (130 Adams Lane, Pikeville KY).
The event will offer a BIKE option (5 mile, 10 mile or 20 mile), a RUN option (5K) or a DUATHALON option (simply add a 5K to the end of your bike ride).
At Big Bone's Bioblitz, naturalist guides will be leading groups of park guests on multiple excursions throughout the day to identify species of a targeted class or order i.e. identifying birds along the Big Bone Creek Trail with Park Interpreter, Amelia Hulth.
This spring grab a kayak, paddle board, or canoe and join EKI & friends for the third annual Bluegrass River Run (BRR), one of the largest paddlesports event in Kentucky. We’ll launch from Fort Boonesborough State Park paddling along pool 9 of the Kentucky River, which is located just south of Lexington. The journey allows you to take in the incredible beauty of the 60+ ft cliffs of the palisades and enjoy floating refreshments stops, as well as musical artists playing from docks along the river at several points along the course.
Every spring, naturalists, photographers, and nature-lovers flock to Pine Mountain to immerse themselves in one of the region's most prolific wildflower habitats. In mid-April, the James E. Bickford State Nature Preserve on the campus of Pine Mountain Settlement School is in full bloom with over 100 species of wildflowers across the forest, including several species of trillium, showy orchids, dwarf crested iris, and more!
The official start of the Spring climbing season in the Red River Gorge is swiftly approaching.
Miguel’s Pizza and Climb Ship will be hosting the Red River Reunion on Saturday, March 30th 2019!
This is a great event to ring in the new season and see all of your friends!
The inaugural Expedition Frankfort: Run | Bike | Paddle is the Explore Kentucky Initiative’s way of showcasing Kentucky’s capital city of Frankfort (our base camp) as the ultimate adventure town! The event consists of a 3.7 mile run, 6 mile MTB ride, and 6 mile paddle on the Kentucky River.
Hiking can be an adventure no matter what time of year. Join the Park Staff and John Robbins from the Sierra Club, for a hike through the woods of Big Bone. The fresh air and still landscape is sure to keep you from getting cabin fever! Please meet at the museum parking lot and have a water bottle. Wearing long sleeves, pants, boots, a hat, gloves, and layered outdoor wear is recommended. The trail has moderate terrain and will be up to 4 miles. The program is free and open to the public; subject to cancellation due to inclement weather.
Organizer: Amelia Hulth, Park Interpreter and Interim Manager
Join the Cave Run Lake Chapter - Sheltowee Trace Association for their hike to kick off a series of 5 day hikes to cover the 36 miles of the Trace located in Rowan County.
Looking for a challenging hike? Join Jefferson Memorial staff on the Siltstone Trail for a 6.7 mile guided hike. The Siltstone Trail is named for the common stone capping the knobs and is one of the oldest and most loved trails in the forest. It features steep ascents and descents along ridges and around tall knobs.
Meet at Scott's Gap Parking Lot. Transportation will be provided from the Welcome Center back to vehicles at the end of the hike. Hikers can warm up by the fire in the Welcome Center post hike.
Event is FREE and open to the public. Contact the Welcome Center during office hours for directions if needed: 502-368-5404. Please dress appropriately for the weather and ensure you bring anything needed for the long hike including water and snacks.
Please note that there are no bathroom accomodations at Scott's Gap or along the trail until we reach the Welcome Center.
Winter Adventure Weekend is an annual event held on the last full weekend of January at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill, Kentucky. We offer activities and workshops for anyone interested in the great outdoors. Whether you are a beginner or advanced adventurer, you can go hiking, rappelling, climbing, tree climbing, canoeing, and kayaking. We also offer wild cave tours, winter survival workshops and much more. Select from a list of field trips and instructional workshops from experienced guides. You must be at least six years old to participate. You will want to register early since many trips limit the number of participants and fill up quickly. Some trips have age requirements and additional fees. Some trips have special equipment requirements. The event begins on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday afternoon. Come early or stay late! You don't need to attend the entire event. Come when you want, leave when you want!
Organizer: Carter Caves State Resort Park
The 2019 Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow is a great opportunity to browse the latest and greatest in boats, RVs, kayak, outdoor recreation equipment, and more! The show also includes fun activities for the whole family.
For this trip we’ll be heading to the mountains of the Redbird District in Clay and Leslie counties to see what’s at stake with the South Redbird project. We’ll first take an easy walk along a gravel road to look at a mountainside recently cut as part of the Group One projectand talk about the impacts and trade-offs that come with this type of logging. Then, we’ll drive about 20 minutes to a second location where we’ll hike off-trail, up and down a steep slope, with about 450 feet of elevation gain, and through a forest proposed for intensive logging, similar to the Ulysses Creek site.
Kentucky Heartwood and The Explore Kentucky Initiative are teaming up to host a series of hikes exploring some of our more beautiful, endangered forests.
The first one will consist of an off-trail hike through some lovely forestland in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County that’s been proposed for logging as part of the Pine Creek project. We’ll visit some very large and old-growth trees, take a detour to see a unique and stunning waterfall, imagine the abundant mountain camellia in bloom, and maybe get a view of the Rockcastle River from high above the river. We’ll be talking about ecology and natural history, the trade-offs inherent in management, and what you can do to help. This trip will consist of several miles of off-trail hiking, and participants must be comfortable with bushwhacking and a few small scrambles. This trip is limited to only 8 participants, and a donation of $20 ($15 for Kentucky Heartwood members) is requested. If you'd like to become a member, you can join for as low as $5 and get the member rate for the hike (so you're still paying just $20 AND joining Kentucky Heartwood!). Just make a note when you pay via PayPal. Participants must be 12 years of age or older.
December 15th will be a backup day in case of severe weather.
We're excited to announce we're partnering up Kentucky Natural Lands Trust for the third year in a row to host a weekend of guided hikes at Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve led by the KNLT's Stewardship Director, Preston Lacy and EKI Founder, Gerry Seavo James
Ascientionist Event's Red River Gorge MTB 100 is back again for 2018. This race features an arduous one hundred mile race in and around Kentucky's Red River Gorge using paved country roads, back country double track, and a little bit of single track
The No Business Hundred is a trail endurance race that begins and ends at the abandoned coal mining town, Blue Heron, just east of Stearns, KY. The course is a single 100 mile loop that traverses through the heart of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area across the state line into Tennessee and back on some of the oldest trails in the southeast.
Join the Morgatown Trail Town Taskforce for a float from Logansport, KY at Reed's Ferry as they journey down the Green River to Rochester, for their fall festival. There will be giveaways for those participating so join them for your chance to win. We Hope to see you there!
September is a great time to come enjoy traditional storytelling at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.
Join the railway for their annual Blue Heron Ghost Train storytelling event.
Take the Big South Fork Scenic Railway to the abandoned coal-mining camp or arrive by car. The train will depart from the Stearns Depot at 7:00 p.m. and head into the gorge before arriving at the Blue Heron Museum
Park staff and volunteers will lead groups of visitors in the darkness of night by only the flickers of lanterns to local storytellers. They, through the age-old tradition of the spoken word, will share their traditional tales from around the region with you.
For information on riding the train please contact the Big South Fork Scenic Railway at 1 (800) 462-5664 or visit their website at www.bsfsry.com. There is a fee to ride this round-trip excursion and reservations are recommended.
Those who prefer to attend this event for free may drive their own vehicles to this activity and may follow the directional signs from Stearns via KY HWYs 92W and 1651S to 742W. Blue Heron Mining Community is located approximately 12 miles from Stearns, KY at the end of HWY 742W. Free parking is available. Refreshments and food will be available for purchase at the concession stand.
The annual Blue Heron Ghost Train is sponsored by Big South Fork in operation with the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, McCreary County Library, and the McCreary County Performing Arts Council.
Red River Adventure is hosting the first ever Kayaks for K9s event, on National Dog Day, August 26th 2018, in the Red River Gorge, to raise awareness for homeless/shelter pets.
RRA is asking all of our customers to bring donations of supplies to help support the Wolfe County and Menifee County animal shelters!