Summer is right around the corner and Kentucky is bringing the heat with some of the country’s best lake sailing, spelunking, and horseback riding, making the Bluegrass State an essential summer getaway. Adventurous travelers can take whitewater rafting trips down the Lower Russel Fork or zip line in the largest cave on Earth! More laid-back days can be spent soaking up the sun aboard a houseboat exploring Lake Cumberland’s thousands of private coves or cheering on a horse at Keeneland Race Track. Either way, Kentucky is sure to wow anyone who visits with its Southern charm and natural beauty.
Summer is an ideal time to explore all that Kentucky has to offer – from a quiet stream to the raging Cumberland Falls; from a leisurely horse trail ride at the Kentucky Horse Park to a thrilling journey under the Earth at Mammoth Cave. The Bluegrass State comes alive under the summer sun, making it the perfect getaway for friends and family alike.
Hit the City
Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky’s two largest cities, are leading the state’s urban revival and putting Kentucky on the world stage while staying true to its cultural and culinary background.
- Louisville – The Urban Bourbon Trail offers travelers an authentic taste of America’s official spirit with a passport program to some of the best hotels, bars, and restaurants in the city. Or, go under the city at the Mega Cavern, an underground rollercoaster style tram ride that makes learning the area’s geological and mining history as exciting as an amusement park. It also offers the world’s only underground zip line.
- Lexington – Home to legendary stables and Kentucky Derby champions, Lexington is a horse lover’s paradise. The Kentucky Horse Park offers a fascinating museum and horseback trail rides or pony rides in the paddock, while Keeneland Race Track picks up the pace with some of the best horse racing in the country.
Sugarcamp Mountain Trail System
PRESTONBURG – Deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky lies the Sugarcamp Mountain Trail System, a multi-use facility created by Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and the city of Prestonsburg. Here, guests can horseback ride through six miles of trails with spectacular views of picturesque Dewey Lake. An additional 12 miles of trail is available for mountain biking and hiking. Trail difficulty varies and is indicated at all trailheads for guests’ knowledge. For more information, visit http://www.sugarcamptrails.com/.
Kentucky Dam Village Mountain Bike Trail
Calvert City – This technical, 7-mile mountain bike trail provides riders with a looped trail through the beautiful Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. Featuring relatively little elevation change, the trail contains a variety of designed elements to test riders’ technical abilities, so come prepared to utilize your skillset! For more information, visit http://parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/ky-dam-village/.
Land Between the Lakes – Venture to this 170,000-acre peninsula nestled between Kentucky and Lake Barkley for access to more than 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, 200 miles of paved roads and 500 miles of trails where you can bike, hike, picnic, swim, admire wildlife and experience nature’s splendor. For more information, visit https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/.
The Green River – Campbellsville – Whether by boat, kayak or canoe, you’ll be in awe as you float down the Green River, Kentucky’s crown jewel of river systems and a haven for biodiversity. At 384 miles, it is one of Kentucky’s largest, longest, and most navigable rivers, harboring one of the most diverse collections of fish and freshwater mussels in the United States. For more information, visit https://campbellsvilleky.com/listings/green-river-paddle-trail/.
Breaks Interstate Park
Shared with Virginia, Breaks Interstate Park offers more than 25 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of biking trails, guided horseback trails, watersports, five locations throughout the park for avid rock climbers and more. The park’s newest attraction, the Canyon Rim Zipline, spans 2,000 feet and includes three different stops where you can catch a glimpse of why the gorge is so infamously known as the “Grand Canyon of the South.” For more information, visit http://www.breakspark.com/.
EarthJOY Tree Adventures
Germantown – Swing from the lush Kentucky treetops at EarthJOY village where guided tree climbs, primitive skills workshops, hiking, staying in your very own tree house and full tree climbing instruction are just some of the many options available for tree climbing adventurers. For more information, visit http://climbtreeswithearthjoy.com/.
The Horse Racing Capital of the World, Kentucky has plenty to offer all types of horse lovers.
Equestrian enthusiasts can enjoy world-class horseback riding in Kentucky year round. With hundreds of miles of Kentucky horse trails in every region of the state, a trail can be found to challenge everyone from the beginner to even the most accomplished rider. Kentucky has numerous stables that offer horse rentals for day use. Kentucky horse camps offer horsemen and women the opportunity to bring their horse trailers to enjoy some fantastic Kentucky horseback riding all day and camp overnight. Visitors will also see scenic views, wildlife, natural features and enjoy great camaraderie along Kentucky horse trails. Whether you’re a veteran trail rider or someone who has never ridden before and is eager to learn, there is a riding destination in Kentucky to meet your needs–from privately-owned stables to the nearest state park. The dozens of Kentucky horseback riding outfitters, private guides and organized trail rides across the state can help you unleash your spirit of adventure. View our list of statewide places to ride and start planning a horseback riding adventure!