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What to Do and See in the Kentucky Wildlands

by Holly Riddle

Aug 18, 2022

The Cumberland Gap © The Kentucky Wildlands

North America

If you think Kentucky is all bourbon country and college basketball, think again. The southern state also offers plentiful outdoor adventures, and there’s no better place to explore those adventures than in the Kentucky Wildlands.



© The Kentucky Wildlands


A 14,000-square-mile region, the Wildlands encompasses more than 40 counties in eastern and southern Kentucky. Here are some of the top spots to see:


Called the Niagara of the South, the 125-foot-wide, 60-foot-tall waterfall sits in a gorge and is a popular natural attraction for both locals and visitors alike. Try to spot the rare moonbow effect at the falls on a clear night. This is one of only two places in the entire world where moonbows appear regularly.



© Pam Gibson


Red River Gorge is a National Geological Area, National Natural Landmark, National Archaeological District and National Register of Historic Places site. The popular hiking and rock climbing destination features 100 natural sandstone arches. Camp at the gorge for the full effect.


One of the largest lakes in the East, Lake Cumberland offers 1,200 miles and 65,000 acres of shoreline. Also called the Houseboat Capital of the World, the manmade lake is a popular spot for boating, drawing travelers from all over the mid-Atlantic.


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