Top 10 Places to Visit in Kentucky by Bike
What’s the first think to come in your mind when you say Kentucky? Fried chicken! Come on, guys, can’t stop thinking about food for a minute? Ah, I forgot, it was me who gave the this answer.
Anyways! That’s not about food, but close, forget about food and take your bike for a ride to lose some weight!
Kentucky is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.
If you decided to make a trip to Louisville you now it’s a the perfect timing!
In June, after a number of delays, Louisville’s bike share program just started. The bikes can be picked up at one station and returned to any other station in the system, which makes it easy for people looking to get from one location to another during the work or school day without driving a car, and those riding for leisure, recreation or just touring the city.
LouVelo has partnered with Transit to make it easier and faster for users to find stations, buy passes, and unlock bikes with their phones. Transit is already quite popular in Louisville with tens of thousands of users across the city.
What to do here?
Watch a race at the famous Churchill Downs racetrack, visit the Kentucky Derby Museum, explore the Muhammad Ali Center.
Mega tip: tour the Louisville Mega Cavern. This is a one of a kind experience of an Underground Bike Park. Over 320,000 square feet including over 45 trails, Jump Lines, Pump Tracks, Dual Slalom, BMX, Cross Country and Single Track all in a former limestone cavern 100 feet sub-surface. Don’t take my word for it! Come see for yourself!
Lexington and surroundings offer you a bucolic scenery with over 1,000 miles of lightly traveled back roads excellent for bicycle touring. You will admire beautiful farms, lovely streams, historic homes and sites and old rock fences.
Take on the very popular Legacy Trail, a scenic, paved 12 mile greenway that runs from downtown Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park.
This trail connects the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden in the East End of Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park. You will be pleasantly surprise to see public art installations along the way. There are even a few bike repair stations along the route.
Another option is “Cycling Through History” a historic cycling tour created by the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, with 38 major points and about 11 miles long. Of course, you can do it entirely or use the shortcuts.
For the experienced cyclists, I recommend the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a series of Bourbon distilleries tours created by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. All three routes are scenic and hilly, traveling on the rural roads of Central Kentucky. For the most part, the roads are lightly traveled and stores or restaurants are generally available every 20 miles or so.
The terrain can be challenging. Although most of the routes are rural, some portions of some routes are on roads that have heavy traffic so cyclists should be comfortable in traffic as well. Choose a comfortable saddle and make sure you ride without pain.
3. Kentucky Horse Park
Known as the "Horse Capital of the World", the park is a home for nearly 50 breeds of horses graze upon its 1,200 acres of lush pastures.
Dedicated to man's relationship with the horse, the Kentucky Horse Park is unlike any other park in the world: a showcase of museums, galleries, theaters, and working farm exhibits. A campground offers 260 spacious sites with grocery store/gift shop, two bathhouses, tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts and a swimming pool. If you just took the Legacy Trail which will bring you here, it worth spending some time in this peaceful lovely place.
This could be love at first sight, because this fifth-smallest state capital in the United States welcomes visitors with its southern warm hospitality.
As a warm up, you can take your bike and go to Buffalo Trace Distillery, the oldest continually operating distillery in the US, then to Rebecca Ruth Candy Tours & Museum. They give free chocolate and also free aroma therapy. Cool! I told you they are very hospitable.
Don’t get back home without seeing Cove Springs Park, a beautiful 240-acre nature preserve and park with, waterfalls, streams, springs, forests, ravines, and a number of historic features such as ruins of old stone dam and a crumbling limestone overflow tower.
5. Red River Gorge
If you want to test your endurance and resilience and also to see the power of your resourcefulness, come ride in Red River Gorge.
The Red River Gorge MTB 100 is the first ever one hundred mountain bike race in Kentucky’s unforgettable Red River Gorge region.
You will see feel the meaning of “epic”, riding through Nada Tunnel, enter into the valley of the Red River Gorge where you will roll through towering cliffs and massive boulders formed seven million years ago, and see all-around the wonders of nature. What is good don’t comes easily and the journeys are who we are.
This is an experience about yourself.
6. Laurel River Lake
After testing your endurance, you need some quiet reflection and relaxation.
The view of coves and cliff-lined shores around the 5,600 acres of clear, deep water can give you this feeling.
If you take the Lake Trail you won’t make any special effort, it’s known as a great “beginner trail” and much of it runs along Laurel River Lake.
7. Land Between the Lakes
A huge playground in Western Kentucky and Tennessee!
Over 500 miles of trails and 200 miles of scenic roads lead to some of the most wonderful spots at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Native wildlife, plants and wildflowers thrive in our woods, fields, and lake shores. Our trail system is extensive, offering a variety of excursion possibilities.
Central Hardwoods Scenic Trail, family-friendly trail with smooth surfaces, gentle grades, and trailside rest areas.
The Fort Henry Trail System is located in the south end of Land Between the Lakes, and connects 9 trails totaling 26 miles. These trails follow the route of General Grant’s troop movements from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson during the Civil War.
The 5.47 miles of trails within the Hillman Ferry Campground woods are listed as a Heritage National Recreation Trail for hiking and biking only.
Hematite Trail is known for its high diversity of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and woodland wildflowers.
Long Creek Paved Trail is accessible for persons with disabilities.
8. Daniel Boone National Forest
The restless mountain cyclists who seek recreational challenge on the rugged terrain in the Daniel Boone National Forest, should know that here is a great selection of other trails waiting for them.
The trails provide access to popular destinations such as campgrounds and picnic areas.
Mountain biking trails are open year round.
You should expect to carry or walk your bike along some sections of trail, because they are narrow and sometimes steep.
For road cycling are more than 900 miles of road, many of which are gravel or dirt. You may ride your bike on any forest road unless it is specifically posted as closed to mountain bike use. Riding a forest road is a great way for the families to enjoy the time together.
9. Slaughter Falls
Located near Cumberland Falls in Daniel Boone National Forest, you can choose a trip here, if you need a peaceful quiet moment in the heart of the nature.
Dog Slaughter Falls Trail on London Ranger District runs parallel to Dog Slaughter Creek through dense stands of hemlock and rhododendron. Near the mouth of the creek, a 15-foot waterfall offers a scenic place to enjoy nature.
The trail meanders over and around massive boulders before it connects to Sheltowee National Recreation Trail.
10. Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area
The area shows miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, has natural and historic treasures and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. Mountain bike riding has become one of the more popular recreational activities enjoyed by visitors to Big South Fork.
Currently at Big South Fork there are several trails which have been designed, built and are maintained by the Big South Fork Mountain Bike Club. In addition to bike only trails, mountain bikes are allowed on highway edges, backcountry roads and some horse trails. This combination provides bikers of all skill levels with miles of trail options.
The National Park Service, as approved in it's General Management Plan has initiated a shared use of mountain bikes on the Grand Gap Loop hiking trail. The Grand Gap Loop Trail will be open to both hikers and cyclists everyday of the week.
See you soon, guys, with the next 10 place to visit by bike!