A Red River Gorge zipline tour adventure

Red River Gorge zipline tour

Guides Sam, Don, and Erica give us the low down on our Red River Gorge zipline tour

Red River Gorge Zipline Tour as a wake up

During a Mother’s Day excursion to Kentucky, I was fortunate to experience a Red River Gorge zipline adventure. I once wrote a piece about adventure travel activities that do not really appeal to me. Ziplining was one of the five I chose.

I was staying in a Red River Gorge Cabin Rental, and they have a zipline tour on site. It was too convenient to pass up. I had driven all night from Chicago, and it turned out to be a great way to wake up after a groggy morning.

Red River Gorge zipline tour

All strapped up and ready for my first zipline course

Getting geared up

I was geared up by guides Don, Sam, and Erica at the office and given the necessary straps and a helmet. The manager of the zipline offered a GoPro video camera to strap on to my helmet to augment this post. Once appropriately attired, we got in the truck and headed off to the course, which was no more than a mile from the office.

Red River Gorge zipline tour

The guides go over first – Our guide Don at zipline 1

Red River Gorge zipline course

The Red River Gorge zipline tour consists of five runs. Each run gets better than the one before it. The first two are rather short, but a great start, especially if like me, you have never done the activity before. The guides did a great job of keeping everything light with humor to deflect any nervous feeling participants might have had.

Red River Gorge zipline tour

The guides did a great job of keeping it light with humor

Don was especially hilarious, and I think he doubles as a standup comedian. I should have used my GoPro and just filmed his routine, and I would have made him an internet star.

The third zipline is when the course really starts to get interesting. It flies through a beautiful tree canopy. After spring rains, the Red River Gorge area was quite lush with a powerful green tree cover. I really enjoyed sailing through the forest and seeing it from a completely different perspective.

Zipline adventures Red River Gorge

A little time lapse zipline at course 3

Red River Gorge zipline tour Kentucky

Zipline through the forest at run number 3

Red River Gorge zipline tour

Flying through the woods at zipline 3

The fourth zipline is longest course at almost 2,000 feet in distance. You have to squint your eyes to see the other side. We climbed a high platform to get up to the cable. It was a little daunting starting so high, but Don cracked a few jokes and eased everyone’s apprehension.

Red River Gorge zipline adventure

Climb on the platform was a little daunting

Red River Gorge Zipline Tour

Race is on at course 4 on the Red River Gorge zipline tour

The fourth and fifth course had two lines, so you could race your partner and us zippers got over to the other side twice as fast. After four zips, I was completely energized. The wind hitting your face, laughing with Don, and just being out in the beautiful scenery was invigorating.

The last course was also long, but it was the highest above the trees as it traversed a canyon and ended up over a rocky cliff. We were instructed to turn right for a beautiful view. It was breathtaking as we saw distant hills covered in a verdant forest.

Red River Gorge ziplining

Two zippers take off as Erica gets the next tandem ready

Discovering that ziplining is a fun adventure

After over two hours zipping through the Red River Gorge, it was time to call it a day. A good time was definitely had by all. The answer to the question of why did the zippers cross the gorge was answered: to hear Don’s joke(s) of course.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, ziplining has never been a priority on my adventure travel agenda, yet I really enjoyed the experience and would do it again. If you are even mildly curious about the adventure, I believe you will enjoy it. If you have done ziplining and liked it elsewhere, I am sure you will love it here.

If you live in the Midwest, the south, or in the east, I highly recommend the course at the Red River Gorge. I have never been on another course, so I cannot compare it to other places; however, I am sure you would be hard pressed to find a more exciting five courses. They range from 330 feet in length to 2,000 feet and range from 75 to 300 feet off the ground.

The cost for the tour is $89.00 per person, and you can rent a GoPro for $39.00. The author had his experience sponsored by the zipline tour, but in no way did this fact color my opinion. I enjoyed it , and I think you will too.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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About Traveling Ted

Ted Nelson has been adventure traveling since he was 10 years old on camping trips with his Dad to places like the Great Smoky Mountains, The Everglades, and Big Bend National Park. In 2005 he added international travel to his repertoire with a three month trip to Southeast Asia.

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23 Responses to A Red River Gorge zipline tour adventure

  1. Jeremy Branham May 23, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Ziplining is fun. I enjoyed my experience in Yosemite. It is something I would definitely do again.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Old friends, life changes, and a high school reunion

    • Ted Nelson May 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      No that I have busted my zipline cherry, I would be for trying it elsewhere as well.

  2. Tawny of Captain and Clark May 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    I’m a sucker for ziplining! We’ve gone a few times and are hooked. We got to go upside down on one run in Calgary. I think ziplining in South Korea was the scariest as they just let you run the course by yourself. Just remember to always hook yourself in!

    • Ted Nelson May 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Interesting in Korea it is a do it yourself gig. I can see why you might be hooked.

  3. Digital Nomads May 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    That is an adventure, we had one in Banos while we were in the Ecuador and it was 6 stages but with have the equipment and 20% safety! Nice photos.
    Digital Nomads recently posted..The Galapagos Islands on a Budget

    • Ted Nelson May 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Thanks! I would love to give the activity a shot through a South American rainforest sometime.

  4. Anita Mac May 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Wow- you are a brave man Ted! I love the idea in principle, but think I would be rather frightened in actuality! I tried the flying trapeze at a Club Med once and froze in the air! Was exhilarating just being up there! Maybe someday I will gather the nerve….having a comedian at the start line might help! He must be so used to dealing with nervous Nellie’s like me!
    Anita Mac recently posted..TBEX Toronto Bucket List

    • Ted Nelson May 26, 2013 at 4:32 am #

      Yea, Don was hilarious. Humor goes a long way to help alleviate all situations.

  5. Raul (@ilivetotravel) May 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Ted, I have been curious about zip lining since I first head of it but have never made it a priority. I hear there is a great course somewhere southwest of Atlanta in mid/west Georgia. I will have to research it and make it a trip one of these weekends. I like the idea of a GoPro to catch the first-time experience!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..Camping and Dining under the Stars in the Wadi Rum

    • Ted Nelson May 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      The GoPro is perfect for capturing the experience and Don’s jokes.

  6. Erin at The World Wanderer May 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    This is right up my alley! Love the GoPro videos and the fact that they rent the cameras out. What a fun trip!
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Road Trip Essentials.

    • Ted Nelson May 27, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      The GoPro sure was nice, and they gave the card at the end, so it was simple to load.

  7. Fiona May 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Looks scary but I’s say it’s exhilarating – not sure I could deal with the heights though!
    Fiona recently posted..Britain’s Original Rock and Roll Isle: Eel Pie Island

    • Ted Nelson June 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      The equipment looked and felt really safe, so I was not too afraid. I trust the fact that any incident on one of these devices would not only destroy the reputation of the company, but also hurt the credibility of ziplining everywhere, so I feel they have to be supremely safe.

  8. Leah Travels May 28, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Even though I’m afraid of heights, I really love zip lining. I did it in Costa Rica a few years ago. This course looks cool.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Hello, Dalí: Visiting Salvador’s Spanish Home

    • Ted Nelson June 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      I would love to do a Costa Rica zipline tour.

  9. sophia alia May 28, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    great post.
    sophia alia recently posted..Darwin is the capital city of Northern Territory State which is…

  10. @mrsoaroundworld May 28, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    I am sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I have never done anything like this.. but I could be persuaded ;)
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..A lovely weekend in Lyon, France

  11. lola dimarco May 31, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    not sure that would be what i need in the morning to get me going… but looks like fun! its nice of the guides to try to make those not so inclined to jump out there feel a little less nervous!
    lola dimarco recently posted..Driving in the English Countryside in the Summertime, YES Please!

    • Ted Nelson June 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      It would be a great outing for the RWTEX crew if you could ever get us out of the house.

  12. Beth June 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    I really recommend ziplining near Arenal, Costa Rica. The guides are amazing and the rainforest is breathtaking. This looks pretty awesome, too! Great videos! I’ll have to head over to Kentucky this summer :)

    • Ted Nelson June 4, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Thanks for the recommendation. Arenal would be a great place to do it. Would love to experience a zipline tour through a Central American rainforest.

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