A couple of months ago, I spent a long weekend in the Red River Gorge Wilderness Area in Kentucky. The wilderness area is actually a combination of the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The gorge itself is more in the Daniel Boone section, but they are right next to each other, so I kind of look at the two as one big outdoor recreation area.
I reached out to Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals on twitter, and I told them I was interested in coming down. They were happy to work with me, and I headed south. The trip was postponed twice, which turned out beneficial as my initial weekend it poured rain.
Evidence of the previous rain stood out as soon as we were in the hills of southeastern Kentucky after passing through Lexington. The woods were a vibrant dark green. We arrived early in the morning: hours before our scheduled check in time. We had to kill a few hours while they cleaned our cabin, so we hiked the Natural Bridge Trail. I felt like I was in a South American rainforest instead of the hills of Kentucky.
We checked in to our cabin, and we were given the Sundancer Cabin. I was immediately enthralled with the property. We had to drive about a mile down winding country roads to get there. The house was on a hill and the back porch overlooked a beautiful overlook. I could have spent all three days drinking beer on the deck.
Inside the cabin was even more spectacular. It had a huge open room in the front that was the kitchen, living, and dining room. A beautiful wooden staircase ascended up to the bedrooms. The cabin looked like a piece of art. The wood paneling was beautiful and the light fixtures were amazing.
As much as I enjoyed the cabin, I did not spend three days there. I spent the first night in the cabin and then hiked the Red River Gorge the next day and spent a night camping in the woods. I then returned for another night the next day.
Although I love to rough it, having the cabin to come back to before my hike and after was great. They have a huge wraparound porch that covers half of the cabin. On the side of the cabin is hot tub. What a great way to enjoy a night after getting off the trail than soaking in hot jets to soothe those muscles strained from carrying a heavy back pack through the rugged wilderness.
Most of the times on vacation everything goes as planned, so you never know how a hotel or company is when things go bad. On this trip we did have some adversity. When I got off the trail in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park my mom was supposed to pick me up.
Instead, I got a text that said “car dead.” Turned out my mom had left the lights on all night. She called the cabin rental office and Christy who manages the Cabin Rentals came personally to pick me up. I sat for a half hour worried about what to do. I was about to get up and head over to the campground to see if they could arrange a ride for me, but before I could Christy pulled up with a big beautiful smile. I was relieved to be taken care of.
The hospitality did not end there. Christy drove me back to the cabin. Her husband Tim is head of maintenance, and he had a big truck, which they used to jump me. Within twenty minutes my car was running again.
I tried to offer them money for their service, but Christy said “that is what friends do.” Staying with the Red River Gorge Cabin Rental felt like I was staying with family. I was impressed with the passion they had for making sure people who stayed with them had an awesome vacation. We certainly did in part thanks to their amazing hospitality.
The price for a night’s stay in one of these cabins is not cheap, but the cabins are huge. The Sun Dancer and the Big Sky Cabin can sleep 10-12 people comfortably, so the most economic way is to come visit with a group of hikers or couples and split the cost. The cost of the cabin per night runs from $150.00 – $300.00 depending on the day of the week and the season, but this is for the biggest cabins. They have smaller ones available as well for those who are coming by themselves or with smaller groups. Their list of cabins on their website show the price and amenities available for each unit.
The only negative aspect of my stay was I wish all the cabins had wi-fi. Some do and some don’t. Ours did not. There is wi-fi up at the office, and you can sit outside and use it, but it would be more convenient if all the cabins had them.
There is a ton of adventure travel activities that a Red River Gorge cabin can be your base for. Besides hiking and camping there is also great rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking the Red River, fishing, ziplining, and a beautiful scenic drive that circles the area. In fact, the zipline course is on the same property, and you can sign up where you check in for the cabins.
I was really impressed with the area and the cabins and plan to return.
My three night’s stay was taken care of by the Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals, but this fact has not influenced my impression with the cabins and the surrounding beauty of the Red River Gorge.
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