The avid paddlers at River City Canoe & Kayak draw upon years of experience navigating Kentucky’s waterways to empower budding aquaphiles to do the same. They stock their vast showroom with boats, accessories, and apparel, and happily help paddlers hone in on an ideal vessel for whitewater or sturdy paddle for impromptu jousting. Their expertise extends beyond the showroom: American Canoe Association–certified instructors lead classes in water safety, and rent out a fleet of kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards from their Harrods Creek launch site.
The deposits of calcite glimmered like diamonds. It was 1859, and at the bottom of a rocky valley not far from the already famous Mammoth Cave, a slave from a local estate had stumbled upon a mysterious opening in the rock. Lowered into it on a rope, he became the first person to admire the sparkling walls of what would come to be known as Historic Diamond Caverns.
Today, the guides and geological experts of Historic Diamond Caverns lead tourists into halls of calcite-laden formations whose origins go back some 10 million years. Narrow corridors, carved out of the limestone eons ago by underground streams, open to cathedral-like chambers adorned in stalactites and stalagmites, draperies, and pipe organs that represent millions of years of slowly accumulating mineral deposits. Strategically placed lighting reveals the deposits' diamond-like shimmer as well as creatures such as salamanders, insects, and crayfish, which are adapted for life without sunlight or adequate cell-phone reception. Located close to Mammoth Cave National Park, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, Historic Diamond Caverns remains at a comfortable 58 degrees throughout the year.
The instructors at Bros Boards teach clients of all ages how to standup-paddleboard (SUP) on any body of water at least 12 inches deep, from flat and open waters to Class II to V whitewater rivers. Once riders feel comfortable enough to venture out on their own, Bros Boards' team rents boards at both their headquarters and through partner locations. Additionally, a sales team supplies SUP enthusiasts with low-maintenance models from Body Glove and Imagine Surf, such as the Wave paddleboard made of indestructible, scratch-and-sniff plastics.