Rafting in Shelbyville


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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.
814 Cherokee Rd
Louisville,
KY
US
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.
3649 Paramount Ridge Lane
Cincinnati,
OH
US
Sheltowee Trace Outfitters’ founder, Rick Egedi, has navigated Kentucky’s waters since 1981. At his adventure center, he and his staff lead guided trips on area rivers, such as the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Canoers, whitewater rafters, and tubers can float through placid, sun-dappled segments or conquer frothing rapids; alternatively, shorter trips ferry adventurers straight to the foot of the Cumberland Falls, where they can feel the waterfall’s spray and see that, despite conspiracy theories, it is not just water descending an escalator. For landlubbers, the center’s activities range from trips up a climbing wall to geocaching excursions, on which visitors prowl through the surrounding greenery on a tech-savvy scavenger hunt using GPS tracking to turn up hidden caches of trinkets. During multiday outdoor trips, visitors can spend the night in nearby lodgings, such as quaint cabins and campgrounds, rather than sleeping atop nature’s waterbed—the puddle.
2001 Highway 90
Corbin,
KY
US
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.
1900 Mammoth Cave Pkwy
Park City,
KY
US