Breathitt/Perry County & Vicinity Trips (Cordia, Hazard, Jackson, & Viper)
Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge Driving Tour
At Natural Bridge State Park, enjoy hiking to the Natural Bridge, high in the mountains, in one of Kentucky’s signature State Parks. View and explore beautiful forests and rolling meadows which showcase the area’s vast terrain with vistas that display nature’s splendor. Fantastic photo opportunities abound. Accessible via a 1.5 mile uphill hike. For a more relaxing climb to the natural bridge, enjoy a ride on the sky lift (additional cost). The ascent begins one-half mile from the park entrance and ends within 600 feet of Natural Bridge. If hiking isn’t your thing, you may ride the scenic skylift up the mountain and enjoy a leisurely walk to the Natural Bridge. The skylift is an additional $20/person paid at the park.
A driving tour through the Red River Gorge brings one deep into the National Geological Preserve, complete with magnificent natural wonders along the scenic byway. From the historic Nada Tunnel to the end of the byway in Zachariah, discover more than 100 stone arches, waterfalls, and plenty of natural beauty. Visit the museum and souvenir shop at Glady. With amazing vistas, short hikes, and great photo opportunities, the splendor of God’s creation is evident during this driving tour.
Mother Goose House
The Mother Goose House is a bed and breakfast and monument in Hazard, Kentucky. In 1930, Hazard resident George Stacy took inspiration to build a home in the shape of a goose after his wife had skinned the body of one he had brought home for Thanksgiving. Construction started on the Mother Goose in 1935 and was completed in 1940. The monument is a circular-shaped building with a goose’s upper body on the top half and oval-shaped windows. It is made out of rocks from many American states and Canada. Over the years before officially becoming a bed and breakfast, it was home to many owners, a store for many years under the name “The Mother Goose Market”, and a Filling Station.
Kentucky Reptile Zoo
In addition to visiting Natural Bridge State Park, enjoy a tour through the Kentucky Reptile Zoo, near the park’s entrance. The zoo’s main attraction is one of the world’s largest collections of venomous snakes. The zoo contains over 75 different species of reptiles, including snakes, turtles, lizards, and alligators. – $20/person
Harlan/Letcher County & Vicinity Trips (Cumberland, Letcher, Lynch, Partridge, & Whitesburg)
Kingdom Come State Park and Bad Branch Falls
Kingdom Come State Park, with an elevation of 2,700 feet, is the crown jewel of Pine Mountain near Cumberland, Kentucky. Admire the beautiful views from one of eight overlooks. Named after the popular Civil War novel, “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come,” by Kentucky author John Fox Jr., the park preserves 1,283 acres of unspoiled wilderness. Some of the most extraordinary rock formations in the state are featured at this park, including Log Rock, a natural sandstone bridge, and Raven Rock, a giant rock exposure that soars 290 feet into the air at a 45-degree angle!
Bad Branch Falls State Nature Preserve is a forested gorge covering 2,639 acres in Letcher County, Kentucky. The deep and narrow gorge, adjacent to the Jefferson National Forest is carved into the face of Pine Mountain. Sandstone boulders and cliffs along with ridgelines and knobs provide views into the Appalachia area. This roundtrip hike follows a mountain stream to a 90 foot waterfall. Refresh yourself under the falls.
Black Bear Sighting – Driving Tour
During spring and summer mission trips, enjoy a black bear sighting driving tour in the mountains near your ministry location. For animal lovers and adventure seekers, not many things in life are more exciting than seeing black bears in their wild natural habitat!
Portal 31 Mine Tour
The Portal No. 31 Underground Mine Tour offers visitors the unique experience of touring an actual coal mine by rail car. Visitors will enjoy animated exhibits along the tour. Outside Portal #31 stands a black granite monument in tribute to U.S. Steel District #1 miners who died in mining accidents. The site also features a 1920s lamphouse, bathhouse, L&N train depot and loadout system. – $30/person
Enjoy the coffee, food, and wares of The Lamp House Coffee Shop across the street from Portal 31 (your expense).
Kentucky Coal Museum
The Museum offers the public the opportunity to learn about coal mining through its presentation of the most comprehensive collection of mining memorabilia in the nation. The product of study and painstaking research, the Museum’s collection uniquely portrays life in a coal camp and mining town. – $15/person
Knox/Laurel/Whitley County & Vicinity Trips (Barbourville, Corbin, Williamsburg, & Jellico, TN)
Cumberland Falls State Park
Cumberland Falls, sometimes called the Little Niagara, the Niagara of the South, or the Great Falls, is a waterfall on the Cumberland River. The waterfall is the central feature of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and is part of the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves designated Wild River System and is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. During or near a full moon on clear nights, a lunar rainbow or moonbow is sometimes formed by the water of the falls. The formation of a moonbow at Cumberland Falls is aided by a combination of steep gorge walls, which reduce dissipation of the waterfall’s mist by wind, and a wide gorge which allows increased levels of moonlight. It is the only location in the Western Hemisphere where moonbows are known to appear with regularity. Enjoy photo opportunities, hiking, an interpretive center, and the gift shop located on the grounds.
Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum
The Kentucky Native American Heritage Museum was founded in 1999 to promote understanding of North America’s Indigenous People from both historic and contemporary perspectives. This is done through collection and dissemination of information about their histories, cultures, beliefs, and expressive arts. Focus is also paid to their existing communities, lifestyles, occupations and ways, and their past and ongoing contributions to Appalachia’s and our nation’s cultural weave.
Kentucky Splash Waterpark
The Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center is home to the Kentucky Splash Water Park. The center includes an 18,000 sq. ft. wave pool, a lazy river, a kiddy activity pool plus a triple slide complex and a double slide tower! Also an 18 hole miniature golf course and an arcade. – $15/person
Recreation option upgrades are chosen on each team’s trip portal by filling out the trip update/change form. Upgrades need to be for the whole team. The chosen upgrades will be included on the final invoice for payment. A final decision on upgrades must be made 2+ months prior to the trip.
*Contact your trip consultant or look through your managed missions trip portal for more information on where your ministry location, group’s lodging, and ministry partners will be located, which will help determine which recreation options are most feasible and convenient for your specific mission trip.
Registration for recreation and any other trip upgrades can be done during registration or after registration through your trip portal, that’s assigned after registering.