Carter Caves State Resort Park Things to Do

  • Smokey Bridge Trail
    Smokey Bridge Trail
    by CoAir13
  • Bottom of Fern Bridge
    Bottom of Fern Bridge
    by CoAir13
  • Local Music in the Ampitheatre
    Local Music in the Ampitheatre
    by CoAir13

Best Rated Things to Do in Carter Caves State Resort Park

  • Laurel Cave

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Laurel Cave Entrance

    This is a Wild Cave that you explore on your own. You will need a flashlight and a pair of shoes with good tread. There is standing and running water and it's VERY slippery. The main path doesn't require stooping or crawling, but there are 2 other levels (which I did not explore) that do require climbing wet logs and belly crawling. The walls don't get too close...if anything, it makes it easier because you can hold onto them while walking through the water. There are many potholes so take your time in here!
    A permit is required for this cave. There's no charge, you just have to let them know you're going in and you have to sign out when you are finished. This is done at the welcome center.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Fern Bridge

    by CoAir13 Updated Aug 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bottom of Fern Bridge

    This short hike (.1 mi.) includes descending a steep incline AND steep stairs, but the reward is magnificent! I recommend doing this in the morning as the sun shines right on it through the trees and brings out the brilliant greens of the ferns. You can continue hiking past the bridge and meet up with the 3 Bridges Trail. The trailhead is behind the cottages.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • See it on Horseback

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ethan and King Tut

    The stables offer horseback rides on a 3 mile bridle trail. It's a rough ride with lots of inclines so I don't recommend this for people with back problems. Other than stopping to sample the trailside plants, the horses are well behaved for children. Ages 7 and under not allowed, but can take a pony ride around the stables for $5.

    $15 per person

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Horse Riding
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Natural Bridge and Trail

    by CoAir13 Updated Aug 6, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Natural Bridge

    This impressive bridge is the only natural bridge that supports a paved road and one of the landmarks of the area. The trailhead is behind the Welcome Center and is less than a half mile in length. It is also the easiest trail to a bridge! Beyond it, the trail becomes more difficult.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Horn Hollow Cave

    by CoAir13 Updated Aug 6, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dry Creek Bed

    If you walk all the way through Laurel Cave, come out the other side, hike up a dry creek bed (about .2 mi.), you will come to Horn Hollow Cave. It can also be reached off of the Horn Hollow Trail which is a 2 mile hike. There is standing and running water in here and the ceiling gets quite low. Not low enough to crawl, but an adult of average height will have to stoop....which can be quite uncomfortable. This cave is not as long as Laurel, but more difficult to get through. You will need a flashlight and good shoes!! This is a wild cave and you will need a permit for this one, as well!

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Raven Bridge

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raven Bridge

    This bridge can be reached via the Raven Bridge Trail (.7 mi. in length) or on the 3 Bridges Trail, which is 3.5 miles in length and will take you by the Smokey Bridge, Fern Bridge, and Raven Bridge. This is , by far, the best hike I did in the park. The area around this bridge is VERY picturesque!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Canoeing Smokey Valley Lake

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Canoe trips are offered through the Welcome Center. Unfortunately, it's guided unless you have your own canoe! You will set off on the lake and paddle to an adjoining creek. Trips are about 2 hours. Reserve a spot beforehand!

    Adults and children 7 and older - $15 each

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Smokey Bridge

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Smokey Bridge Trail

    The trail to reach this bridge can be found behind the lodge. It's about .2 mi. and not too difficult. It's hard to get photos of any of the bridges because of their locale. This one is the largest in the park.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Daily Activities

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Local Music in the Ampitheatre

    From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the park has daily activities that range from canoe trips, to face painting for children, coil pottery, caving for children, to concerts in the ampitheatre. Schedules can be picked up when you check in or at the Welcome Center. Some activities are free while others charge a small fee.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Welcome Center

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome!!!

    You will want to stop in here to get all the information you will need to make your trip more enjoyable. In addition to maps and information, you can pick up a schedule of daily activities offered in the park. This is where you reserve and pay for cave tours. You can also purchase Kentucky handcrafts, souvenirs, and snacks.
    Open 9 am - 5 pm (6:30 in the summer months)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Take a Hike

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated May 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Raven Bridge

    The above-ground beauty of Carter Caves is just as fascinating as that underneath. 26 miles of wooded nature trails lace the park, ranging from easy to difficult. These paths lead past many unusual geological formations, such as Raven Bridge, pictured here. See our "Natural Bridges" tip for more.

    Altogether on our snowbound weekend at Carter Caves, we hiked eight miles in the fresh fallen snow - which gave us quite a workout. The magic of making fresh tracks was enhanced by the sighting of more than a dozen white tailed deer, and a large flock of wild turkeys

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Natural Bridges

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated May 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Karen Standing under Cascade Natural Bridge

    Four very impressive and distinctly different natural bridges can be found in Carter Caves State Resort Park. These range in size from between 15 to 90 feet high, and 40 to 100 feet across. Carter Caves Natural Bridge holds the distinction of being the only one in Kentucky that carries a paved highway across the top. The largest bridge is Smokey Bridge, which is just a short walk behind the Caveland Lodge. Others are the Cascade Natural Bridge and Raven Bridge. All of these can be reached by hiking trails. Box Canyon and Wind Tunnel are other interesting geological features you will find in the park.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Tour a Cave

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated May 5, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Karen at the entrance to X Cave

    Several lighted and unlighted cave tours are offered at Carter Caves State Resort Park. Karen and I took the first two listed here: Cascade Cave is exceptonally beautiful and features an underground waterfall more than 30 feet high; X Cave is named for the shape of its passages and also has many formations. Saltpetre Cave is tied to fascinating early Kentucky history, and Bat Cave (the largest in the park) is the winter home to thousands of rare bats. Unfortunately for us, it is shown only during the summer. Special lantern tours are also offered for both beginner and experienced spelunkers.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mini Golf

    by CoAir13 Written Aug 7, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mini Golf

    There is a miniature 18 hole golf course if you get bored with hiking and caving. Ethan and his friends had fun, but were done within 20 minutes.

    Adults - $4
    Children - $3

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Carter Caves State Resort Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

98 travelers online now

Comments

Carter Caves State Resort Park Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Carter Caves State Resort Park things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Carter Caves State Resort Park sightseeing.

View all Carter Caves State Resort Park hotels