A visit to Red River Gorge is an exhilarating experience but also a sobering one when one considers the following facts.
In a recent 37 year period:
* Volunteers were involved in 1,343 search and rescue missions in the Red River Gorge.
* 51 of the victims died. Some had been rock climbing, hang gliding, or just playing too close to the edge.
* 450 of the victims required hospitalization, and a few were permanently disabled.
* It often takes rescue workers four hours or more to reach a victim and lift him/her out of the Gorge. Then the nearest hospital is still 45 miles away.
* Volunteer rescue workers put themselves to significant risk in carrying out these operations.
It's a wonder to me that more people aren't killed here. Every time I have been to Red River Gorge I have seen visitors casually venturing far too close to the edge. Just watching some of them makes me a nervous wreck.
Be careful when hiking as some trails are very narrow. Some of the drops are very high! It is best to stay on the trails and not to wonder off as if something happens to you it would take longer for rescuers to find you. There are many warning signs posted throughout the trails but you must use your own common sense as well.
The main danger in the Red River Gorge area is the cliffs. There are many steep drop-offs and some falling rock dangers.