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Outdoor family fun

Explore Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort 

Ages 5 and up can get the thrill of zip lining at Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. Choose your “zipper”—big or little—and try it for yourself. Photo: Sheltowee Trace
Photo: Sheltowee Trace
Get a unique view of Cumberland Falls with your friends and family. Call ahead to schedule your adventure with Sheltowee Trace. Photo: Sheltowee Trace
Enjoy all the comforts in a Conestoga covered wagon at the resort. The wagons are equipped with comfortable beds, air and heat, and a small fridge. Photo: Tim Webb
Rail biking, one of the resort’s newest adventures, takes guests along the scenic Big South Fork River. Photo: Sheltowee Trace
Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort is family-friendly by design, says resort President Egedi. Photo: Sheltowee Trace

People are flocking to be outside, and I absolutely understand why,” says Dania Egedi, president of Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. “It’s something you can do with your family without a lot of fear.”

Egedi speaks from experience, as heightened interest in outdoor activities brings even more patrons than usual to her family-focused adventure destination. 

With a host of open-air family activities, creative lodging options and ample space for social distancing, Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort provides an adventurous getaway. There’s just one catch this season—with greater interest than usual in outdoor activities, guests should make reservations early. 

Located 20 minutes southwest of Corbin in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the resort got its start as a rafting business, and adventures on the water are still among its most popular offerings. Guests can choose among whitewater rafting (The Big South Fork in the spring or the lower Cumberland in the summer), canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and tubing. A family-friendly Rainbow Mist Ride to Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Star Riverboat are appropriate for all ages. Be advised changes are possible due to revisions in COVID-19 restrictions. Advance registration is required on all trips. 

The resort offers much more than boating, however. Since 2006, a deliberate diversification effort has led to a range of land-based adventures as well. Today, expanded camping and lodging options and a host of new activities have changed the way people experience the resort. 

“It gives people a lot more to do in the area,” Egedi says. “Now we have families coming in and staying for three or four days.” 

Zip lining, geocaching, biking 

Zip lining is a popular activity with two options: the Big Zipper, which serves guests ages 10 and up (65- 200 pounds), and the Little Zipper, which caters to younger guests (minimum 5 years old and up to 90 pounds). A rock-climbing wall offers another off-the-ground adventure for young guests—the only size restriction is that children must be able to fit snugly in a harness. 

Guests who like their adventures closer to terra firma can try geocaching, described on the resort’s website as “high tech treasure hunting while exploring the outdoors.” 

Participants can rent a GPS or use a phone app to hunt for hidden caches containing a logbook and trinkets. The unwritten rule is “take a trinket, leave a trinket”—bring your own or buy them in the gift shop. 

Get off the beaten path with a self-guided electric bike tour in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The electric bikes can be used on a network of United States Forest Service roads and trails, offering an up-close view of scenic features. Back at the resort, kids can try three-wheeled recumbent bikes and go-cart bikes. 

Rail biking, one of the resort’s newest ventures, takes guests along the Big South Fork River. The four-person recumbent bikes run on the rails, offering a unique view of the scenery and historic sites. Trips are about two hours and range from easy (the Riverside Run) to moderately strenuous difficulty levels (two trips to the historic Barthell Mining Camp). 

Camping, cabins and covered wagons 

Lodging includes a variety of tent camping options, a group camping site and RV sites. Cabins range from rustic without running water to the fully furnished Star Falls Resort Cabin. Another recent addition is a fleet of Old West-style, Conestoga covered wagons. No pioneer hardships here, though. The wagons are furnished with comfortable beds, air conditioning/heat, a microwave and a small fridge. It’s a novelty the whole family will enjoy. 

If family-friendly sounds like a recurring drumbeat, it’s by design. Egedi’s father, Rick Egedi, founded then-Sheltowee Trace Outfitters in 1983, and Dania has worked for the company since 1995. This year has special significance, as she officially takes leadership of the business, completing a three-year handoff. For Egedi, family is the heart of Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. 

“We cater to families,” she says. “We certainly have all kinds of different groups who come in, but our focus is to make sure that we have things for families to be able to do. When we put in our zip line, we made sure we had a section that could take kids down to age 5. 

“Our main focus is to try and be as family-friendly as possible.” 

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