Illustrations by Kelsey Darbro

5 hidden gem day trips to take near Bowling Green

With Thanksgiving break approaching, you may be wondering what trips you can take in a short amount of time without breaking the bank. If you are in need of an escape but don’t know where to go, here are some hidden gem day trips to take when you’re on a budget.


Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located in Corbin and is home to the Cumberland Falls waterfall. There are campsites, cabins and cottages to stay at while you enjoy all the park has to offer. Fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking and swimming are just a few of the many activities you can participate in at the park. Gem mining and horseback riding are also among the activities to take advantage of. 

Admissions are free and horseback riding costs $25 per person. The park is about two hours and 30 minutes from campus, according to Google Maps.

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, located in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, allows visitors to tour and rent a cabin at the late singer’s home. The location has a campground, and there are plenty of opportunities for entertainment with live music, fishing, kayaking, tubing and museums

A full tour costs $35 per person. A tour of the ranch or museum will cost $20 and home and museum tours are $20. According to Google Maps, the ranch is about two hours and 30 minutes from campus.

Red River Gorge

The Red River Gorge is a state park that spans across 21 counties in Kentucky and is a part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. They have options for camping, accommodations for RVs and cabin rentals. There are fun activities on land and in water. Water activities consist of boating, canoeing, scuba diving, swimming, tubing and water skiing. On land, there are options to hike, bike and climb. There are also lots of restaurant options, so you can enjoy a delicious meal after a busy day. 

If you are looking for a thrilling adventure, Red River Gorge has five zip lines that go as fast as 55 miles per hour, costing about $99.99 for adults. There is the Underground Adventure where you can kayak or take a boat tour through the caves under the gorge. Tickets are $49 per person. It is located about three hours and 30 minutes from campus, according to Google Maps

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is located in Harrodsburg and is a good place to go if you are a history geek. It is “home to the third largest Shaker community in the United States,” according to the site’s website. According to the National Park Service, shakers make up a religion formed by Protestant denominations who believed in a Utopian society, and they lived in a community where all property was shared. At Shaker Village, you can learn more about how the Civil War impacted this village and tour the residents’ homes. 


For $10 you can ride a horse-drawn wagon. For people ages 13 to 61, it costs $14 per person for admission to the exhibits and tours. Shaker Village is about two hours and 18 minutes away from campus, according to Google Maps.

Cummins Falls State Park

Located in Cookeville, Tennessee, Cummins Falls State Park, it is a great place to visit for avid hikers and people who love nature. Getting to the base of the waterfall requires hiking over a mile. Visiting from the top of the falls is much less strenuous to navigate and still beautiful, and there are designated picnic areas at the top of the falls. There is a calendar on their website with upcoming events. 

Admissions are free, but you will need to acquire a Gorge Access Permit to hike to the base of the falls. This park is about two hours from campus, according to Google Maps.