We have green in our name — so you know that Bowling Green is a community that is geared for outdoor adventure. Whether you want to explore southern Kentucky's caves, play a round of golf, or experience the beautiful Warren County countryside from your road bike, we have something you’ll enjoy — plus, being outdoors makes social distancing a bit more, well, natural!

Caves

It wouldn’t be a trip to South Central Kentucky without checking out some of our caves. Bowling Green is home to Lost River Cave, featuring the only underground boat ride in the Commonwealth. Cave tours resumed at limited capacity on June 8 with online ticket reservations strongly recommended. One of Bowling Green's top attractions, this 66-acre nature preserve also features some awesome hiking trails, more about that below.

Mammoth Cave National Park, the world's longest-known cave, is about 30 minutes north of Bowling Green. This summer, it is offering one cave tour — a self-guided version of its “Extended Historic Tour.” MCNP recommends purchasing tickets in advance at recreation.gov — that way, you can download them to your phone or print them at home and avoid lines in the Visitors Center

 

Overlooking the Green River from Mammoth Cave National Park.
Mammoth Cave National Park.
Photo by andinsgems on Instagram
 
Hiking Trails

Shanty Hollow Lake, in northern Warren County near the Edmonson County line, is a great option for people looking for a morning or afternoon hike with scenic views — including a popular waterfall. 

If you're looking for a trek closer to the city, Lost River Cave's nature preserve is just a few miles from downtown Bowling Green and features wooded trails across the valley with some taking you right along the blue holes or the natural spring. The trails reopened on May 25 and are open from dusk until dawn. Additionally, the nature trail at Chuck Crume Nature Park offers a quick escape right near Western KY University.

Additionally, you can do more than explore underground when you visit Mammoth Cave National Park. There are nearly 90 miles of trails above ground that you can discover by hike, bike or horseback. 

Hikers enjoy the trails near Shanty Hollow Lake, where natural beauty abounds.
Shanty Hollow Lake Hiking Trail.
Photo by thebrownandbabes on Instagram. 
 
Cycling

Explore the beauty of southern Kentucky on U.S. Bike Route 23. It rolls through several Kentucky counties, including Warren. If you’re hungry along the way, and it’s a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, you might even be able to catch a meal at Boyce General Store. The route takes you near several small Warren County communities, including Oakland and Smiths Grove as it eventually winds its way through the splendor of Mammoth Cave National Park.

If you’re not quite comfortable with a major, road cycling adventure, we have some enclosed routes in Bowling Green, as well. Every Tuesday night in June-September, you can bring your bike, scooter, or skateboard to Trek at the Track at the NCM Motorsports Park. Experience the 3.2.-mile curving road track without the roar of engines — you can even walk on it.

You can also take your bikes on our Recreational Greenways — you can follow the Greenways from I-65, exit 26 on Cemetery Road through Kereiakes Park down to Riverwalk Park, or enjoy Lost River Cave's paved trails that are part of the system.

Rural roadways such as US Bike Route 23 are great for summer cycling adventures.
U.S. Bike Route 23 on Whitlock Road at Plano Road.
Photo by Eddie Bruner.
 
Waterways

Do you love paddling? We have plenty of places for you to explore on the Blueways of Bowling Green. You can download a Warren County Blueways map here for put-ins around the county, including on the Green River, Barren River, Gasper River, Clear Fork of the Gasper River and Drakes Creek.

If you’re looking for a couple of natural places to swim and cool off, there are good swimming holes in Bowling Green near the water access points at both Romanza Johnson Park and Phil More Park.

Is fishing more your speed? Shanty Hollow Lake, Basil Griffin Park, and the KOA pay lake are all great options for a leisurely day in nature.

Drakes Creek is a popular fishing destination for locals and visitors alike.
Fishing on the West Fork of Drakes Creek.
This and dominant blog photos by Steve Whitledge. 
 
Golf

If you need a day on the links, we have three city golf courses for you to choose from: Crosswinds, Paul Walker at Covington Woods Park and Hobson Golf Course & Driving Range. And yes, the parks in Bowling Green are open, as well as the Warren County Parks, so get out those discs!

Did you know that Bowling Green is home to two, professional, Hall of Fame disc golfers? Check out our blog on Dr. Rick and Sylvia Voakes — learn more about both this talented couple and the sport. We have eight disc courses in the county.

We know you’re going to need some places to eat and sleep after you’ve spent a day or two exploring Bowling Green. Click here to request a Visitors Guide and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.