Appalachian Expeditions offers a meaningful experience deep inside the Daniel Boone National Forest. This alternative to resorts, cruises and motorcoach tours provides a small-group travel experience that embraces an authentic view of Appalachian people, culture, landscapes and wildlife.
Your adventure begins at Monkey Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary in Oneida, Kentucky. The sanctuary offers a unique vacation opportunity for nature, wildlife and companion animal lovers. Situated on 28 acres along the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky, the sanctuary is nestled in the Daniel Boone National Forest and provides habitat for wildlife: large, small, endangered and common. During your stay at Monkey Hollow, experience a diverse array of forest, aquatic, wetland, and upland habitats. Bring your camera: the sanctuary is a safe haven to many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife.
Throughout your stay, experienced World Animal Foundation guides will lead you on an Appalachian adventure exploring the back-roads, forests and natural treasures of Appalachia. Your Appalachian Expedition includes daily excursions throughout the Daniel Boone National Forest and local, state and national parks. Experience the nature, culture and wildlife of Appalachia.
An Ecotourism Experience
Ecotourism embraces low-impact nature-based travel and recreation balanced by cultural experiences benefiting local communities and the conservation of natural treasures. Appalachia Kentucky's pristine landscapes, unique geology and significant heritage sites combine to create diverse ecotourism destinations. Appalachian Expeditions by World Animal Foundation seeks to promote, protect and preserve Appalachian nature, wildlife and cultural heritage through responsible tourism, education and advocacy. All proceeds benefit World Animal Foundation.
LOCATION: Daniel Boone National Forest, Oneida, KY
- Saturday, May 24 to Friday, May 30 – STATUS: SOLD OUT
- Saturday, June 21 to Friday, June 27 – STATUS: SOLD OUT
- Saturday, July 26 to Friday, August 1 – STATUS: SOLD OUT
- Saturday, August 23 to Friday, August 29 – STATUS: AVAILABILITY
- Saturday, September 27 to Friday, October 3 – STATUS: AVAILABILITY
- Saturday, October 25 to Friday, October 31 – STATUS: AVAILABILITY
PRICE: US $1485 (6 days, 5 nights) excluding travel to and from Oneida, KY.
Day 1 (Saturday): Monkey Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary – Arrive at any time.
Settle into your mountain camping-cabin. Tour the gardens, meet the guides and guests, take a leisurely walk on Bobcat Hill, or climb to the peak of Monkey Mountain. Numerous trails invite you to explore the forest. Picnic tables are available throughout the park. Each cabin offers electricity, air-conditioning, a sitting porch, and a fire ring with grill. Photograph the pristine nature, go bird watching or rest in relax in this nature oasis.
Day 2 (Sunday): Southeastern Sundays Appalachian Festival in Manchester, KY – Noon to 6 pm.
(Lunch and dinner options available at festival.)
Experience mountain music, Appalachian arts and crafts, Southern food, a car show and Native American demonstrations. This monthly festival is held at the beautiful park system in Manchester, Kentucky along the Warriors Path. This unique trail is anchored at the north by the famous Red Bird Petgroglyph, the large rock of national reknown that contains ancient inscriptions by either European explorers, or Indians, or both. The trail itself follows the route of the Warrior's Path, one of the most historically significant trails in American History. Created by buffalo searching for salt deposits, the route was used for countless years by Indians and explorers, including Dr. Thomas Walker who followed it in this section of Goose Creek in 1750, and by Daniel Boone 19 years later in 1769.
Enjoy a scenic walk along Goose Creek on the River Walk Trail. The views of the river and woods are breathtaking. Pass by the Manchester Goose Creek Swinging Bridge, or enjoy an exciting diversion by crossing this fascinating relic of Appalachian heritage. Lovingly restored, this footbridge leads to the historic village of Downtown Manchester featuring Heritage Pavilion with interpretive signs of the county’s history.
Just past the swinging bridge lies Riverside Park overlooking Goose Creek. Goose Creek was one of the most important waterways in early Kentucky history used to transport extremely valuable salt from the salt works via salt barges. The walker will have to use his imagination to visualize 60-foot barges loaded with salt barrels floating down the river during "salt tides" -- so called spring and winter floods.
At the south end of the trail is the recreation of the Goose Creek Salt Works Pioneer Village, which was located at this spot beginning in the mid 1790s. The small community here was designated by the State Legislature to serve as the county seat when the county was created in April 1807.
Day 3 (Monday): Natural Bridge State Park – Noon to 6 pm.
(Lunch in Beattyville, KY. Dinner at Natural Bridge State Park Resort.)
Natural Bridge State Park is along the Middle Fork of the Red River, adjacent to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area and surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest. Its namesake natural bridge is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft and is 65 ft high. The natural process of weathering formed the arch over millions of years. Natural Bridge State Park is approximately 2,300 acres of which approximately 1,200 acres is dedicated as a nature preserve. There are over 20 miles of trails over uneven terrain in from moderate to strenuous difficulty.
Enjoy a ride on the Natural Bridge State Park sky lift (fee charged). Take a scenic hike. Visit the giftshop and Hoedown Island with paddle boats available (fee charged). Walk the swinging bridge at enjoy dinner at the resort.
Day 4 (Tuesday): Land of Swinging Bridges – Noon to 6 pm.
(Lunch in Oneida, KY. Dinner in Manchester, KY.)
Clay County's swinging bridges are historical pedestrian bridges towering above the rivers and creeks. During floods they were one of the only ways to cross the waterways. In some remote areas of Clay County, this is still true today. These suspension footbridges are often called swinging bridges because the bridge sways beneath your feet as you walk across. They are also referred to as rope bridges due to their historical origin based on the ancient Inca rope bridge.
Many of these historic relics of Appalachian history still tower over Goose Creek, Red Bird and the South Fork rivers. Explore Clay County Kentucky, the Land of Swinging Bridges, and discover the romance, history and adventure of these cherished swinging bridges.
Day 5 (Wednesday): Red River Gorge National Park – Noon to 6 pm.
(Lunch in Booneville, KY. Dinner in Booneville, KY.)
The Red River Gorge is a canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky inside the Daniel Boone National Forest. The intricate canyon system of Red River Gorge features an abundance of high sandstone cliffs, rock shelters, waterfalls, and natural bridges. There are more than 100 natural sandstone arches in the Red River Gorge Geological Area.
Nada Tunnel is a historic 900-foot long tunnel in Red River Gorge. The prehistoric Native American rock art sites contribute to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Red River Gorge. Rock shelters and other sites in the Red River Gorge Geological Area contain artifacts of prehistoric occupancy by indigenous peoples. Clifty Wilderness is a 13,344-acre wilderness area located within the Red River Gorge Geological Area.
Day 6 (Thursday): Cumberland Falls State Park – Noon to 6 pm.
(Lunch in Corbin, KY. Dinner at Cumberland Fall State Park Resort.)
Cumberland Falls State Park is a park is contained entirely within the Daniel Boone National Forest and encompasses 1,657 acres. It is named for its major feature, 68-foot-tall Cumberland Falls, often called the “Niagara of the South”. The falls are one of the few places in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can frequently be seen on nights with a full moon. Geologists estimate that the rock over which the Cumberland River plunges is about 250 million years old. Romantics are enchanted with the poetic beauty of the falls. Visitors are awed by the majesty of the falls.
View the falls, walk along scenic trails and learn about the fascinating ecology and history of the area.
Day 7 (Friday): Departure from Monkey Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary – Depart at any time.
All prices are per person, in US dollar amounts. Travel to and from Monkey Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary not included. Some additional fees may apply for optional attractions at national, state and local parks and businesses. Optional activity prices can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season.
Monkey Hollow Cabins in Daniel Boone National Forest offer cozy, comfortable, clean lodging accommodations. Each camping-cabin features one queen bed and one full size futon or two twin beds and full futon. Cabins are equipped with air, heat, electricity and ceiling fans. Shared modern, clean restrooms offer showers. A shared community room offers a kitchenette, gourmet coffee, games, television and sitting areas. Guests may choose from creek-side cabins surrounded by forest and gardens, or a hilltop cabin overlooking the hollow (based on availability). The sanctuary offers several hiking trails, picnic areas, barbeque pits, pergolas, gardens, a pond, streams and mountains. Sanctuary cabin guests are asked to bring their own food, beverages, towels and toiletries.
Most meals are not included to allow you the opportunity to taste the local cuisine. Your adventure includes several trips to local restaurants. A shared kitchenette is available at Monkey Hollow to prepare meals, as well as free gourmet coffee.
- Free Wi-Fi is provided. In the interest of allowing all guests to access the Wi-Fi, please limit your bandwidth usage to reasonable levels.
- Cell phone coverage in the mountains is limited.
- Cable television is provided in the community room.
Companion Animal (Pet) Friendly
Friendly dogs and cats are welcome at Monkey Hollow Wildlife Sanctuary. All animals must be kept on a leash when outside. A dog park is available for friendly dogs. Companion animals are welcome in all areas of the sanctuary, but are not able to accompany all outings due to state and federal park rules. Animal guardians are asked to clean up after their dogs.
- Tour guide throughout.
- Small group experience; maximum 12, average 5.
- Air-conditioned travel van.
- Food and beverages. A refrigerator is available, as well as a kitchenette for meal preparation. Most day trips include visits to local eateries for lunch and dinner (not included).
- Water bottle.
- For outdoors adventures, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days to spend hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
- A parka, rain-suit and/or umbrella.
- A good size day-pack is essential as you will have the chance to walk and hike in different parks during these trips. This day-pack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, snacks and water bottle. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light jacket. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
- Insect repellent.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our expeditions. All proposed walks and hikes will be easy to moderate level, with some steep climbing and uneven terrain involved. You may choose to participate or not in any activities.
Monkey Hollow Cabin Policies
- Smoking permitted outside and on cabin porches.
- Friendly dogs and cats welcome.
- Visitors must stay on trails and adhere to all sanctuary rules and safety guidelines.
- Children must be supervised at all times.
- No hunting, fishing or ATVs.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in our expeditions. When selecting a travel insurance policy, please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD $200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Expedition details have been compiled with care and are provided in good faith. However they are subject to change, and do not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. Not all excursions listed may be available due to season or weather conditions.
While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the places we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The itinerary is a general guide to the tour and specific destinations. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and are subject to vary.