Great Kentucky Businesses -001: Red River Gorgeous

RRGorge Fall 2013-153

By Chris Egan

Kentucky is home to many unique and often breathtaking natural sights.   These include a few Appalachian Mountains, a Mammoth Cave, some signature bluegrass, and even a Red River.   The Red River, a tributary of the Kentucky River, flows west through the Red River Gorge Geological Area in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This National Forest is also the home of a Great Kentucky Business: Red River Gorgeous.

Red River Gorgeous (RRG) has been renting cabins to nature lovers for nearly twenty years.   They offer fully equipped cabins with all the comforts of home and, for the more adventurous, “off-the-grid” style cabins, which have no electricity or running water.

The cabins are located on private land within the National Forest and are only a short walk from hiking trails, cliffs with scenic overlooks, and even the Red River itself.

Red River Gorgeous was founded in 1993.  Now Aaron and Amy Dourson run the day-to-day operations and make up two of the seven family members who own the business.

In addition to renting cabins, Red River Gorgeous also actively participates in efforts to preserve the area.   Chris Dourson, a part owner, participated in the US Forest Service-sponsored “Limits of Acceptable Change”(LAC) meetings to improve trail protection and improvement strategies for the area.  The company worked with Powell County to provide a recycling receptacle that is housed on RRG property.  Staff members often pick up trash along KY-77 near the Nada Tunnel and also participate in the annual “Red River Cleanup” which is sponsored by Wolfe county residents Russ and Renee Miller.

RRG has plans to overhaul four of their cabins in 2014 to improve energy efficiency.  The project will include replacing single pane windows with insulated windows, adding skylights, outdoor showers, and better insulation.  They will also be building a new check-in office and will begin selling Bluegrass Charcoal, a lump charcoal made on-site from scrap wood.  The charcoal will be available for sale to both guests and the public.

Other future considerations include the opening of a restaurant, offering guided hikes, and publishing a comprehensive Natural and Cultural History of the Red River Gorge Guide.

For More Information:

Red River Gorgeous Cabin Rental
3546 Nada Tunnel Rd.
Stanton, KY 40380



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