Adventure Along Kentucky's Great River Road

Fall is rapidly approaching, and that means it's time to get outside and discover Kentucky's unbelievable beauty. From the rolling hills of Kentucky's Horse Country to world-renowned outdoor adventure all across the state, Kentucky's unbridled spirit continually guides us towards new adventures.  This fall, discover nature's beauty along the Great River Road. While there, revel in one of fall's most stunning wonders; the fall bird migration. Book your next adventure at one of our exquisite Kentucky Bed and Breakfasts.

Kentucky's Great River Road

The Great River Road travels through ten states, and follows the Mississippi River for more than 3,000 miles. It is America's longest National Scenic Byway.  Along the journey, you'll discover several important archeological sites, some of Kentucky's most charming towns, incredible scenery, and great birding opportunities.

Points of Interest

  • Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site: From A.D. 1100 to 1350, an ancient people built earthen mounds and homes in this area. Today, the Native burial grounds (mounds) are still visible.
  • Columbus-Belmont State Park: Here, you'll find beautiful views and a museum that is part of the Civil War Heritage Trail. The Battle of Belmont, which took place in 1861, occurred just across the Mississippi River from the fort. Civil War Days will be held October 7-9.
  • Fulton: This charming town is home to a tremendous variety of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It also happens to be the destination for the International Banana Festival, which runs from September 9-17th.
  • Hickman: This town, often considered to be one of the most beautiful on the Mississippi River, is famously known as the headquarters of the Kentucky Nut Corporation.

There are a variety of fun and interesting stops along Kentucky's Great River Road worth exploring, and plenty of charming towns worth visiting.

Birding along the Great River Road

  • Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge: This relatively new refuge is the only National Wildlife Refuge in Kentucky. It is comprised of one of the largest remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the region, and therefore home to an abundant variety of migratory songbirds and waterfowl.
  • Reelfoot Lake State Park: This lake, located between Tennessee and Kentucky, was created by the massive shocks of the Great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. The lake is a stunning 25,000 acre lake and wetland, which provides extraordinary habitat for shorebirds, wading birds, as well as golden and American bald eagles.
  • Columbus-Belmont State Park: The bluffs here offer spectacular views of the Mississippi River, and there is a nature trail where a variety of trees, birds, and other wildlife can be viewed. At least two-dozen species of warblers, plus the flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, and orioles have been spotted here.
  • Ballard Wildlife Management Area: This area is widely considered to be a birding and photography paradise. Several wintering bald eagles and thousands of waterfowl, including approximately 100,000 ducks, frequent this wetland.

All along the length of the Great River Road, you'll find some of the world’s premier birding locations.  The Great River Road traces the same route as the Mississippi Flyway, which is a migration route followed by 40 percent of North America’s migrating waterfowl and shorebirds each fall. No matter how you choose to spend your time on the Great River Road in Kentucky, you will certainly be in for a wonderful adventure.  Afterwards, relax at one of the award-winning Bed and Breakfasts located nearby in Western Kentucky.  Whether you are a first time Bed and Breakfast guest or a seasoned B&B guest, you'll find that our member Inn's offer the finest lodging in Kentucky.  From quaint cabins and farmhouses to classic mansions and historic Inns, each is ready to welcome you to Kentucky.  Find your favorite today, and start planning your next great adventure in Kentucky.