Red River Gorge

All around the center portion of the Red River there is something called the Red River Gorge Geological Area. This is a special landscape that has over 80 huge natural arches and a very odd variety of plant life. It covers over 25,000 acres, and the landscape has been eroded by water and wind for several million years. One of the biggest arches, Sky Bridge, is a complete rock span that stretches all along the crest of a thin ridge. At the apex of this bridge, people can get a great view, a panoramic look, at the Gorge below. The Daniel Boone National Forest takes care of the area, and it is open year-round for the public to enjoy. Plus, they do all the hard work of conserving the old character, special landscapes, wildlife, and plant life. There are scenic drives you can take that will let you reach camping and picnic areas and give you great views too. There is a maze of trails that goes 36 miles, and it’s been named the Red River Gorge National Recreation Trail. It is open for historical tours and scenic views, and it intersects a number of designated recreational areas.

The special geological features of the place are basically because of the sandstone’s resistance to ordinary erosion cycles. There are arches, lighthouses, and rockshelters that starkly show the erosional processes at work in the place. If there is a layer that is resistant to erosion above a layer that is not, the weaker layers will eventually get washed out by weathering. This has created a ton of rockshelters. Where there are narrow rides, these rockshelters will weather on through, and they will form an arch. This place has the biggest concentration of arches and rockshelters of the eastern half of the Rocky Mountains.

There is an amazing and abundant plant ecosystem over there that has over 555 distinct species, and they come from 304 genera and 100 families. The Gorge’s rich vegetation can be connected to its varied terrain, closeness to the middle of the forest, and glacial past.

The area’s climate is moderate and temperate with humid summers and icy winters. Temperature are about 32 F in winter and 74 F in the summer. Precipitation is distributed pretty evenly all throughout they year, and there are about 45 inches each year. Most of the winds come from the southwest.

The place has a big concentration of prehistoric sites that provide a special opportunity for prehistoric culture study in the eastern United States. The area’s rockshelters have been used for safeguarding the humans from weather for several thousand years.