Are we open? YES!
March 5, 2021: I hadn't updated this page in quite some time, so it was surreal reading back through the updates from March, April, and May of 2020! Here we are a year later and we are well into our new normal. We are open and taking visitors from other states. Our retail store is open. Masks are required to come inside the store, and we are continuing to offer on-line purchases, porch service, and site delivery for those that prefer not to wear a mask. Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort is getting ready to start opening trips as they come into season, with some capacity restrictions.
We firmly believe in the power of the outdoors to keep people healthy and sane in times like this and from the looks of advance reservations, I am not the only one thinking that way! Bookings are ahead of pace from 'normal' years, so I recommend booking well in advance for traditionally busy times such as holidays and Moonbow weekends. That said, we still have plenty of availability, so please give us a call or book directly on-line! We are also taking a waiting list for busy times, in case we get openings.
Please keep in mind that there is a large range of comfort levels among our guests regarding masks and social distancing in an outdoor setting. When greeting your camp neighbors and other folks in the campground, please be aware and courteous of this. If you aren't sure, it is probably better to meet and greet from afar.
We continue to closely monitoring the CDC and WHO statements regarding Covid-19, and are using their guidelines to help us reduce the risk of spreading the illness while still serving our guests. We have always prided ourselves on the cleanliness of our campground, and are taking additional steps to help minimize the risk of infection. This includes increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting community areas, ensuring we use disinfectants proven to work against viruses, paying special attention to high touch areas, and requiring all cleaning staff to wear gloves. The bathhouses remain open, although we may reduce the number of stalls available based on the number of people we have staying with us at any given time. If you are self-contained, we ask you to minimize your exposure by using your own facilities as much as possible.
Cabins: We are following CDC guidelines for the cleaning and disinfecting of our cabins. A side effect of this is that we have removed all extra throw pillows and blankets from Star Falls cabin and the new couple cabins. If you need extra blankets, please feel free to ask and we will bring them to you.
Playground: After being closed for most of 2020 due to the pandemic, we are reopening the playground. However, we are not actively cleaning the playground structures. We are asking groups to be aware of the comfort levels of other groups camping here, and that includes children as well. There still plenty of run-around room, including places to play catch and ride bikes with members of your current social group.
Staff: For our staff we continue to emphasize the importance of standard procedures like hand-washing and maintaining appropriate distances between people. We request your help in this matter. If it easier to maintain a 6 foot distance from you if you maintain a 6 foot distance from us! We are also requiring our staff to do a self-assessment before coming in to work. If they are running a high temperature or feeling ill, they are not allowed in to work (and are encouraged to completely self-isolate) until they 1) are diagnosed with a non-covid related illness; 2) have taken a covid-19 and tested negative; or 3) are symptom-free for 24 hours. Staff that share a household with someone testing positive for covid-19 are required to quarantine and be released by the health department before returning to work.
All advance reservations should be paid in full, so there is no requirement that you enter the office. Maps marked with your name and site numbers will be put on the late check-in board at check-in time. You can pick your map up there and head to your site or come on in to the retail store, say hi, and look around!
You can order firewood, camping supplies, and even gem mining rough through the on-line store. If you order it while you are here, we can deliver it to your campsite or you can pick it up. Orders prior to check-in can be picked up at check-in, delivered before your arrival, or we can deliver it after you arrive. The on-line ordering is still a work in progress , so please be patient with us. If you have questions or problems, please let us know so that we can address it as quickly as possible.
Please know that we are still available for any questions. You can use the contact email below, or the chat button, or send us a message through Google or our Facebook page. You can even call us!
Can I cancel?
Now that we all know the risks of covid and travelling, we will be holding to our cancellation policies for 2021. We highly encourage you to look at CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) travel insurance if you are concerned about lost deposits.
Still have questions?
We want to do what we can to minimize the risk, while still providing our guests with an amazing experience! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. You can use the contact email below, or the chat button, or send us a message through google or our facebook page. You can even call us!
As of 5/28/20: Wow, things got busy once we could start taking people from out of state again! Our campground and cabins are open, including for tent camping and yes, our bathhouses are open. The snack bar is currently opening on the weekend and should go to a full schedule soon. We are continuing to do contactless check-in and highly encourage advance reservations. Bring a mask for shopping inside our store!
We are continuing to reopen activities as we are able.
As of 5/15/20: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park will open its river access points and trails on June 1. From what I understand, the lodge and cabins will reopen on that date as well, but the campground will not reopen until June 11th. I have not heard anything about the horseback riding at the Falls, Upper Cumberland canoe trips will resume on June 1 and we are working to reopen the Rainbow Mist ride and the SUP/kayak Rainbow Mist trips by Wed, June 3rd. Please keep in mind that trips will not work exactly like they did before. Advance reservations will be required on all trips, masks must be worn in certain areas (such as on the shuttle bus), availability will be limited by social distancing considerations, and everyone in your group will need to register on-line in case contact tracing is required. On the bright side - we will be running trips!
As of 5/14/20: Some great news today! The TRAVEL BAN will be lifted MAY 22! We can now take reservations for lodging from out-of-state residents for stays starting Fri, May 22nd! In addition, social groups of 10 or fewer are allowed starting Fri, May 22nd as well. That means that the zip line will be open for Memorial Day weekend!
As of 5/8/20: The new travel ban order has been released. We can now take reservations from out-of-state residents for day trips/activities, as well as for the middle section of the Big South Fork, both rentals and shuttles. However, note that most of our activities are not yet open. We have also gotten a lot of questions since last night about whether our cabins and campground are open, because Gov. Beshear said that campground, both public and private, could open June 11th. However, private campgrounds in KY were not never shut down. WE ARE STILL OPEN, albeit with the restrictions discussed below, including restrictions on people coming in from out-of-state to stay in the area. We are looking at that language and will update if there are any changes on that front.
As of 5/6/20: I had a (phone) meeting this morning with the head of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, so I have some solid information to share regarding the park. All lodging (campground, cabins and lodge) will definitely be closed through at least May 31st. The trails, overlooks, and river access points are currently closed and park rangers are writing citations. The good news is that the closure of the trails, overlooks, and river access points has NOT been confirmed to last through May 31st, so there is at least some possibility that the outdoor areas MAY open before then. We will continue to keep an eye on this. We will post here and on Facebook if we hear of an opening date for the outdoor areas.
After talking with one of our former staff members who is now a librarian (thanks Katlyn!), we have decided to temporarily shut down the Little Free Library that was in the laundry room area and remove all the books. Rest assured that we will reopen it as soon as it is prudent to do so.
As of 5/5/20: The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area has reopened its trails and backcountry camping as of 5/4/20. However, restroom facilities, campgrounds, Charit Creek Lodge, Bandy Creek Stables, and visitor centers remain closed at this time. The travel ban between states however, has not been lifted and we are looking into how that will affect our operations for trips that involve travel into TN. In addition, the river access at Alum Ford is currently closed for non-COVID-19 reasons (road washed out earlier in the year).
We hope to have more information on Cumberland Falls State Resort Park soon. We are hearing various contradictory rumors, but we have not heard anything official.
Our retail store will reopen for in-person shopping on May 20th. Masks will be required for anyone over the age of 2 to enter the store and we will limit the number of people in the store to 8 customers (and 2 staff) at a time. You must provide your own mask, although we do have masks for sale. All persons entering the store must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before coming in to the store. Social distancing within the store will be in effect and this includes small children. Please keep your children close to you when you are in the store unless they are old enough to understand and maintain social distancing on their own from other customers and/or staff. Advance purchasing through the phone and/or our website is still highly encouraged and we will continue offering porch delivery or delivery to your site, if you are staying with us.
As of 4/28/20: We have heard from Cumberland Falls State Resort Park that they will definitely be closed through May 15th. They do not know if they will open after that or not. I have not been able to get anything useful out of the Big South Fork NRRA as to an anticipated opening date. Most of the Daniel Boon National Forest in this area remains open.
Face coverings will be mandated, starting May 11, 2020, whenever someone is in public in the state of KY. It is not yet clear how that will look in outdoor public areas such as campgrounds and parks. Our retail store is currently still closed to in-person traffic, but we are preparing to reopen it as soon as we are allowed to. There will be restrictions to the number of people allowed inside at any given time, and face coverings must be worn at all times when inside the store. We will also be requiring anyone coming inside the store to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands immediately before coming in to the store area. We will still have on-line orders, porch pick-up and campsite delivery available. Please be prepared by bringing your own face coverings.
As of 4/15/20: We have extended our covid-19 cancellation policy policy through May 20th. We are cautiously optimistic that things will be opening back by up by Memorial Day weekend! We are still open for camping and cabins for in-state residents in small family groups. We are not accepting any reservations from out-of-state customers EXCEPT if you need an overnight place to park your completely self-contained rig as you are traveling through. Hook-ups are available to you, but no access to the bathhouse/laundry facilities, etc. If you fall into this category, please consider yourself under house quarantine in your rig while you are here.
Update as of 4/10/20: Gov. Beshear announced last night that Cumberland Falls State Resort Park (and Natural Bridge State Resort Park) were closed. Later that evening, Kentucky State Parks put out on their FB page that both of those state parks were closed on weekends though April, including Good Friday (4/10), but still open from 7am-7pm during the week. I will update here as soon as I see the executive order. FINAL: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park (and Natural Bridge State Resort Park) are closed to all visitors until further notice to prevent overcrowding during the coronavirus outbreak.
Update as of 4/7/20: Health department came by last Friday to look around and said that things looked good. Then they called on Monday and said that we could not operate the gem mining, So, the gem mining is now closed as well.
Update as of 4/3/20: Two new executive orders (EOs) were announced last night. One is closing state park campgrounds as of 8pm this evening. We are privately owned, so that order does not apply to us. We are still open (for in-state customers only - see the second order). Trails at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and the Daniel Boone National Forest near us are also currently still open. The second order does affect us. It prohibits out-of-state residents from traveling into Kentucky except under certain circumstances (work, nearest grocery store, court-orders, etc) which generally don't apply to our customers. Otherwise you must be under a 14 day quarantine upon entry. This does not mean that people cannot travel through our state, just that they can't stay here! Accordingly, we are not accepting any reservations from out-of-state customers EXCEPT if you need an overnight place to park your completely self-contained rig as you are traveling through. Hook-ups are available to you, but no access to the bathhouse/laundry facilities, etc. If you fall into one of this category, please consider yourself under house quarantine in your rig while you are here.
Also, we are pulling all trash cans from the campground and are asking everyone to take their own trash to the dumpster. This is for the health and safety of my staff. We appreciate your understanding and compliance.
Update of of 4/1/20: Nothing has really changed for us, business-wise, since the last update. Yes, we are open. Governor Beshear has mandated that Kentuckians not leave the state, except for a couple of conditions (work, nearest grocery store, court-orders, etc). At this point, he has not closed the KY border to out-of-state recreational travel, although I suspect that will happen before this is all over. We are still open but still offering an extended cancellation policy through (at least) the end of April. Please see below for the full text.
Our biggest news is that we have set up an on-line store and are adding more items to it as we can. You can order firewood, camping supplies, and even gem mining rough through the store. If you order it while you are here, we will deliver it to your campsite. Otherwise, we will either have it available for you to pick-up on the porch at the reservation building or we can deliver it after you arrive. Please bear in mind that is a new thing for us and we are going to be getting used to it as well: https://reservations.ky-rafting.com/shop. If you have questions or problems, please let us know so that we can address it as quickly as possible.
Update of as 3/27/20: First of all, yes, we are still open. With just a handful of campers, I feel comfortable with the level of social distancing that we have been able to maintain at our campground. Please remember that social distancing requires cooperation from all parties. Please do your part and stay apart!
We have made a couple of changes. The playground is now closed. There is still plenty of run-around space here and lots of room for bike riding. The horseshoe pit is still open, as it is easy to clean the horseshoes. Please make sure you do so before using them! Gem mining is also open, although we are restricting it to one family group at a time. Also, we have removed all extra throw pillows and blankets from our rental cabins that had them (the resort cabin and the couple cabins). Speaking of which - the couple cabins are now open!
Update as of 3/23/20: Gov Beshear has mandated all non-essential retail business to close as of 8pm this evening. Accordingly, the office/retail store will be closed, although campers can do pick-up and we can deliver to campsites. Effectively, this makes little to no difference in how things have been running, as we have already gone to remote check-ins. Although we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS, walk-in reservations will need to either call or otherwise message us from the front. I can book a site over the phone and email the invoice for payment, or you can slip cash under the door, if you need to pay by cash. The same process would apply if you need anything from the store (we have firewood, medication, snacks or even toilet paper)! We are taking this seriously and hope that everyone else is as well!
Update as of 3/20/20: Yes, we are open! Our cabins and campground will remain open as long as we reasonably can. We are located in a fairly remote area with lots of opportunities for getting out while maintaining social distancing! We are also available for longer term stays, if you need a place to land for the duration or a temporary place to shelter loved ones that may be at higher risk.