University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Poster Gallery



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Recreation and Park Administration


Recreation and Park Administration




Brian G. Clark, Ed.D.

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


The Red River Gorge geological area located in southeastern Kentucky, which holds unique sandstone structures that are not commonly seen in Kentucky, has become a hotspot tourist destination for those interested in outdoor recreation. Due to the unique geological features of the area and being in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Red River Gorge is an official geological area, and is taken care of by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Due to the rise of social media and the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020, more people have discovered the Red River Gorge, leading to an increase in people visiting the area to partake in outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and much more, which led to doubling numbers of visitation within one year. With more visitors coming into the area, it is leading to more vandalism (spray painting, rock carving, tree carving), destruction of native species, and causing interference to native wildlife. The purpose of this study is to examine how an increase in tourism is beginning to affect the natural environment and the geological features of the Red River Gorge, and to offer suggestions to visitors on how to partake in outdoor recreation activities without harming the environmental features of the area.