Rail Explorers

Go railbiking through Versailles, Kentucky, along the tracks of the 1888 Louisville Southern Railroad to explore the Bluegrass State in a new way. 

Couple railbiking along elevated track at Rail Explorers in Versailles, Kentucky (photo courtesy of Rail Explorers)

Riding through history is what railbiking is all about, and it is the newest way to see Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. Railbiking takes riders on a pedaling journey along a historic railroad route, and at Rail Explorers in Versailles, Kentucky, the journey follows the tracks that once carried the 1888 Louisville Southern Railroad. 

Along the path, adventurers can spot thoroughbred horse farms and enjoy panoramic views of the Kentucky River as they pass between limestone cliffs. The two-hour, 10-mile-round-trip Kentucky River Rambler ride is gentle and passes along the Wild Turkey Distillery on its way to its destination, the Kentucky River Gorge. A similar ride, the Kentucky River Sundowner, leaves later in the day, giving way to sunset views along the river. Both rides depart from the Versailles station and operate during the warm-weather months. 

Rail Explorers’ bikes are custom made from steel with electric assist for safety and durability, and they are available in quad or tandem styles, making them perfect for a family outing or romantic ride. A storage area provides room to pack drinks and snacks, which can be enjoyed once reaching the gorge. Since the steel bikes sit squarely on the tracks, you can pedal while snapping photos or merely sit back and enjoy the breeze. These solidly built bikes do not require balance and are easy to pedal. That setup makes it possible for a 5-year-old to railbike with his 95-year-old great-grandfather. 

Operating since July 2023, Versailles’ railbiking operation is the sixth of its kind, with Rail Explorers operating other lines in California, Iowa, New York and Rhode Island. After the tour, hop off the bike and head east to Lexington, located less than a half hour away, to sample the bourbon that Kentucky is known for and to get a taste of Bluegrass State nightlife. 175 Beasley Rd., Versailles, Kentucky 40383, 877/833-8588, railexplorers.net