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Author Topic: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations  (Read 166 times)

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RCKT_RCCN

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Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« on: November 17, 2017, 09:30:51 AM »

Hello friends,

I come to you all today seeking help in a passion project. I am a lifelong resident of central Kentucky. For years I've lamented that I had to drive 2+ hours to reach the many destinations we all hold dear - Red River Gorge, Big South Fork, Land Between the Lakes, etc. I've wondered to myself, why doesn't Central Kentucky have more to show for itself? I took it upon myself to begin studying more carefully my local hills and hollers in search of features and destinations worthy of exploration.

To aid in the search, I created artificial boundaries to define the region in question:


You may disagree with my delineation, and we can discuss that on another thread. My interest here is to uncover the potential contained in my beloved Central Kentucky. So I am turning to you folks. Who knows our state better than the seasoned explorers of kywilderness.com? Who is more qualified to aid me in my quest? Who has been farther or wider or deeper or longer than the intrepid tribe found here? No one comes close. Each of you is a master adventurer with knowledge to share and stories to tell.

My fellow travelers, will you help me in this endeavor? Will you impart knowledge of the often overlooked heartland of our great state? I must pause to thank ShifuCareaga, who has done much already through his hidden treasures. But I am looking to expand on the fine work he has done. Will you help me?

Here's what I'm looking for:

Gravel Roads
Scenic routes
Waterfalls
Trails
Country Stores
Quaint towns
Scenic Vistas
Caves
Arches
Stream crossings
Blue streams
Nature Preserves

And more. A little bit of everything and anything that one might wish to visit for a day. Places that capture the imagination. Give me your suggestions, I'll gladly take them all. As always, I'm happy to use discretion as you see fit. If you wish to PM me and request the privacy and confidentiality of a place then I'm glad to oblige.

To close out my lengthy request, let me leave you with a small taste of what central Kentucky has to offer, and why I believe it deserves more attention:












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Mark W

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 08:30:21 PM »

Wish I could help, but haven't done much exploring in that area. I've been taken to some amazing places in Mammoth Cave National Park (and looks like at least one place you've been, too) and have stumbled upon some neat karst features in the backcountry there, but nothing I'd really feel worth is going out of your way to see. Paddling the Green River at the right water level and exploring up side streams to springs is pretty cool . . . some really neat "blue hole" features along the way. Makes a good two to three day night trip if you take your time.

I've seen pictures of some incredible stuff on private property in Hart County, but that doesn't help you much.

I think that central Kentucky is an absolutely phenomenal landscape, but it is mostly private property so that makes it hard to easily appreciate in the more intimate way that we are often so easily afforded along the Cumberland Plateau.

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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 07:18:37 AM »

Mark thanks so much for responding, and I am afraid that youíre exactly right. Central Kentucky suffers from the lack of public lands to explore. However, I do think there are some places that maybe donít receive much attention but have potential.

This is why I need your allís help. Whoís hiked at some of the state parks and state forests? Has anyone explored the WMAs or state nature preserves? What about the parks in and around Louisville - Jefferson Memorial, Parklands of the Floyds Fork, Otter Creek, Bernheim, Knobs State Forest? I have even heard whispers that there are a few spots to boulder in one of those parks.

But I also really want to know about driving. Where are the fantastic back roads - paved or gravel? And I know there are some gravel roads worth the drive. I can think of at least three that rival any forest road in the Daniel Boone.

And what about the paddling? We may not talk about water sports around here much but I am sure there are worthwhile floats in CKy. Mark already mentioned paddling the Green thru Mammoth Cave. Where else do you guys recommend?

Maybe my request is too broad, perhaps I would have been better served to break it into specific discussions. But my heart is to see kywilderness.com be more than just constant discussion about the  Red River Gorge and the Daniel Boone National Forest (hyperbole). We are spoiled with a rich and diverse state filled with splendid natural resources, letís talk all the places!

Thanks again, rant #2 over. If the thread doesnít go anywhere Iíll gracefully leave you guys alone. At least for a little while.  :P

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copper creek

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 04:43:19 PM »

Along the Kentucky River I've enjoyed hiking in Jessamine Creek Gorge, Sally Brown NP, Dupree NP, Tom Dorman NP, Raven Run, Floracliff, and Lower Howard's Creek (just outside your zone).  All are have relatively short but enjoyable day hikes.

If Berea is in your zone, then Indian Fort Mountain and Anglin Falls in the John B. Stephenson NP are very nice.

I've hiked at Vernon-Douglas Nature Preserve, Taylorsville Lake Trails, and Bernheim Forest once each.  I'd like to do more at Bernheim.

There is a short Kayak trip along the KY River, under High Bridge, and up the Dix River to the dam that's nice.

If I lived closer, I'd spend time exploring Mammoth Cave, and as Mark said, Kayak the Green River.







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Bazinga

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 08:27:24 AM »

I grew up in SW Jefferson County in the 60's & 70's (yes, I'm that old), we consider Otter Creek "our" park.  I spent many days picnic-ing with my parents, later with my school buddies (and senior cut day LOL!!), my adult friends and our children and most recently with 7 year old Luna-pup (where she took her 1st swim).  It has changed alot in 50 years, not necessarily for the best.  There is a small cave by an old rock quarry, but no longer allowed to enter (gated and locked).  I've posted a pic of an overlook on the trail of the Ohio River.  There are some nice cliffs down the creek (no pics though, don't take my camera creek walking).

I spent lots of time as a teen out by Jefferson Memorial Forest, before it was a metro park.  Most trails are beautiful forest hikes.  Scottís Gap has an overlook of farm land at the end of the short loop.  Horine section has Mitchell lake, a rental building with a view of Louisville from the back patio and the camp ground.  Yost area has several nice hikes 1-5 miles although some are shared horse trails.  Siltstone trail is a little over 6 mile hike (one way) but it crosses two roads and if you know where to leave the trail, there is a small window.  There are some unofficial trails that lead to overlooks and rock features. Found many caches placed by geocaching groups.  Metro parks recently acquired the Moreman area, but as of now it is undeveloped (future plans include horse and bike trails). 

The low grade at Fort Duffield makes an easy hike, but most trails are shared bike trails.  Once on top there are some recreated civil war buildings and a couple of overlooks of the Salt River, but the view includes the power plant and Ohio Valley Raceway.  The trailhead for the bridges to the past is near by.

Brandenburg City Park a nice picnic area by the river with a view of the Mauckport Bridge and a paved trail to Buttermilk Falls.

McNeely lake, in my younger days, used to have one of the large slides (I still have a few burn scars).  Today you can hike & fish.

Bernheim is nice, admission on weekends and holidays, very popular but not trashed.

Fairmount falls is really nice and only short walk from the parking lot.  Not too trashed because of limited access (call to get combination to the gate). 

Iroquois park (there is a nifty overlook of Louisville at the last overlook on the upper loop). 

Tioga Fall is beautiful but because of easy access itís totally trashed. 

Cherokee park has a creek and swimming hole.

There are hiking trails and a lake at Waverly Park.

Rough River SRP has fishing, boating, and swimming.

I havenít visited Guist Creek Lake or Elk Horn Creek. 

Oh yeah, Iíve been to Munchkinsville, a community of small buildings (originally thought it was the home of midgets/dwarves, but it was a camp for something).  A couple of other odd places, The grave yard at Hot Rod Haven, the body chute at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, and last but not least the Pope Lick goat man at the train trestle.  LOL!!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 07:48:56 AM by Bazinga »
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FallenArches

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2017, 09:36:49 AM »

I live just a few miles from the geographic center of Kentucky, and have been to most of the places mentioned. 

The Asbury Nature trails are nice.

If your a history buff, the walking tour at Perryville Battlefield is interesting.  I highly recommend it.  You get a different feeling walking up hillsides where you know hundreds of men died. 

The Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area in the Parksburg/Mitchellsburg area is nice. 

Shakertown has some good hikes, and as previously mentioned, is a good put in/take out point for a great paddle up the Kentucky and Dix Rivers.  Get your trout stamp and take a fly rod if you go.   

Bernheim Forest has been mentioned a couple of times, but I will add that it is also a great place to ride bikes, including the Jim Beam bike trail across the road.  Stop in the Jim Beam visitor center for a Basil Hayden Twist when you're finished.

I used to Geocache some, but probably haven't looked for a "cache" in 4-5 years now.  But when I was a subscribed Member ($25 / year), we would visit lots of interesting places I otherwise would not have known about.  Small caves off of the side of roads, little known historical spots, vistas, etc.  I used to keep a handheld GPS with me whenever we had to "leave town" for any reason.  Wherever we went, there was usually something interesting nearby to find.  You can travel a lot of backroads looking for these things if you just want a casual Sunday afternoon drive.
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 10:05:14 AM »

See, you guys are amazing. It's exactly what I hoped for! Copper Creek, Bazinga, FallenArches, y'all made my day.

Copper creek you mentioned Vernon-Douglas SNP, I drive by on the bluegrass everyday. So many times I've wanted to stop but never build in enough time for the hike. Very rarely do I even see cars at the trailhead. I've got to take advantage of that soon.

Bazinga I must know more about Munchkinsville! Pictures??

FallenArches, you live in Marion County (although Taylor claims to be the center as well)? I'm your neighbor, resident of Nelson County.

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FallenArches

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2017, 12:23:59 PM »

Actually, I live in Washington County.  Marion County claims the geographic center, just across the Washington County line off of Hwy 429.  Taylor may also make a claim.  Given the shape of Kentucky, the geographic center is probably tough to figure.  Especially when the northern border used to shift as the Ohio River changed. 

You and I share a river I'm sure you have floated before.  I won't mention it by name so google search won't find this conversation.  I didn't include it in my reply because the most popular section is getting too crowded for my enjoyment.  It seems everybody has a kayak now.  It also had some pretty good fishing, until the otters were re-introduced in the 90's. 

Over this same river, in Washington County in the Chaplin area of the Washington-Nelson border, they are currently restoring the old covered bridge.  The process has been going on for over a year now, they're not far from wrapping it up.  Interesting work and worth checking out if you're nearby.   Some company from the Northeast, I think, that specializes in restoring old bridges.  A small group that brings a couple or so RV's to the site and just lives there until the job is finished.  Sounds like  a cool profession.
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We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that this nation is worthy of its good fortune.-Theodore Roosevelt, 7/4/1886

RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2017, 12:54:04 PM »

Washington County is my homeland, my grandfather is from the Chaplin area. Graduate of Chaplin High, back when every little community had its own school system.

Funny you should mention the covered bridge. I've been out there a couple times for work just to see how it's going. Those are some real neat guys. Hands like vice grips. If they aren't working they're very friendly. That project in particular was a multi-year ordeal. Incredible amount of time invested in one project. It's worth it though to maintain a piece of history. So many of our covered bridges were demo'ed over the years.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 01:02:05 PM by RCKT_RCCN »
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Mark W

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2017, 01:02:51 PM »

I've heard really good things about Jones-Keeney Wildlife area. Also, Todd County Cliffs are supposed to be incredible but I think that's a bit far west for your boundaries.
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2017, 01:10:02 PM »

I've heard really good things about Jones-Keeney Wildlife area. Also, Todd County Cliffs are supposed to be incredible but I think that's a bit far west for your boundaries.

I've never heard of the Todd County Cliffs. Adding to the research list. And yes, perhaps too far west, although I think the same treatment could be given to western Kentucky that I desire for the central region.
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2017, 07:19:09 PM »

looks at www.hiddendestinationsky.com

got ya covered bro. that's my contributions. it even opens on your phone app.

Just let me know what isn't there, so I can improve the map.

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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Central Kentucky Features & Destinations
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 11:53:07 AM »

looks at www.hiddendestinationsky.com

got ya covered bro. that's my contributions. it even opens on your phone app.

Just let me know what isn't there, so I can improve the map.



Thanks! I knew you would come through!  ;)
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