Monday, August 28, 2017

Haney's Appledale Farm in Nancy near Lake Cumberland

 photo IMG_4957_zpsjknaabhl.jpgWhile on a visit to Lake Cumberland, I did my research as usually and found that Haney's Appledale Farm was mentioned numerous times.  There are few things that I like better than farm fun (and pie) so we ventured there one afternoon for a treat -  I was sold at 'bakery'!

 photo IMG_4968_zpsmyzhiqpf.jpgLocated on Highway 80, it was really easy to find. It was very close to Pulaski County Park - which we also enjoyed on our visit.  The farm store is inviting with rockers out front and a large opening to the farm store on the right side of the building. The kids immediately noticed the play area in the back. Of course, the folks there were just as welcoming. We actually found that some of the owner's grand-kids go to school with mine, we recognized them in a photo!

 photo IMG_4982_zpstmpeecfa.jpgAfter browsing for a bit, we decided to let the kids work up an appetite and play.  They have a barn-shaped play structure in the back that was just enough for our pit-stop.  It had swings, slides and climbing features but mostly, since it was set up like and upstairs and downstairs barn, it lent itself to imaginative play. I liked the view of the orchards from the upstairs part of the play area - yes, I got up there! When we went, it was quite hot so we didn't spend as much time outside as we would have liked. I can definitely see that during the milder weather, families can hang out by the play area more or take their snacks outside for a picnic.

We shopped the market to find local products and lots of their produce - peaches since it was summer. They also grow apples (25 varieties), pumpkins, and pears seasonally.  Fall is definitely popular. We took home some peaches before we left our vacation spot.  They don't always offer u-pick so check ahead before you go.

 photo IMG_4977_zpshtgyghk4.jpgThe bakery is known for their pies - which are small pocket pies. They make different flavors seasonally and you can order large batches if you need to!  They also had muffins, cookies and select lunch items like pulled pork sandwiches. We enjoyed their peach slushies and baked goods - the pies are just the right size to not feel guilty......well, too guilty.

Haney's is open seven days a week, with shorter hours on Sundays. We recommend you follow them on Facebook for farm updates so you know when certain varieties of fruit are ready. 
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Visiting Fort Boonesborough in Richmond

 photo 070_zpsaatvytdj.jpgI love Kentucky. As the saying goes, I wasn’t born here, but I got here as quickly as I could. And along with my love for all things Kentucky, our state parks are tops on my list. This particular Saturday’s adventure led us to Fort Boonesborough in Richmond.

 photo 071_zpsppfo86uh.jpgFort Boonesborough has been reconstructed as a working fort complete with cabins, blockhouses and furnishings. Resident artisans perform craft demonstrations and give modern-day visitors a true sense of what life was like for pioneers in Kentucky.

Open daily from 9-5 April through October, the admission fees to the fort are well worth the cost (Ages 6 to 12: $5, 13 & up: $8). The Fort Boonesborough Foundation has events all through the year. Cool History on Hot Days runs every Saturday through August, and my family was treated to a narrative about life in Daniel Boone’s day by a woman dressed in period clothing. We were all enthralled as the speaker brought up so many historic events and began thought provoking discussions well after she was finished.

 photo 099_zpsyaj7clm6.jpgWe strolled around the grounds of the fort at our leisure. We did pause while my oldest son tried to throw a tomahawk at a log – which was actually much more difficult than the resident artisan made it appear! In different cabins we learned about candles, soap making, the weapons and tools of the day, medicinal herbs, and got glimpses of how the settlers may have lived so long ago. There was also a gift shop on site with fort souvenirs as well as cold sodas and snacks.

 photo 104_zpsfsem1bzk.jpgThe campground, pool and picnic area are just down the road, or you can take a trail which is about half a mile. We ate our picnic lunch and my youngest son enjoyed the playground afterwards. Then we made our way down to the Kentucky River so my kids could fish (make sure you have a license). It was very peaceful and quiet on the river bank. After everyone had had enough of the river, we decided to check out pool. The fees were minimal (Ages 3 to 12: $4, 13 & up: $5, Campers: $4, Seniors: $4) and it was a great way to unwind and cool down after a long day of exploring.
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We all really enjoyed the experience and the people at the fort were very nice and eager to answer questions. Beyond the beautiful setting, having the past come to life before your eyes will leave a lasting impression!

By guest contributor:
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Solar Eclipse Events in Kentucky

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Chances are you've heard about the solar eclipse that will occur on Monday, August 21st. This is a huge event for Kentucky, because parts of the state are in the path of totality, meaning the moon will completely block out the sun as it passes between the sun and the earth. Optimal total solar eclipse viewing will be slightly northwest of Hopkinsville, Ky. It's a once in a lifetime viewing opportunity for many, so thousands of people from around the world will be traveling to see it. A map of totality can be found here. For those living in Louisville, a partial solar eclipse will be seen. NASA has a great website explaining everything! And, an interactive map for locations and times.

Below are events that will be taking place all across the Kentucky.

Please note: regardless of the degree of totality, you WILL NEED solar eclipse glasses for viewing! Some venues will have a limited number of pairs available. Play it safe and buy a pair before the 21st. We've seen them for sale ($1 - $2) at local Kroger, Lowes, Walmart and Heine Bros. locations-- to name a few! 

Louisville/Jefferson County, KY
Big Four Bridge Lawn

E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park

Kentucky Derby Musuem

Kentucky State Fairgrounds

Mint Julep Tours- Solar Eclipse and Bourbon Sips Experience* Tour departs Louisville and travels to Hopkinsville.

PNC Achievement Center in Beckley Creek Park

Spalding University

Ballard County, KY
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site

Barron County, KY
Barron River Lake State Park

Boone County, KY
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

Bullitt County, KY
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Christian County, KY
Burdoc Farms

Christian Way Farm

Jefferson Davis Monument

Kelly Little Green Men Festival

Daviess County, KY
Owensboro Museum of Science and History

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

Fayette County, KY
The Living Arts and Science Center

Floyd County, KY
Jenny-Wiley State Resort Park

Henderson County, KY
John James Audubon State Park

Hickman County, KY
Columbus-Belmont State Park

Hopkins County, KY
American Legion in Madisonville

Downtown Dawson Springs

Elks BPOE #738 in Madisonville
Madisonville City Park

Madisonville Community College

Mahr Park at Hidden Hills Farm

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

Marshall County, KY
Kenlake State Resort Park

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

McCracken County, KY
Art Guild of Paducah

Brooks Field

Carson Center

McCracken County Library

Silent Brigade Distillery

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Muhlenberg County, KY
Greenville Summerhouse

Oldham County
City Place Lawn *Pre-register for this networking event.

Spencer County, KY
Solar Eclipse Paddle at Taylorsville Lake

Todd County, KY
Jefferson Davis Historic Site

Trigg County, KY
Lake Barkley State Resort Park

Union County, KY
Caseyville Recreation Area & Boat Dock

Warren County, KY
The A-Frame

Aviation Heritage Park

Bowling Green Ballpark

Chaney's Dairy Farm

Historic Railpark and Train Musuem

Reid's Livery Winery

Rockn B Horse and Carriage Farm

Looking for a fun way to teach your child about the solar eclipse? Check out this short animated video by McGraw-Hill Education:

Know of another eclipse viewing party in Kentucky? Email a link to

By Guest Contributor: Brandy
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Review of Cave Run Lake

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We’re a family that LOVES the beach – and water in general. However, with the nearest ocean a few hours away, my kids (ages 10, 9, and 6) and I set out to find what a Kentucky beach had in store and were not disappointed.

After some research, I found Cave Run Lake, which is part of the Daniel Boone National Forrest. Cave Run, about an hour and half east of Lexington and just south of Morehead, is an 8,270 acre lake that was built for flood protection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

There are two main beaches – Zilpo and Twin Knobs. Twin Knobs is larger and somewhat easier to get to. It has a boat ramp, summer amphitheater programs and scheduled campground activities. The campground also has volleyball courts, basketball hoops and horseshoe pits as well as many other amenities.

Zilpo sits on a peninsula in the middle portion of Cave Run Lake at an elevation of 800 feet deep in the forest with the nearest community 12 miles away. We chose the path less traveled and went to Zilpo.

Since the two beaches are on opposing sides of the lake, the routes are totally different. The road to Zilpo is about 17 miles once you enter the park. There are a couple turns but they are well marked so no worries about getting misplaced. However, with curvy roads and speeds topping out around 45 mph, it does seem to take FOREVER to get back to the beach.

We did pass a couple different picnic areas – and after a long ride in the car – stopped at the Clear Creek area which we were thankful had restroom. We even stumbled upon what we referred to as a Kentucky pyramid, but was actually the remains of an iron furnace – and a history lesson opportunity!

As we continued to drive, there was a clearing which gave us an amazing view of the lake. It was breathtaking and spurred us on to continue the rest of drive through the forest! After we stopped at the guard shack further down the road and paid our $10 vehicle fee (pretty sure it’s cash only so be prepared), we continued through the campgrounds to the beach parking lot. As soon as we parked and the kids saw the beach, they deemed our over two hour drive totally worth it and we got busy having fun!

 photo 093_zpsdyt6ewmf.jpgWe had basic things for a day at the beach – floaties, goggles, snacks, a beach mat and towels. My older son also insisted on having his fishing poles to do some shore fishing (make sure you have your license). We found the beach itself to be really rocky instead of sandy so make sure everyone has water shoes or sandals that can get wet. We charged ahead to the water, which was just about room temperature. It was incredible! There was no adjustment time needed – we all just got straight in! The beach is well defined with buoys and a sea wall to keep everyone well contained and aware of the boundaries. My kids are good swimmers, and we had life jackets on hand just in case, but at no point was I concerned for their safety in the water.

The beach area also had a volleyball court, some park benches, a bathroom facility, and a small general store with cold soft drinks, snacks, goggles, etc.

We were only prepared to spend the afternoon, but it’s a place I’d like to go back and spend at least the weekend. There are campsites, rental cabins, boat launches, boat rentals at the marina, hiking trails, hunting, and so many more activities to explore with family or friends. My kids and I were in total awe of the surrounding beauty and how much fun lake swimming was. They couldn’t stop talking about it. When we go back, we’ll plan on plotting out much more than just an afternoon.

Make sure as you’re planning your trip, you decide on what kind of experience you want, how much time you want to spend and check the surrounding areas for events you can tie in to your trip. Cave Run Lake is a place where you could go back just about every weekend and find something new to explore!

By guest contributor:
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Visiting Pulaski County Park - a beach swimming location on Lake Cumberland

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Pulaski County Park is conveniently located off of Rte. 80 in Nancy, Kentucky. This park is on Lake Cumberland in the Somerset area. The park offers an array of options for people who are looking for a day visit or for folks looking to camp or have a gathering. See aerial photos here.

What attracted us to visit Pulaski County Park is we were told that there was a beach area and when traveling with kids ages 2 to 10, that's a perfect option.  The beach was added in 2017. The beach area is easy to find in the park if you keep going right as you enter the park. There is ample parking but it's important to notice, there are no bathroom facilities at the beach area. You must cross the parking area and go up a hill to portable bathrooms at the top of the hill. It wasn't too much of a hike but with little kids, that's important to know. And, the portable bathrooms there were very clean.

There is one large tree on the beach so we were able to grab that spot for the day to have some shade. There are a few picnic tables and a grill in a shady are closer to the parking lot. We brought in chairs, floats and our picnic items and spent hours at this beach.  There are rocky spots close to the shady area but as you go toward the middle of the beach, it's more sandy.  The kids loved collecting rocks and then at the end of the day, swam them back into the lake to sink to the bottom.

Also at the park, there are camping options (less that $80 per night) for any level of camping and there are also cabins. We drove around and found a wonderful trail if you are interested in hiking or biking that trail, many picnic shelters that would be great for groups, a playground, basketball and more activities. The park has quite a bit to offer and we did notice a lot of people camping, fishing and kayaking. The kayaking looked great because of where the park is situated, folks can go in and out of coves in Lake Cumberland.

The park is open dawn to dusk for visitors. They have a small store at the entrance in case you need some fishing supplies, snack or a drink. The folks in the store were also helpful for fishing tips and other information about the park. That store is open normal business hours, not the entire time the park it open. We noticed that the park utilizes an inmate program to clean the park. We had no problems at all but we did notice that they work on the beach in the morning so if you arrive later in the morning and stay for the afternoon, they will likely be finished with their work.

The park is so close to many things to do. If you stay at Pulaski County Park, you won't be bored! Also, it was just down the road from Haney's Appledale Farm which we really loved for treats. 

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