Sunday, April 26, 2020

12 Things to Know when Visiting Lost River Cave

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1.  Touring the grounds at Lost River Cave, hiking and the nature play area - FREE. Come and go all day. We did!

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2.  Plan to buy something at the gift shop - it's NICE. Like, you walk in and stop and look around and wonder - am I in the right place?

3.  It's an independent non-profit so your dollars support their educational and preservation efforts.

 photo IMG_0714_zpsu8xcmsm6.jpg4. The boat tour is worth the money.  The tour guides were funny, knowledgeable and totally in love with this place which made for a great experience.  Tip them, see #3 - they can likely use the money.

 photo IMG_0744_zpsychupsgh.jpg5. Get the junior tour guide books for the kids.  Request them in the gift shop, this activity is free and my kids love it.  They get a nice activity book to go through and are rewarded when they complete it!

6. If you live nearby, they have camps!  There were kids there having a blast over spring break.

7.  Butterfly habitat May-Sept, it's back along the trails and from the looks of it - it's worth the short hike back there to check it out when it's open.

 photo IMG_0771_zpspeugyz5b.jpg8. Hiking trails are not too treacherous which makes visiting more open to everyone!

9. They have a Nature Trading post that is open the 2nd & 4th Sat April - Oct.  It back along the trails like the butterfly habitat.  Check it out for additional experiences.

10. You can have an event there, even a wedding in the cave!  Seriously - it use the be a nightclub. I kid you not.

11. There are many places to eat nearby if you don't bring a picnic.  We grabbed frostys at Wendy's because the kids got them free after completing their junior tour guide books, there are other fast-food options between Lost River Cave and the highway but also if you head into town on Nashville Rd, there are tons of options - I noticed Lost River Pizza Co and Home Cafe which both get great reviews online.

 photo IMG_0790_zpsn7hig5um.jpg12. You will LEARN while having fun. The best kind of fun is when you take away knowledge! Like these blue holes - I know what they are and you will too - after you visit Lost River Cave!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Five FREE Family Attractions in Bowling Green, Kentucky

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Lost River Cave
Thought you have to pay to tour the cave, you can walk the trails and enjoy the nature play area at no cost.  It is a very interesting hiking area in terms of the different things you see (bird watching area, bridges and more) and it's manageable  - you don't need to be an intense hiker to handle it!

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Basil Griffin Park
This park has a lot of offer!  The playground is very large and has such a variety of equipment so I always recommend it since it appeals to families with kids of all ages. They also have a lake, disc golf and plenty of space for picnicking.

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Aviation Heritage Park
This area is very close to Basil Griffin Park so if you visit one, definitely visit the other.  It is small but the planes are very cool for the kids to get up close and touch, look at and learn.

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Chaney's Dairy Barn
If you can resist buying ice cream (yeah right.......), it's technically free to visit Chaney's Dairy Barn and it's an interesting spot to visit.  The shop inside is colorful and full of antiques and other items to look at and there's a play area in the back that the kids will love - particularly the young ones. really DO have to get some ice cream.....I think it's the best EVER.

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Historic Downtown Bowling Green
In the center of downtown Bowling Green, there is a lovely park with statues, fountains and beautiful landscaping.  In addition to shopping and taking in the architecture, this park is a perfect place to take a break, get some nice family photos or enjoy a snack.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Shelby Trails Park in Simpsonville

 photo Shelby Trails 2_zpss7qrceng.jpgShelby Trails Park in Simpsonville is one of the few places in the Louisville area that provides guided horseback trail rides. Hour-long rides are $40 per person, and run most days as long as the weather is good (call ahead for appointments). There is a minimum age of 8 and a maximum weight of 200 pounds, and the horses are very gentle so that even beginners can ride.

This post is from an experience in the past and some of their details, fees, information may have changed.

The ride itself covers a variety of terrains. In addition to somewhat steep up- and downhills, your trip will take you through mown grass, down a more meadow-y lane, over a small stretch of loose rocks, and even across a small creek. The horses on the ride walk in a single file, with guides at the front and end of the line to ensure that no one gets lost.

The weather for our trip was perfect – much nicer than expected for August when we went! You will need to wear long pants for your ride, so consider riding during a cooler month. Additionally, we were about a week-and-a-half into horsefly season, which lasts about a month, so take that into account when making plans.

 photo Shelby Trails 1_zpsln1sve17.jpg We had to keep a sharp eye out for the horseflies, which pestered us for most of the ride. Our guide, Justine, urged us to smack any that landed on our horses, because of their very painful stings (painful to both horses and humans). Fortunately for us, only Justine was stung on our ride.

We saw a rabbit on our ride, but evidently it’s not uncommon to come across other wildlife, such as deer, a fox, or a crane. The scenery is beautiful, and would be especially striking when the leaves turn in the fall. Cell phones/cameras are not allowed on the ride (or any other loose objects), but your guide will take a couple of pictures of you with her own phone, and text them to you afterwards.

My eight-year-old niece, who had previously only ridden around rings, very much enjoyed our trail ride. The only thing she didn’t like were the horseflies!

 By guest contributor: Erika
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