Posted by: RasmaSandra | April 11, 2019

Kentucky Off the Beaten Path

kentucky pennyrile

Pennyrile State Resort Park located in Dawson Spring is a quiet and peaceful resort which is scenically situated overlooking a small lake and beach. The park has been named for an aromatic wildflower known as Pennyroyal. These wonderful wildflowers blanket hillsides here and begin to burst forth in small lilac-blue blossoms come May.

kentucky pennyrile lodge

The Pennyrile Lodge was built from native stone and is surrounded by flowering shrubs along with the fringe tree which gives off a delicate scent.

kentucky pennyrile beach

During the summers many swimmers are attracted to the 55-acre lake which has sandy beaches and a bathhouse complex. Visitors can rent both rowboats and paddle boats. For those who enjoy fishing four miles down the road from the park is Lake Beshear which offers crappies, largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills.

kentucky pennyrile Turkey-at-Pennyrile-Forest-State-Resort-Park-6

There are several trails including one for horseback riders so that visitors to this park can enjoy taking long strolls and can also take a walk through the adjacent 15,000-acre forest. The forest is home to white-tailed deer and wild turkeys which can be seen quite often. Some other residents are bobcats but they are not seen often.

kentucky picnic pennyrile-lake-srp-one

Among the bird population, there are cardinals, wrens, and mourning doves that fill the forest with their songs. Within the park, there is also a riding stable, a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts, and two playgrounds. The lovely picnic area overlooks the lake and has tables and grills. In a more remote part, one can find campsites which offer water and electricity hook-ups.

kentucky main strasse

Main Strasse Village can be found in Covington. A group of German settlers came to the area at the end of the 18th century and like what they saw so much that they established the town of Covington on the banks of the Ohio River. Today this peaceful town has become a bustling, modern metropolis. As the years went by a lot of the older neighborhoods fell into disrepair.

kentucky main strasse clock

Then in the 1970s, a plan was set up to restore a 30-block section of town which dated back to the 1830s and at this time the Carroll Chimes Tower was built.


This section is now called Main Strasse Village and the tall, narrow, closely built buildings reflect their German origins. This area has many arts, crafts, and antique shops and among other restaurants and pubs, the cafe Strasse Haus offers German and American dishes.

kentucky main strasse clock and park

The Carroll Chimes Tower is part of Goebel Park. It is a 100-foot clock tower built of brick in traditional German medieval style. There is an illuminated clock on all four sides of the square top of the tower and is capped off by a peaked roof. The carillon of 43 bells strikes each hour as animated figures step out onto a balcony and you can see the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin reenacted.

kentucky main strasse goose girl fountain

Opposite the clock tower is a mall which has a center row of linden trees ending at a fountain which has been decorated by a statue of a goose girl. However, this village is not a museum it is an area where residents of Covington live but has the charm and appearance that is associated with the Old World as it was in the 19th century.

kentucky grist mill

Mill Springs Grist Mill – This mill has been part of this steep and wooded hillside in Monticello since the early 1800s. However, the present mill found here dates back from 1877 and in 1912 a 40-foot iron overshot waterwheel was added and is thought to be one of the largest in this world. Thirteen springs provide power for the mill as they come together to form a stream which then runs down the hillside into a large pipe that leads on to the waterwheel. The mill building itself is a large, white clapboard structure which has a stone foundation and it overlooks Lake Cumberland.

kentucky grist mill Wolf_Creek_Dam_and_Lake_Cumberland,_KY

By way of a walkway, you can get under the mill to take a look at the wheel and the main drive shaft. The belts go running to the upper floor where the corn gets ground and you can purchase the ground cornmeal at the gift shop. This place has its own bit of history as well.

kentucky grist mill lanier

On January 19, 1862, here at Mill Springs began the battle of the Kentucky-Tennessee campaign during the Civil War. It was a conflict which ended with a victory for the Union troops. Here you can still see upon a hillside overlooking the mill the Lanier House which was once the home of the early mill owner and served as Confederate headquarters. It is listed on the Register of National Historic Places.

kentucky grist mill water

You’ll find a path which leads from the mill to the Mill Springs Park on Cumberland Lake where you’ll find picnic areas and a boat dock. Throughout the park are several scenic hiking trails.

kentucky duncan-tavern-historic

Duncan Tavern located in Paris, Kentucky. The tavern stands three stories high and is made of gray Kentucky limestone. It faces the Paris public square which dates back to the days when this area was still a part of Virginia. This tavern was built in 1788 by Major Joseph Duncan. When the major died he left behind a wife Anne Duncan and six small children. His wife was unable to take care of the 20 room tavern leased it and built an adjoining log and clapboard structure which is now known as the Anne Duncan House.

Since the tavern was located near the Bourbon County Courthouse where many lawsuits over land claims were presented Duncan Tavern became a place for gatherings of distinguished early Americans such as Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner. Then in 1940 the tavern and the adjoining house were taken in trust by the Kentucky Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. All the buildings were restored and furnished with antiques. All of the carpets, silver, china, paintings, carvings and furniture date before 1820.

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  1. Thanks as always for the travelogue! We live across the Ohio River from Covington (in Cincinnati), and have spent quite a few Sunday afternoons in Main Strasse Village.

    • You’re welcome and how wonderful that you live in such a lovely place, Mitch. The more I write and let others know of all the beautiful places they can visit the more I would love to get an RV and make my way across the U.S.

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