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Old 10-02-2006, 08:55 AM   #1
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Kentucky Vacation

Time again to plan another fun filled vacation!

We are a family of four; Maw, Paw, littly Willy (6) and the Droid (2) whose real name is Andrew which became>Android>Droid>the Droid. We are in search of destinations in Southern Illinois and Northern Kentucky. We are up for anything - especially things that don't cost much. We love state parks, enjoy private campgrounds with perks (entertainment, silly themes, activities) . We love caves, culture, music, museums, factory tours, hiking, fishing, scenery, and art. We're not a shopping group but do enjoy a good flea market with piles of junk and treasures.

Our last trip to Wisconsin was a huge success, all credit to the help of nice people on the forum who helped us find things we never would have found on our own or even through the local chamber of commerce.

So here we are again, in the same boat, only this time Kentucky is our destination. We appreciate any help, suggestions, warnings. We'll be leaving soon, so no time to waste. Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:21 AM   #2
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Abe Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Be sure to visit! I hear it is absolutey wonderful. I believe there are several nearby campgrounds, too.

Tony
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:32 AM   #3
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Lincoln Lake State Park is quite nice and less than a mile to the Lincoln museum. Well worth it – especially in the Fall. You can also head down to Mammoth Cave National Park for lots and lot of great camping, hiking, caving, and shops and tourist traps.

There is always a visit to Louisville as well. You can stay at the KOA in Clarksville INd (just across the bridge) which is co-located with a large dealer and a Camping World. The KOA is not much more than highway-side stop over but its only five minutes over the bridge to downtown Louisville. The riverfront includes the Louisville Slugger Museum, Children Museum, Muhammad Ali Center, Frazier Arms Museum, Slugger Stadium, the occasional free concert on the great lawn, etc. I little further (20 minutes) and you can go to Churchill Downs and the horse racing museum.

We live in Louisville so PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:57 AM   #4
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Smile Have a great trip!!

Sounds like a wonderful time!! We love camping in Kentucky! You might want to try a visit to Fort Boonesborough, near Richmond/Winchester they have reenactors at the fort on certain weekends--there is a state campground nearby, its actually where Daniel Boone really did camp on the banks of the Ky River. Of course the pools will be closed now, but they do have a nice water park. There is a great river museum there at the campground too. I was disappointed in the maintenance of the campground's bathhouses/restrooms, but it is a pretty place to camp, perhaps they have improved them since our stay a couple of years back.

Cumberland Gap is a very nice park and campground too--I don't know if its too far south for your trip, but its so nice and clean and the trails are lovely.
Lots to do in the area.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:57 AM   #5
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Hot Lava.

I agree about Mammoth Cave. It is an absolute must! We've been there twice, once camping by the Green River campground outside the park in our Eurovan.

This campground has NO facilities except water and port-a-potties. It is quiet though and only has ten sites.

The second time, this past March, we pulled the AS and stayed in the NP.

The Mammoth Cave NP has a campground (Headquarters Campground). No electricity, but you can bring a generator. There are water hydrants, and a shower house that you have to buy tokens to use.

The Grand Avenue cave tour is the best!

Now that that is said, be sure to check and see if they have completed the cave lighting renovation. This renovation is expected to go until next spring, but they do open up the cave tours as they finish.

When we were there last March (2006), there were only a few cave (tours) open. The Grand Avenue was not one of them

So just double check with the park. I'd call, as the info you get might be more acurite than the NPS website.

It is an amazing place.

Jonathan
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:13 AM   #6
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Greetings from southern Illinois,

You will find a good bit to do down this way. The Shawnee National Forest is covers the better part of the southern tip of the state and has all sorts of opportunities for fun. I personally prefer the eastern side of the forest, but the west side also has points. For a historical trip I would recommend stopping off in Vincennes Indiana on the way down. Vincennes is a historical town with a monument to the Lincolns crossing into Illinois, the monument to George Rodgers Clark (Revolutionary War hero and brother to the Lewis and Clark- Clark), the home of William Henry Harrison, and several other sites. I think the nearest camping is Red Hill State Park on the Illinois side of the river near Sumner. While you are in the area, see the white squirrels in Olney.
Further south Shawnee Town, Cave in Rock State Park, Garden of the Gods, are all good. There are some waterfalls in the area (rain fall dependant http://www.pbase.com/professor_chaos/image/20136479 http://www.pbase.com/professor_chaos/image/20136734 ). Also, Cache River (cypress swamp- bring canoe or rent for canoe trail) is worth a few hours. We have a wine trail if you like that sort of thing. In Metropolis, you can do the Superman thing and Fort Massac http://www.pbase.com/professor_chaos/image/61129242 , a recently rebuilt fort on the Ohio River.
Across the river is Paducah, lots to do there as well –you could base out of Fort Massac for that. From Paducah you are close to Land between the Lakes. High points there besides the lakes are the Elk and Bison Prairie and the Old Home Place (1860’s homestead http://www.pbase.com/professor_chaos/image/27959595 http://www.pbase.com/professor_chaos/image/37174310 ) and Fort Donelson a national historic park and cemetery from the Civil War. Let me know if you are going to be in the Carbondale area, I would love to meet you, happy camping!
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:36 PM   #7
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Kentucky Vacation

Greetings hotLAVA!

The destination that you are considering is one of my favorites, but then I am a more than a little biased as my family home is in Union County, Illinois. For a wonderful location in Southern Illinois, I would suggest Giant City State Park in Makanda, IL -- just a few miles South of Carbondale in the wonderful rolling hills of Southern Illinois -- about a 20-minute drive from Bald Knob Cross of Peace; and an abundance of antiquing is available in almost any direction from Makanda. The campground is generally quite peaceful with a number of available spaces -- and the Giant City Lodge can't be beat for an excellent meal -- breakfast lunch or dinner.

Heading East from Makanda, my recommendation would be the Kenlake State Resort Park near Aurora, Kentucky (about an hour East of Paducah, KY on US Highway 68. The park is a peaceful place this time of year, and while many of the tourist oriented businesses may be closed for the season, there are many wonderfu antique shops in the area, abundant hiking, and sightseeing can also be interesting as well. The Sunday Brunch at the Kenlake State Resort Lodge is also worth taking in -- the food is excellent and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Enjoy your vacation --- I will be in the area over the Columbus Day weekend, but will be there to winterize my coaches rather than to enjoy a camping weekend.

Kevin
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:10 PM   #8
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Mammoth Cave NP

Mammouth Cave NP would definitely be on my list as well. We stayed there a year or two ago while our daughter participated in a band competition nearby.

As I remember it, there were very few facilities - I think we brought our generator. But beautiful and nice campsites. We would go back in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:16 AM   #9
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We go to Barren River Lake State Park in Kentucky alot. They have a nice campground, a hotel & cabins as well as a very nice place to eat. www.parks.ky.gov
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:29 AM   #10
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If you decide on Mamouth Cave, there is a KOA in Corbin, KY that we stayed at this July. It has recently been purchased by new owners and completely renovated. I didn't try the showers (used ours) but the grounds and camp store were immaculate. The pool and pool deck were spotless. We were passing through so we didn't go to the caves, but I heard several people talking about going to them and I beleive they were only a few miles away. They have several pull through sites, however, the sites are small. They are located near the interstate, Wal Mart and IIRC there was a travel center at the exit (might be wrong about that) and the camp ground is set amoung the KY mountains and lots of trees.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:55 PM   #11
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I found this article about Mamouth Cave from Scenic Route Magazine (the Route 66 RV Network's Magazine) and thought it might be helpful:

http://www.route66rv.com/Portals/5/S...3_Kentucky.pdf
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:27 PM   #12
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Hi everyone and thanks so much for the help.

I sent away for Kentucky travel information, but nothing beats good old word of mouth. Our last trip to Wisconsin, as I mentioned before, included many destinations recommended here on the forum. Dr. Evermore's sculpture garden was one destination I am so grateful to have experienced. We have some friends that, despite being very anti-camping, decided to tag along that week in one of those "RENT ME!" motorhomes. Not only did they enjoy it, they are now proud owners of a pop-up and join us on almost every adventure. It's nice because we have boys the same age and all four adults have a great time. They will be joining us in Kentucky. Hope they stay warm...I remember our pop-up days - brrrrrr....... and I'm like a Polar bear. I think the tent was warmer.

Thanks again for everyone's help. Keep the ideas coming!
Tracy
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:10 PM   #13
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How late in the year is it ppossible to go to this area?
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
How late in the year is it ppossible to go to this area?
That covers alot of possiblility. If you mean freezing weather, you are generally safe untill around Thanksgiving or so. Do able? baring the occasional storm front most the year (although speaking for myself, I wouldnt pick Jan-Feb as my target).
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