Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pennyrile State Forest

Life in Christian County, Kentucky...

Pennyrile Forest

This morning Dennis and I went over to the Pennyrile State Forest, some 15 miles northwest of Hopkinsville. Dennis was looking for a few future camping spots for the Boy Scouts. (I don't remember if I've mentioned that he is the Scoutmaster of Isaac's troop this year.)

The forester was very helpful. He showed us around the headquarters area where the boys will be camping one weekend soon for their "Freeze Out" and pointed out some potential campsites on the forest map for warmer weather.

Pennyrile ForestHe said we'd be able to drive one of the forest roads with no trouble in our car, so we gave it a try. Recent rains have washed the road down to bedrock on some of the steep inclines, but we were able to get through all right. Eventually the road reached the top of a ridge and stayed there for a while.

There's a fairly new hiking trail (Pennyrile Nature Trail) that leads from somewhere near the State Park headquarters, through the Pennyrile Forest and on to the edge of Dawson Springs, a little town that lies north of the forest. The trail meanders through 13 miles of woodlands, and according to Dennis's hiking book, it is a fairly strenuous trek, but the scenery is great.

Dennis got excited when we saw some of the little black-and-white PNT (Pennyrile Nature Trail) signs on the trees where it crossed our road. He has been entertaining the idea of taking his backpack and spending a few days walking the trail and camping this spring. I think Isaac should go with him. He doesn't need to push his luck, especially since cell phones don't work in the forest. (Yes, I'm paranoid!)

The Pennyrile Forest (approximately 14,500 acres), the Tradewater Wildlife Management Area (approximately 725 acres) and the Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park (approximately 850 acres) share custody of Kentucky's largest state-owned woodland area. During the Depression, these rocky ridges were purchased from impoverished farmers under the New Deal. The people were re-settled elsewhere, and pines were planted on the land they had cultivated. The ridges were left in their native hardwoods. Two manmade lakes lie within the area: Pennyrile Lake and Lake Beshear.

Pennyrile Forest

Related website: Pixel's Travels. (Scroll down the page to "05 June 19: Pennyrile State Resort Park", and click the link to view 37 photos.)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.