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Concrete to Sandstone, Cityscapes to Landscapes

Heavenly Hills Lodge
“A farm in the middle of the city,” is how I once answered a profile question on a meetup site when someone gave me a free membership as a gift.  I am sure I don’t remember the exact wording of the question, but it was something like, “Where would you rather live?  a. city,   b. country,   c. suburbs,   d. other:  please specify.”  

Hey, I wasn’t trying to be silly, it was the honest truth.  (I just have one of those personalities that sees an adventure awaiting in every choice!)    Think about it, how cool would that be? A farmhouse with a penthouse suite, great views of a rolling meadow on the one hand and a glistening night skyline on the other!

Perhaps that is a silly idea, but one of the great things about the Louisville area is that you have all of the benefits of a city, but the country is just around the corner. My friends Jim and Sam(antha) are getting married today, in an outdoor wedding at a wonderful lodge on the edge of a lake in the Clark State Forest in Indiana (see the picture above, taken today). From the lodge, nothing of civilization can be seen, yet it is an easy drive on well-maintained roads–mostly interstate–just 35 minutes across the river from downtown Louisville.

That site is just one of many within easy driving distance of Louisville in almost any direction. Last Sunday, a local church singles group drove to Natural Bridge State Resort Park in the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest at Red River Gorge National Geological Area, just a little over an hour’s drive south in Kentucky.  At the beginning of the foothills of the Appalachians, this park boasts incredible scenic views, hiking trails with an amazing variety of terrain, caves and some of the most unusual rock formations due to the sedimentary sandstone that time, wind, and water have carved. From short, well-marked trails with handrails and steps, to primitive areas where backpacking is allowed, and from campsites to a lodge with a home-cooked buffet, this Kentucky State Park offers much to those who live many states away or just around the corner.  Just think, the singles group left church at 12:30, drove to the park, hiked, shopped in two gift shops, walked across a swinging bridge, looked for interesting insects in a cave, ate a great dinner buffet with a view of the forest, and were back home by 8:30 pm. Where else but Louisville could you do something like that?

P.S.  There are a lot of websites about Natural Bridge, each with its own value.  Some are linked above.  You may also find this one helpful:  Let me know if you have a better one!

Barbara Asher

Barbara Anne Asher