A Bluegrass Backyard Adventure.

The backroads of the Kentucky Bluegrass Region are great for day-trip exploration!  The scenery is absolutely beautiful!  Drive 30 minutes outside of Lexington in any direction and the winding country roads will offer awesome views of grass covered rolling-hills, dissected by mile after mile of horse fences and countless creeks!  Follow a creek long enough and you are more than likely going to pass one of the many bourbon distilleries in the area.  Four Roses, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve Distilleries all have visitor’s centers and offer tours if you are interested in seeing how the only truly all “American” spirit is produced and of course you can always take a bottle home with you!  Horse-lovers will not be disappointed, some of the horse barns in the Bluegrass countryside look like European estates!  Just remember, horses live in those buildings… not people!  I should be so lucky!

I spent about 4 hours on the Big Old Mare today exploring the Bluegrass, I just couldn’t resist. The sun was shining at 8:00 AM and no rain was in the forecast, so I knew it was time to saddle-up the old sway-back and go for a ride.  For day trips, I like to have an area in mind but don’t always follow a pre-determined route.  That way I’m not slave to a map or GPS.  Today was no different, I just headed north from Lawrenceburg and tried to follow the Kentucky river toward Frankfort as best I could.  After crossing over the river and numerous creeks half a dozen times, I arrived in Frankfort a few hours later, just in time for lunch at the Cliffside Diner.  No matter where you explore, food always makes an adventure more enjoyable!  The Cliffside is a stone-throw away from the Kentucky State Capital and overlooks the Kentucky River.  Due to a row of trees between the diner and the river, the views from the restaurant aren’t that great but the food was excellent!  I will definitely visit the Cliffside again!  After lunch I crossed the Kentucky River again and headed south on Hwy 1659, aka McCraken Pike.  The road follows the east side of the Kentucky River for a few miles and then follows Glenns Creek all the way to the town of Versailles, often referred to as the “Horse Capital of the World.”  Yes, along the way you will see more horses than people!  On McCraken Pike you will pass the Old Taylor Distillery (closed since 1972) and the Woodford Reserve Distillery.  I stopped at both, long enough to stretch my legs and take a few happy-snappies!  It’s amazing how just a few hours of exploration make you feel like a new person!  

Don’t forget your map when you explore the Bluegrass!


The Cliffside Diner in Frankfort, Kentucky.  Really great food!
The Old Taylor Distillery.

The Old Taylor Distillery seems to come out of nowhere… you round a corner and bam… there it is… it’s definitely worth a photo-stop!  Rumor has it the property has been recently purchased and will soon produce bourbon again!

The Old Taylor Distillery sign.
An abandoned building, part of the Old Taylor Distillery.
Some Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels.
I stopped at the Woodford Reserve Distillery but didn’t enter the Visitor’s Center today.  They were busy with a suit and tie event and I was not really dressed for the occasion!  I will visit again in the near future, it will give me an excuse for another day-trip! 
I thought about trying to strap a barrel on the back of the Big Old Mare but decided against it!  The Kentucky backroads are narrow, hilly and winding… I might have ended-up in a creek!

Above and below, there are a few dirt roads in the Bluegrass region, great for dual sport motorcycle exploration!