2017 Western Spring Fling travel blog

Switzer Covered Bridge

Tobacco filed at sunset

Big tobacco leaves

Tobacco starting to turn yellow with drying barn on the ridge

Kentucky farm at sunset

An S

Old truck and barn

Mill dam at Forks of the Elkhorn near our campground

Reflection on the mill pond

Nice place to spend the morning

Estate house on Donamire Farm

White fences leading to stock barn on Donamire Farm

Grazing in front of the stock barn

Horse barn at Donamira Farm

Another of the many horse farms


Not too far from the Elkhorn Campground is one of the 13 remaining of nearly 400 covered bridges that once crossed rivers and streams in Kentucky. The Switzer Bridge spans the North Fork of Elkhorn Creek. It was built in 1855 by George Hockensmith. The bridge is closed to traffic and has been tended to by the community. In March 1997 floods swept the bridge off of its foundation. The bridge was salvageable and was restored with the help of state and federal agencies. Its Howe truss structure stands 12 feet high and is 120 feet long.

The area around Frankfort and Lexington is horse country. It reminds me a lot of northern New Castle County in Delaware and Chester County in PA but the horse farms are huge. I stopped at Donamire Farm outside of Lexington is a 620 acre spread on Old Frankfort Pike. It has a five-furlong training track and one-mile European-style turf course and the impressive barns are made of Indiana limestone. Some of the stone walls surrounding the property date back to 1820. The owners have built their home at the highest point on the farm overlooking the training track.

The other feature of this area is tobacco. Many of the farms have several large fields of tobacco even though growing tobacco is a dying business in Kentucky. The fields are beginning to turn yellow, orange and brown ready for harvest. It appears that harvesting is still a manual operation. The plant stalks are cut and then tied to a stick that is used to hang them in the curing sheds. The sheds are dark brown barns to absorb the sun's energy during the day to help dry and cure the leaves hanging inside.

There's lots to do and see in this area and is worth another trip in the future. We're headed to Big Bone Lick State Historic Site for the weekend. Big Bone Lick has some special memories for our family that I'll tel in the next post. Stay tuned.

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