Barren River State Park, KY

Today we rode with Lisa Deavers, a naturalist at Barren River State Park in Western Kentucky. Lisa pointed out the myriad of wildflowers, like the pretty blue phlox, as she explained the history of this area. We would normally get to ride down to the lake, but because of rain, the lake was too high, so we had to stick to the wooded trails. This part of Kentucky was called the Barrens by European settlers who believed that the land was unfit to grow anything. Where today there is forest, there were once tall grasslands. So tall, in fact, that early accounts by settlers say that on horseback they couldn’t even see over the grass. The land wasn’t in fact unfit to grow anything. The Native Americans in the area were practicing controlled burning and keeping the land as grassland. This made it easier for them to see and hunt the bison who once roamed this area. The wooded trails here area serene and close enough to our next destination, Land Between the Lakes, that you could combine to two on a trail riding trip.

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