This weekend I had the pleasure to enjoy some of Kentucky’s many outdoor sites. I hiked in Clay Hill Memorial Forest. This 250 acre forest was given to the commonwealth by the Sander’s family who believed that responsible ownership of land was important. Today, the forest serves as research center for the local University as well as recreation and renewal. The story I read stated that the first owners bought the property in 1795 and grew the farm from 300 to 4,000 acres.
We walked a short trail and saw the various types of trees and little Eco centers available for study. Small ponds and water areas are homes to a vast array of fowl and creatures. There are several varieties of tree and flowers and all kinds of things to make you just look and say “Oh”. As we walked, the color of the leaves in all their Autumn splendor was captivating. The cool, crisp, clean fall air was exhilarating. The sunset from inside the tall trees cast shadows of light and dark on the branches and set a tone of tranquility and peace. It was definitely a walk of renewal and splendor. As we walked along, we discussed the glory of nature and enjoyed the cabins and the areas of study and learning they had set up.
As the endorphin’s kicked in to continue our trek, I felt a sense pf peace. I thought, how wonderful it is to find a new hobby and maybe this could be one for me to try. And I realized the best hobbies are the ones which take us out of our comfort zone. The ones that encourage us to grow and stretch and learn and discover. I don’t know if my body will be up for scaling the highest mountains, but I do know that these leisurely walks in the height of our seasons splendor are exactly what I was looking for. I felt refreshed, renewed and more alive than I had felt in a very long time.
The friends I brought with me to share in this after noon journey, enjoyed it as much as I did. And their small daughter certainly enjoyed her run through the trails. As she and my dog ran up ahead of us, the dog running in circles around her, she would squeal with delight and laughter at their antics. It is a place where we still have many more trails to blaze and many more seasons yet to experience it.
Image via Kentucky Tourism