Mountain Biking

Pennyrile Trifecta

The Pennyrile State Park trifecta – biking, kayaking and hiking. The Pennyrile Forest State Park Resort in western Kentucky provided the opportunity to partake in three of my favorite activities.

Mountain Biking
The mountain bike trails meander through Pennyrile Forest State Park Resort.

As the Fall Equinox approached, the waning days of summer made its presence known with temperatures nearing 100 degrees and an oppressive humidity. As I started to explore this state park I quickly realized the potential. During my Circle South Dakota days this summer, I enjoyed the quality of their state parks, and I have been equally impressed with the state parks in Kentucky.

The name Pennyrile alone was intriguing, and I soon learned that this region was know for the prolific Pennyroyal plant. A little aromatic plant that settlers to this area made into a medicinal tonic. Either it is not as prolific as it once was, or I was not looking in the right areas, but I never knowing laid eyes on this elusive Pennyroyal plant. You can get the seeds here: Pennyroyal Seeds

Pennyrile Lake
The water was surprisingly clear. Rocks and plants could be seen under water.

Mountain Biking Pennyrile

There are five interconnected trails at Pennyrile State Park designated for mountain biking with a total distance of just over seven miles. It was apparent the trails were not frequently used and slightly overgrown.

Kayaking the small lake provided another perspective on the surrounding scenery. There were no technically difficult obstacles, but the sections of long up hill were tough. Burning thighs forced me off a couple times before I reached the top.

Here’s a video of  the Pennyrile Trifecta – Biking, Hiking and Kayaking Pennyrile State Park in Kentucky:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr. written in P.S. I Love Yo (1991):

Brad Saum
Completely shaded and an early morning start made for an enjoyable ride. My favorite mountain bike trails remain those at Tanglewood in Clemmons, North Carolina.

Kayaking Penyrile

The man made lake sits among the limestone and sandstone surrounded by forest in western Kentucky.The fifty six acre lake presented ideal conditions for kayaking. A sandy area for launching, no motorized boats, and lots of different little areas to explore. The lake was shockingly clear. I could see perhaps ten to twenty feet down into the water.

There is exposed limestone rock on the hillsides, small areas completely engulfed in water lilies, and wide open areas with essentially no current. Weekday, school in session, end of summer vacations and whatever other

Pennyrile State Park
The man made lake sits among the limestone and sandstone surrounded by forest in western Kentucky.

reasons presented me with an entire lake to explore by myself.

It was a very comfortable paddle at Pennyrile Lake, hot day and cool water. Not as epic as kayaking Syvlan Lake in the Black Hills, but still lots of fun!

Hiking Pennyrile

The hiking trail that encircles the lake at Pennyrile State Park produced something new around each corner and just lured me into continuing.

An initial climb up onto the limestone results in beautiful views of this quaint little lake. And then a small

Pond Lilies
The pond lilies were blooming adding a spark of color to the surface of the water.

cypress forest emerges with feelings of Louisiana bayous. I was nearly expecting to see an alligator among the cypress knees that were poking up all around. Here’s an interesting read: Carving Cypress Knees: Creating Whimsical Characters from One of Nature’s Most Unique Woods

Cypress trees and knees growing in a Kentucky swamp.

Along the west side of the lake, I startled a large bird, or more accurately it startled me as it took flight. Unfortunately it jetted off directly into the sun, and I could not get a good look. Striking similarities to a bald eagle, which are found in small numbers around here, but I can’t be certain. I’ve only seen one other blad eagle in the wild, so this may been wishful thinking.

Pennyrile Lake
The lake at Pennyrile Forest State Park Resort creates a beautiful scene.

On the trials and tribulations front, I wore shorts while biking and somewhere thrashing through the overgrown trail I apparently discovered poison ivy. Got my legs pretty good, but nothing some Benadryl and hydrocortisone can’t beat over a few days.

Still in Kentucky, but I’m gradually starting to make my way south. My journey of living and traveling full time in an RV remains a positive experience and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Other notes:

I received questions about how I transport my mountain bike: RV Bike Rack

If you missed a video tour of my RV, it’s here: RV Tour

Feel free to connect with me:

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