River Boat Ride in Shakertown, Pleasant Hill KY

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Shakertown is about a 25 miles west of Lexington.  There are several things to do there including touring the grounds, hiking, and a riverboat ride! Tickets for the boat ride can be purchased at the main ticket office. You can board the Dixie Belle after a short drive down to the river. On this nice day there were quite a few people out for the ride. We learned that due to high waters, the boat ride had been cancelled earlier in the week. You can see in the photo the river had high waters.

After everyone settled in on the boat, our tour guide headed us down the river. He spoke about High Bridge, a very very high bridge that is used for railroads. We learned that the man who built the Brooklyn Bridge designed the first High Bridge, which was built in 1877. A second one had to be built in order to hold the weight of newer, larger trains. He also told us about High Bridge Park, which used to be a big destination for people to come for shows, gambling, and the like back in the 1930s. People used to be able to take a train from Cincinnati and spend the day here for $1.

The rest of our ride then took us down the Kentucky River and the Palisades, a very tall cliff following along the river. We also passed the confluence of the Dix River. A few miles from this confluence is a hydroelectric dam and Herrington Lake. Here there is a large dam which makes the lake very deep, thus making the water in the Dix River quite cold. This includes what type of fish can be found in the lake.

We then went up a little further and our guide spoke about periods of flooding through history. We saw some evidence of flood waters reaching so high, they left houses tucked in some cliffs way up along the palisade. We also learned about different wildlife you can see along the banks- deer, coyote, turtles (which is all we saw), bobcats, and even wild goats! Lastly, our guide told us about their escapade down the river when the flood swept the Dixie Belle from the dock and over a dam! They had to drive the boat back since it had crossed over the dam.

 

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