Carter Caves State Park

A few weeks ago we took a small vacation to Carter Caves, a Kentucky state park located in Olive Hill, just east of Morehead. When looking for a place to go a couple months ago, we chose Carter Caves because there was so much to do there!

One of the best things they have to do their is their hiking trails. There are a lot of natural arches, creeks, and native wildflowers.

The day we arrived there was a thunderstorm, so we couldn’t do anything but sit at our primitive campsite and play cards, which was okay with me to give myself permission to just take a break!

The next day we woke up early and went on a bird call walking tour. Our guide took us on a short trail where we listened to different birds and learned how to identify their calls. A few birds we learned about was the Eastern Wood PeWee that of course makes its call like ‘pe-a-wee’, and the Red Eyed Vireo which sounds like “Look Up, Look Down”. Earlier at our campsite we saw a Red Headed Woodpecker, which makes a sharp sounding ‘weah’!

That afternoon we went on the Saltpeter Cave tour where we learned how the cave had been mined in the 1800s for saltpeter (which is bat droppings!), which was made into gun powder for the French & Indian War.

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After the cool cave tour, we went hiking on some of the trails. While hiking we saw wild petunia and wild native bee balm. The bee balm looks so much more dainty growing wild out in the woods than our cultivated varieties of bee balm back home in our garden.

Later on in the hike was saw Raven Arch, which is an amazing arch that you’ll wonder how it’s still standing like that.

After hiking in the heat and humidity we went and swam at the park’s pool.IMG_2648IMG_2642

The next morning we went on another tour, but at Smokey Lake for a canoe trip! We met the group of folks that was going on the tour with us, then drove down to the lake to unload the canoes and go on our tour. We saw some turtles and a great blue heron and lots of nice scenery. We hope to go back to Carter Caves for some more cave tours, horseback riding, and put put golf!

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