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Old 10-21-2019, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Denver suburbs
11 posts, read 4,952 times
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Hi. We currently live in Westminster, Colorado between Denver and Boulder. We enjoy Jeeping offroad, hiking, running, and cycling (without spandex). We also enjoy movies and eating out. Suburb stuff, not city stuff. I hate the city (no offense to awesome cities out there).

We're considering Tennessee (Maryville area), but that's a little close to my mother-in-law for my own comfort, so my husband has recently expanded his search to south- central-Kentucky. There's some beautiful places there, with acreage (appreciated for room to breathe, ability to own horses, and for the garage we'd like, with a lift to work on cars/Jeeps). My concern is it might be a little TOO rural. Are there towns that are not too far from activities in the mountains, and/or areas that have cycling/running paths?

Where we're at (Westminster, CO) is at the top end of my tolerance for population. Denver (where I work) has gotten completely out-of-control population- and traffic-wise. We can't go hiking, or even Jeeping for that matter, without being shoulder-to-shoulder with all the people that've moved here in the last five or so years. Boulder, where I went to high school in the 80s, is awful with the people coming in and buying perfectly good houses, claiming to care about the environment, and then tearing them down to build bigger, "greener" houses.

I'd love to get away from the crowds and hypocrisy, and back to real people, with real values and integrity, and a slower (more affordable) pace of life. (Not saying everyone here at home is yucky - there's just a lot of that around here)

We do need jobs. Husband can work remotely with his current job, unless he finds something local that he likes more (he manages an off-road shop). I'm a small (10 people) law office manager.

Thank you for reading, and for any suggestions of where we might look.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:29 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,217 posts, read 13,702,323 times
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It's a little further west of south central Kentucky, but once you get settled you need to check out the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. 170,000 acres with " Over 500 miles of trails and 200 miles of scenic roads lead to some of the most wonderful spots at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Native wildlife, plants and wildflowers thrive in our woods, fields, and lake shores. Our trail system is extensive, offering a variety of excursion possibilities."
https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/
In this area you won't find any homes or businesses. The TVA cleared it all, mostly by forcing people off their lands, when developing the Kentucky Lake/Lake Barkley area. https://www.kentuckylake.com/
Kentucky Lake is the largest man made lake east of the Mississippi River with plenty of boating, fishing, and swimming.
Hope you find a good place to live in Kentucky!
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:41 PM
 
119 posts, read 69,954 times
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Have you considered other Western metro areas that aren't overwhelming, like Boise, Idaho Falls, St. George, or even close-to-you Cheyenne? Kentucky or Tennessee may--scratch that, will--be a massive cultural and climatological shift for you.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:00 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,217 posts, read 13,702,323 times
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Since nobody else has any suggestions, you might want to check the Hopkinsville/Christian County area.City of Hopkinsville, KY Official Website for Local Government
Visit Hopkinsville
I-24 goes through the county on it's way to Nashville (about 70 miles) where you can hit I-40 towards Maryville. Going through Maryville is the route we take to the Smoky Mountains instead of fighting all the traffic through Knoxville. A much nicer drive.
Christian County is also the home of Ft. Campbell, home base for the 101st Airborne Division. My wife worked there for over 20 years (civilian employee).
The 351 ft. tall Jefferson Davis Monument is located just east of town in Fairview, Ky.
North of Hopkinsville is the Pennyrile Forest State Park with a nice beach, camping, and several hiking and biking trails along with a campground for people with their horses.
We've been well taken care of at Jenny Stuart Hospital many times.
If you're into Jeeps, my step daughter and SIL live in Cadiz, Ky and are members of a Jeep owners club that take rides around the area from time to time. Every now and then they have a little fun in Turkey Bay in the Land Between the Lakes.
https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/s...ls/turkey-bay/
There's about 100 miles of trails for everything from dirt bikes and 4 wheelers to Jeeps and who knows what else. Plenty of mud to go through at times. SIL also works on Jeeps at their home.

Didn't mean to carry on about one area. The Hoptown area is probably more southwest Kentucky.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
7,341 posts, read 5,138,793 times
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Outside of Louisville and Lexington, no city in Kentucky even comes close to the size of Westminster. Bowling Green and Owensboro come in at around 60,000, and once you get past them, every city in Kentucky that isn't adjacent to a larger metro area is going to be in the 30s or smaller. And most of them are going to "feel" a lot smaller than that. So, if you want rural, we have plenty of it for you (as in, KFC closes at 8 PM but Burger King is open until 9). Very few towns of any size have cycling or running paths to speak of - those things just aren't big in Kentucky.

Some towns (maybe even most) have a movie theater, and most towns have at least one or two decent locally owned restaurants, but outside the urban areas you won't find a dining-out scene anything like what you're used to. We live in a town of 18,000 (mid-sized for Ky), and we have an Applebee's, an O'Charley's, and one local restaurant downtown and two or three small lunch-type places. And a couple dozen fast food places.

The area that Kygman suggested is the only part of the state that seems to fit most of what you're asking for. South Central Kentucky is very rural and agricultural, but as you get farther east, the town of Berea is worth considering. It's right on the edge of the Appalachians, and has an offbeat college-town vibe. Great little town; I love it. But again, not much night life at all. Most people in rural Kentucky don't go out much after dark.

You say you want to lose the crowds, so you'll definitely hit the jackpot on that one here. I'm not sure what your idea of "values and integrity" is, but Kentucky is going to be a lot more conservative than your're used to, and a heck of a lot more religious - so if that's what you mean, you're in luck. It's also going to be very much hotter and more humid from April well into October (we hit 90 just last week), so if you're active outdoors, be advised. I do a hell of a lot less hiking since I moved here, and I think that's why running and cycling aren't big here. It's just inhumanly hot if you're used to a cooler and drier climate. I thought it wouldn't matter all that much, because there are occasionally some 80-degree days in the summertime, but man... yeah, it does matter.

I guess that's about it. If you have any more criteria you're wondering about, go ahead and fire some more questions at us.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Denver suburbs
11 posts, read 4,952 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. In-Between View Post
The area that Kygman suggested is the only part of the state that seems to fit most of what you're asking for. South Central Kentucky is very rural and agricultural, but as you get farther east, the town of Berea is worth considering. It's right on the edge of the Appalachians, and has an offbeat college-town vibe. Great little town; I love it. But again, not much night life at all. Most people in rural Kentucky don't go out much after dark.

You say you want to lose the crowds, so you'll definitely hit the jackpot on that one here. I'm not sure what your idea of "values and integrity" is, but Kentucky is going to be a lot more conservative than your're used to, and a heck of a lot more religious - so if that's what you mean, you're in luck. It's also going to be very much hotter and more humid from April well into October (we hit 90 just last week), so if you're active outdoors, be advised. I do a hell of a lot less hiking since I moved here, and I think that's why running and cycling aren't big here. It's just inhumanly hot if you're used to a cooler and drier climate. I thought it wouldn't matter all that much, because there are occasionally some 80-degree days in the summertime, but man... yeah, it does matter.
Thanks so much for the input everyone. I'll look into Berea, and Hopkinsville, Cadiz - closer to the Appalachians is better (for me), but the Land Between the Lakes sounds amazing, too. A dream of mine is to through-hike the Appalachian Trail, GA to ME, some day, after retirement. I'd love to be able to section hike here and there until then.

We don't want to go West, mainly because of the growth in all the areas (and Cheyenne is some place we've gone fairly regularly, and while I like the town, the winters would be too much) and moving east is closer to family.

I'm okay with more conservative (we definitely lean more right than left, but the far reaches of either appalls me), and while not religious myself, I'm okay with more religion and generally prefer it to atheism.

We don't need night life - we were over that a decade ago. We're in bed by 10 every night these days (for the last...long time).

Hot is more or less OK. It just means running/riding before work, instead of after, in the summers. Growing up, the summers in Michigan were no joke heat/humidity-wise. The summers were short, but holy cow hot and humid. Husband grew up in NW Alabama, so is also okay with the summers. I hear allergies in KY aren't as bad as they are in AL, too, which if true, is a bonus.

We prefer rural, and would like to have the movies, Applebee's/Chipotle, whatever, within a half hour drive or so (ish). With a house and land and a shop/garage/lift, we will have far less reason to leave the house than we do now. If we have to choose suburbs and potential HOAs over rural to keep that 30 minutes access criteria, we'll forgo the access and stick with rural.

I'm assuming jobs are going to be in the more urban-y areas, so we'll have to consider that (well, me, anyway - husband can work sales from home with his current company). I absolutely don't mind driving (we're car nuts and enjoy it) but prefer not to be stuck in traffic.

One new thing I thought of - what are car insurance rates like there? I did some Googling, and it looks like they're on the high side? By way of example, the average for us (with our youngest son a 17 year old drive on our policy) is $100/mo per vehicle. Our newest car is a 2014. Oldest is 2011. Nothing's super pricey. I'm going to call my insurance provider, but thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone has any tips.

We are talking at this point about selling our house and taking a month traveling the area to see what we like, based on suggestions and research, so we know where to look for a house, and jobs. Wherever we wind up, I want to want to stay there for good.

Thank you again for the responses; I really appreciate it!!
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Old 10-23-2019, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
912 posts, read 1,355,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COHeather View Post
Thanks so much for the input everyone. I'll look into Berea, and Hopkinsville, Cadiz - closer to the Appalachians is better (for me), but the Land Between the Lakes sounds amazing, too. A dream of mine is to through-hike the Appalachian Trail, GA to ME, some day, after retirement. I'd love to be able to section hike here and there until then.

We don't want to go West, mainly because of the growth in all the areas (and Cheyenne is some place we've gone fairly regularly, and while I like the town, the winters would be too much) and moving east is closer to family.

I'm okay with more conservative (we definitely lean more right than left, but the far reaches of either appalls me), and while not religious myself, I'm okay with more religion and generally prefer it to atheism.

We don't need night life - we were over that a decade ago. We're in bed by 10 every night these days (for the last...long time).

Hot is more or less OK. It just means running/riding before work, instead of after, in the summers. Growing up, the summers in Michigan were no joke heat/humidity-wise. The summers were short, but holy cow hot and humid. Husband grew up in NW Alabama, so is also okay with the summers. I hear allergies in KY aren't as bad as they are in AL, too, which if true, is a bonus.

We prefer rural, and would like to have the movies, Applebee's/Chipotle, whatever, within a half hour drive or so (ish). With a house and land and a shop/garage/lift, we will have far less reason to leave the house than we do now. If we have to choose suburbs and potential HOAs over rural to keep that 30 minutes access criteria, we'll forgo the access and stick with rural.

I'm assuming jobs are going to be in the more urban-y areas, so we'll have to consider that (well, me, anyway - husband can work sales from home with his current company). I absolutely don't mind driving (we're car nuts and enjoy it) but prefer not to be stuck in traffic.

One new thing I thought of - what are car insurance rates like there? I did some Googling, and it looks like they're on the high side? By way of example, the average for us (with our youngest son a 17 year old drive on our policy) is $100/mo per vehicle. Our newest car is a 2014. Oldest is 2011. Nothing's super pricey. I'm going to call my insurance provider, but thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone has any tips.

We are talking at this point about selling our house and taking a month traveling the area to see what we like, based on suggestions and research, so we know where to look for a house, and jobs. Wherever we wind up, I want to want to stay there for good.

Thank you again for the responses; I really appreciate it!!
Well, the Appalachians are in Eastern Kentucky, most people around here seem to forget that...and I know everything you have heard about Eastern Kentucky is all negative but, it ain't all true....I don't care what Mr. in-between, and any number of others may say. And, I'm sure they will all be along shortly to prove me wrong, yet again. But, that's not what you are here for. Since I've opened my big mouth again....I'll suggest London, Corbin, Somerset, Williamsburg and other towns in the area. These areas are in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest...plenty hiking, fishing (several Lakes), jeepers paradise, off road parks, trails. It's rural but, not the end of the world like most would lead you to believe. I-75 is an easy access in just a few minutes to go North or South...and Ky. Hwy 80 (sometimes known as the Hal Rogers parkway formerly the Daniel Boone Parkway) going East and West. London is my choice for your needs as you have given us, fitting almost every category. And, it's only about 30 miles South of Berea. I have lived and worked in Eastern Kentucky all my life and that's been.....uh several years now. Don't take my word for it...check it out for your self.

The best of luck to you, what ever you decide.


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Old 10-24-2019, 09:48 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,217 posts, read 13,702,323 times
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COHeather, you mentioning the Appalachian Trail reminded me of a pastor that was at our church for several years. Every year he took a 2 week vacation to hike the Trail. Said he took those two weeks where it was just him and the Lord. The next year he picked up where he stopped the year before, and made it all the way through. Might be a way for you to try to tackle the Trail.
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Old 10-24-2019, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Denver suburbs
11 posts, read 4,952 times
Reputation: 14
hogsrus, thanks so much for that info. I will check those towns out. I was kind of eyeballing the eastern third of the state, south of Lexington. Kind of hard to determine exactly via topographical map. I'm hoping we'll visit in January or so to get a better in-person idea of the areas we are investigating - but this input is very helpful in figuring out where to start investigate.

kygman, that is such a great story, and kind of what I'm hoping for. My husband isn't exactly a hiker (or any sort of physical activity-er, really, though unfairly he is built like a long-time distance runner even at middle-age) but has mentioned a willingness to section hike with me.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:12 PM
 
10,998 posts, read 9,227,824 times
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Might want to check out schools, if your 17 year old son is not yet in college. Moving during or just prior to one's senior year can be very, very difficult.

Also, be aware that many tourist oriented places here close down in January - museums do their heavy cleaning then, and it's the coldest, snowiest month of the year in Kentucky. Good time to hunker down, build a fire, make soup, and read those books you've postponed. Not the best time to visit, and snowstorms may affect road conditions.

Berea is a great town, and it does have some nightlife - with local and college theater, traditional music and dance being highlights, along with several restaurants which keep late hours. It's also just 12 miles down the road from Richmond, home to Eastern State University and a wider range of activities, and about 45 minutes' drive from Lexington, which offers all manner of entertainment, in addition to medical care and sports.

And of course, Berea is not only the Arts and Crafts Capitol of Kentucky, but is home to Berea College, which plays a very major role in the town. Admission to Berea College is very, very select, as Berea was founded for education of "mountain youth", whose parents' income must fall below a certain amount (which varies according to the number of family members), while requiring high grades and test scores. There is no tuition, but all students must work at least 10 hours per week. Berea has a huge endowment and is consistently on lists of best colleges in the U.S.

As for hiking, Indian Fort Mountain is about five miles from the center of town, and has numerous trails to the top of the mountain. Anglin Falls, a nature preserve south of town, offers what feels like a primeval forest, with ferns and mosses and a spectacular waterfall at the head of the hollow. Indian Fort Mountain also hosts craft fairs each year. Berea was originally built on the last ridge (foothill, really) of the Cumberland Mountains, but of course the town has expanded over the years. Still, the mountains are right there, to the east and south of town.
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