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Old 03-12-2021, 06:01 AM
 
52 posts, read 28,698 times
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Hey all!

Our family lives at the corner of Lakes Ontario and Erie. This makes for absolutely incredible summers, but also winters that commonly see months (plural) of no temps above freezing and over the years we’ve had times we’ve run out of places to put the snow (12 feet per year average). This combined with the financial and political troubles of living in NY (though in a culturally different, very rural area 360 miles from “the city”) has us searching for a new home and it’s VERY likely going to be Lexington. We don’t want to give up winter all together, and don’t want summers so hot that we don’t want to go outside, so Kentucky as a state seems perfect. Other than the slightly higher tornado risk.


That said, we spend our summers outside all the time. Our big thing is the lakes and the creek/small lake swimming holes. There is always cold, clear, critter-less water to get in. Strangely our Great Lakes have awesome beaches and we know we’re giving those up, but we’re really hoping to find many wilderness-type cold/cool clear water swimming attractions within an hour or so of Lexington.


Like we do here, we plan to live 25-30 out of downtown (out city is Rochester, it’s much smaller than Lexington and out town is tiny - Spencerport on the Erie canal)


So for a family that is all about hiking and being in water (clear not muddy and ideally cool) from lakes to brooks/waterfalls, what’s there that we would like?


Many thanks

Drew
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Old 03-12-2021, 11:46 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
4,210 posts, read 2,661,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew1987 View Post
Hey all!

Our family lives at the corner of Lakes Ontario and Erie. This makes for absolutely incredible summers, but also winters that commonly see months (plural) of no temps above freezing and over the years we’ve had times we’ve run out of places to put the snow (12 feet per year average). This combined with the financial and political troubles of living in NY (though in a culturally different, very rural area 360 miles from “the city”) has us searching for a new home and it’s VERY likely going to be Lexington. We don’t want to give up winter all together, and don’t want summers so hot that we don’t want to go outside, so Kentucky as a state seems perfect. Other than the slightly higher tornado risk.


That said, we spend our summers outside all the time. Our big thing is the lakes and the creek/small lake swimming holes. There is always cold, clear, critter-less water to get in. Strangely our Great Lakes have awesome beaches and we know we’re giving those up, but we’re really hoping to find many wilderness-type cold/cool clear water swimming attractions within an hour or so of Lexington.


Like we do here, we plan to live 25-30 out of downtown (out city is Rochester, it’s much smaller than Lexington and out town is tiny - Spencerport on the Erie canal)


So for a family that is all about hiking and being in water (clear not muddy and ideally cool) from lakes to brooks/waterfalls, what’s there that we would like?


Many thanks

Drew
The bolded might have something to do with the fact that Lexington merged with its county in 1972 (going into effect in 1974). I'd have to do further googling to see what the square mileage of 'old Lexington city proper' is, but the current dwarfing is skewed by the merger.

--a fellow Western New Yorker
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:26 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,839 posts, read 14,280,608 times
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Drew, once you find a place near Lexington and get settled in, you might want to take a weekend or so and drive to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Ky. This is 170,000 acres between Kentucky Lake, the largest man made lake, by acreage, east of the Mississippi River, and Lake Barkley. "Approximately 100 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."
I go over there every now and then to see how many fish I can't catch and talk to quite a few people from Lexington, Georgetown, and all over that part of the state.
Hope you find what you're looking for.

https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/s...e-bike-trails/

https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/

https://www.explorekentuckylake.com/
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:31 PM
 
52 posts, read 28,698 times
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Thank you both so much!

Basically, I am looking for something similar to Rochester or Buffalo, but farther enough south that the winters aren’t so harsh, yet far enough north that summers aren’t brutal either. Kentucky seems like a fantastic compromise! Bowling Green is extremely appealing for real estate, but probably too small for our business and our children’s future, should they want to stay near us, Louisville almost seems a little bit too big… Of course we need to go down there and spend some time before pulling the trigger. We will absolutely check out those suggestions!!!!
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Old 03-12-2021, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
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You are coming from a really pretty area, but there are some nice areas in Kentucky too, especially if you like wooded natural scenery, waterfalls, etc.
State parks
Daniel Boone Forest
Cumberland falls
Nolin Lake

Taylorsville Lake

Land between the Lakes
Kingdom Come

Kentucky Lake

Natural Bridge
Dale Hollow

Buckhorn State Park
Pine Mountain


But Lexington itself has a few great places.
Raven Run
Jacobson Park
The Arboretum


Several really good wildlife refuges in the area.
It does get really hot and humid here in the summer though.
We don't get anywhere near the amount of snow you all get, but warning it doesn't take much snow here
for people to totally freak out...they can predict two inches of snow and people go crazy and run out and buy
enough groceries to hold them through months!!!

You should make a couple visits though....its the only real way too get a good feel on an area.


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Old 03-13-2021, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Ohio
715 posts, read 510,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew1987 View Post
Thank you both so much!

Basically, I am looking for something similar to Rochester or Buffalo, but farther enough south that the winters aren’t so harsh, yet far enough north that summers aren’t brutal either. Kentucky seems like a fantastic compromise! Bowling Green is extremely appealing for real estate, but probably too small for our business and our children’s future, should they want to stay near us, Louisville almost seems a little bit too big… Of course we need to go down there and spend some time before pulling the trigger. We will absolutely check out those suggestions!!!!
Don’t count Bowling Green out! It’s a great city, anchored by Western Kentucky University and less than one hour away Nashville, TN. I lived in Bowling Green for a short time and absolutely loved it, and the cost of living is outstanding. Mammoth Cave National Park is about 35-40 minutes away and is a great place to not only see the Caves, but also miles upon miles of hiking.

Louisville is about 2 hours North and in a different time zone (Eastern).

People in Bowling Green are welcoming and friendly and the city has a decent Mall and plenty of chain as well as good local restaurants due to the University which brings a lot of students to town in non-Covid times.

Whatever you cannot find in Bowling Green, can be found in Nashville such as excellent medical care, professional sports and of course the Airport.
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Old 03-13-2021, 04:33 PM
 
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There's also Cave Run Lake, located slightly west of Morehead, and just slightly over an hour from Lexington. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the lake offers swimming plus boating of various kinds, and the Appalachian foothills which surround the lake are beautiful all year, especially when the leaves turn in the fall. There are also campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails near the lake.

Closer to Lexington is Herrington Lake, much smaller and surrounded by weekend cabins (plus some permanent homes) which typically have been in the same families for generations.

While the Kentucky River borders Fayette County, I would not advise anyone to go swimming in it. Boating, sure, and there's great hiking nearby - but not swimming, sadly.
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:15 PM
 
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This is all awesome thank you so much! Good to know bowling green is close more or less the ”Nashville area” as my goal is to get us somewhere that if the kids grow up and want to stay near us, they can find their education and career. also, we own a small business and a decent size population is required to keep it alive!

Those natural attractions look awesome! that's the kind of stuff we are into for sure. Pardon the silliness of this, but are any of those water natural swimming spots cold in the summer? Strange but we LOVE the cold clear water up here. There is this creek through the foothills an hour south and they blasted massive (1/2 acer i bet) swimming pools into the bedrock in the 30's when social assistance programs put people to work building parks. On a 90f july day, one will find 53f water! doesnt have to be that cold, but clear and cool is a plus =)

hoping to come down soon and check stuff out
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Old 03-14-2021, 09:29 PM
 
11,921 posts, read 9,850,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew1987 View Post
This is all awesome thank you so much! Good to know bowling green is close more or less the ”Nashville area” as my goal is to get us somewhere that if the kids grow up and want to stay near us, they can find their education and career. also, we own a small business and a decent size population is required to keep it alive!

Those natural attractions look awesome! that's the kind of stuff we are into for sure. Pardon the silliness of this, but are any of those water natural swimming spots cold in the summer? Strange but we LOVE the cold clear water up here. There is this creek through the foothills an hour south and they blasted massive (1/2 acer i bet) swimming pools into the bedrock in the 30's when social assistance programs put people to work building parks. On a 90f july day, one will find 53f water! doesnt have to be that cold, but clear and cool is a plus =)

hoping to come down soon and check stuff out
Many of the creeks in the central Kentucky/Bluegrass Region limestone-based watershed of the Kentucky River are spring-fed, and thus feel cold year-round (though the state lists them as warm-water habitats for fish). Some of these creeks ( the Kentucky State Division of Water classes them as "exceptional waterways" and "outstanding state resources" because of their excellent state of preservation) are clear, cool, and clean enough for wading and swimming, if you can find a deep enough swimming hole, while others are polluted by nearby cattle and horse farms (cattle farms are more likely to be the culprits as most thoroughbred horse farms' managers seem to be more aware of things like this).

Elkhorn Creek is probably the best known and most publicly accessed Bluegrass creek, and a big effort has been made in recent years to improve its condition. It sees lots of kayakers and canoers nowadays, but while it is deep enough for swimming, I wouldn't want to risk it- yet. Maybe after a few more years of clean-up efforts.

Most of these creeks and their surroundings are privately owned (the water in them belongs to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but the rest is mostly private). So - try to find your own getaway, or make friends with someone who owns such property and enjoys company during ordinary times.

Waterways in other parts of the state vary similarly. The Red River is classed as a wild river for part of its run through the Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest, but is more popular for kayaking and canoeing than for swimming. However, its tributaries like Swift Camp Creek are clean enough for wading.

Running along the Fayette-Clark County line, Boone Creek is clean enough for (introduced) trout, but I am not aware of any public access to it for wading and swimming.

If you enjoy cooling off naturally in the summer months, Bowling Green is located within a cave-rich karst area, which includes Mammoth Cave National Park (which has rolling woodlands on the surface) and many privately owned tourist caves, all of which are cool, literally and figuratively.

Glad you're planning a visit - it's still pretty drab here at present, but that will change within the next month, and springtime is beautiful in Kentucky.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:02 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Overall in population Rochester area is more similar to Dayton OH than Lexington. Lexington area is similar in population to Syracuse. In general creek swimming doesn't seem to be as popular down here, maybe due to water being muddy and more snakes. As a child we'd often go and wade in small creeks but never swim in deeper ones. If you like cold clean water best place in KY might be Lake Cumberland tailwaters, very cool and clear even in summer. Near Lexington Elkhorn Creek is the most popular recreational waterway but there isn't a lot of hiking in that area. You might consider Madison Co since it's between Lexington and the edge of the Appalachian foothills. Berea over to Red River Gorge is the main area of hiking near Lexington.
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