Shaker Village | Pleasant Hill

The Kentucky River and the Cumberland River had flood warnings in effect for most of the weekend. Osa & I have been doing long runs together on the weekends, and Saturday we went to Veteran's Park in Lexington and got mud up to our knees. So here's some photos of a drier January when we decided to skip town on a Friday afternoon and head to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. 


Shakers were formally known as the "The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing." But they were called Shakers because they liked to get down during worship services. I like them because they believed in equality between the sexes, pacifism, and a communal lifestyle. They also were also craftspeople who built simple furniture and buildings with clean lines and wooden framing. They were also celibate, and eventually this community died out in 1910 after a 105 year run. 

The last Shaker village in the U.S. is Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine. Sister June Carpenter and Brother Arnold Hadd are the remaining two Shakers. 


 The community at Pleasant Hill has over 3000 acres with 37 miles of maintained trail. There are 13 marked multi-use trails, and the East Trailhead allows dogs. Osa and I hiked the 3-mile River Road Trail because we wanted to see the Kentucky River. We also saw wildflowers, possums, little creeks, osage orange trees rotting into petals, blue sky, frozen waterfalls, a long iron bridge, and some late day wheat-colored sun. 


When we got to the bottom of the trail, we found the Dixie Belle Riverboat in red and white glory waiting for passengers and slowly rusting. Osa tried to get on board by the mud on the boat ramp was like quicksand and she sunk her up to her belly.


 The sign reads: "Shaker Landing: At foot of this road is landing purchased by Shakers. 1830. Site made Pleasant Hill  busy river port and ferry crossing. Quality Shaker products left here for downriver markets as far away as New Orleans. During Civil War, ferry confiscated by Federal forces. It was soon retrieved and back in use. By 1873, ferry could transport two wagons and horse teams at each crossing."

Osa and I left as the light was leaving. We drove home over the Kentucky River and along limestone cliffs dripping with meltwater.