Shaker Village hosts an hour-long riverboat cruise down the Kentucky River and back. It’s a relaxing way to spend an hour, learn more about the area and enjoy the lush and wild landscape.
About a 5 minute drive from the Village, turn off the main road at sight of the Riverboat sign. Then cautiously follow the narrow snaking road hedged with wild overgrowth and limestone cliffs to an open area near the boat landing. Though you’ll want to be cautious around a handful of blind turns, it’s unlikely you’ll run into oncoming cars since the landing is the sole destination of the road and the tours are regularly spaced.
Shaker Landing was purchased by the Shakers of Harrodsburg in 1830 and was used extensively for trade along the river. Well known for producing high quality products, Shakers used the river route to get prices as much as five times their local prices from consumers as far off as New Orleans.
The hour-long ride on the Dixie Belle passes under High Bridge, along side summer homes and deep into a nature preserve teeming with wildlife. We were fortunate enough to see a train pass overhead just as we started off on our journey.
Informative (and occasionally clever) commentary accompanies the outbound trip, offering insights about the history, wildlife and natural features of the area. On the way back, enjoy the quiet of the surroundings, get a drink or ask questions of the tour host, who we found genuinely eager to offer insights.
We were told of deer that cross the river in the quiet of early morning, numerous snakes and river otters that call this place home. We we were fortunate to spot turtles sunning themselves on large tree branches emerging from the river as well as a vulture scanning the area from a high branch.
After landing we noticed little black bugs darting across the river surface in large groups. Known locally as ‘water bugs’, they looked like animated watermelon seeds.