Imagine a gorgeous ride in the country... Just far enough so you're away from the traffic jams, the big box stores, and from the houses on top of one another. As you leave the highway, the temperature drops a few degrees as the trees shade the curvy roads. The radio station fades as you lose civilization. You might as well turn it off and listen to the birds and the trees.
Turn left at the ponies and sheep. The Gotland Ponies and Lincoln Longwool sheep, respectively, graze over 150 acres of Kentucky rolling hills and forest. Unspoiled. Organic. Natural. It's a family farm where we raise rare breeds of livestock: Nothing fancy, just “working stock.” The ponies ride and drive (and oh yes, they're available for driving lessons – singles or pairs!). The herd began here as just seven, and has now grown to become the largest herd in North America. They're gorgeous, just out grazing and meandering around with the sheep. The Lincoln Longwools are amazing. They grow an inch of wool a month. Handspinners love their wool. It's long, lustrous and sturdy. (And we can teach you to spin it, too!) In the barnyard, several breeds of heritage chickens and turkeys scurry about. They provide fresh eggs and timely wake-up calls. The coffee maker is in the kitchen.
Please join us for a great getaway. It's not your typical hotel. The sheets are dried on the line in the fresh air, and much of the food comes from the farm. The dishes might not match. But the beds are comfy, the kitchen is stocked, and there's a loaf of homemade bread and a bowl of fruit on the counter! Welcome to Kentucky.
Once you cross the bridge over the creek, you'll be greeted by the pups -- Reba, the huge white Great Pyrenees, who protects the sheep, and Truman, the happy Australian Shepherd, who might someday learn to herd them. Meanwhile, he loves to play ball with the kids.
The Carriage House is next to the house, and the suite is upstairs. On the right is the bedroom, with queen bed, full futon (couch or bed), dresser and a reading chair. The window overlooks the vegetable garden and the upper barn pasture, where you'll usually find horses frolicking. On the left is the kitchen/living room, with sofa, twin futon, table and chairs, refrigerator, sink and microwave. It'll be stocked with fresh fruit, coffee and tea, and staples you might need if you choose to cook while you're here (like flour, sugar, butter, oatmeal, cereal, and those fabulous eggs!). The bathroom is small -- just a shower, sink and toilet. No frills, but everything you need! And there's an air conditioner if you want it.
What to do? While you're here, you're welcome to hike around the 150 acres we call home. There's about 60 wooded acres you can wend your way through, or you can walk the rural roads. If weather permits, you can arrange a driving lesson with the local pony residents (single or pair), or learn to spin some of that gorgeous Lincoln wool into yarn.
That's about it... there is a DVD player if you'd like to watch a movie (and we have wireless internet!), but be prepared for no TV, and your cell phone probably won't work here either. You are welcome to use the house phone if you need to be in touch with civilization. We do stock a supply of books, magazines and movies.
Location: Kokovoko is halfway between Lexington and Cincinnati (about 35 miles from either), 20 miles from Georgetown, 15 miles from Cynthiana, and 5 miles from Corinth Lake. I suggest you follow my directions rather than the ones to be found on the internet. It seems they've never been here! And of course you're just a half hour from the Kentucky Horse Park or the Toyota plant in Georgetown.
Remember, if you choose to stay a few days, the kitchen is there to cook meals. The fridge is small, but has a freezer, so you can bring food with you and cook here if you like.
The spinning and driving lessons are an additional charge and will depend on weather and timing.... Details on request.
Smoking is allowed only outside, please. There is a fire circle if you'd like to have a campfire/cookout.
Note: getaway means isolated. Really! Georgetown and Cynthiana are each about a half hour away, and they are the nearest towns. Just so you're prepared.
You can hike over 300 acres, some hilly, some wooded, some hayfields, some pastures. Depending on your wishes, you can help feed or brush ponies, collect eggs, etc. There's a Webber charcoal grill for you to cook on, and a fire circle to gather around in the evenings.
Horses are off limits if I'm not around, but you can hike or play on the whole farm. And the kids love to play in the creek!
Interaction with Guests
Schedule permitting, I'm happy to give you a farm tour. For safety reasons, I need to accompany you if you're near the animals. I'm happy to help make the kids comfortable on the farm, or give an educational tour to anyone.
If you want to be on your own, that's fine too.
This isn't a neighborhood. It's a farm in a very rural area. Don't plan on going out for fast food while you're here.... The nearest meal is 20 minutes away! So is the nearest beer. So bring any necessities with you!
There is no public transport. If you're flying in, you'll need to rent a car.
Once here, I'm happy to give you a carriage ride if it's a driving day!
Other Things to Note
I provide basics in the kitchen... Butter, oil, eggs, flour, oatmeal, sugar, some fruit, coffee and tea. I try to keep some crackers and cookies, but can't guarantee they will be to your taste.
You will need to bring food if you're staying a couple days. There is not a store in Sadieville or Corinth, the two nearest towns. Ask before your visit and I'll be happy to direct you to nearby resources!
Cleaning fee only applies to single night stay. Contract/lease available for perusal prior to arrival. Agreement must be signed and full payment made prior to stay.
Your animals by private arrangement only and at additional charge. Due to the nature of the farm and animals, dogs must be leashed or crated at all times.
This is a real, working farm. Please be prepared for farm conditions like mud, dirt, animal noises and outdoor activity! No guarantees on weather...
No shoes upstairs, please. We try to keep the barnyard out of the bedroom!
The guest house was very comfortable. Leslie was extremely nice and low-key. The ponies are adorable!!!
Our family loved every minute of our stay with Leslie. If you want to get up close and personal with nature and animals, like we do, you can't go wrong. Leslie was generous and accommodating in every way. Her Swedish ponies are gentle and loving, and the carriage house apartment had everything we needed. We enjoyed our visit to the Kentucky Horse Park, but as my son Julian said, "Being on the farm was so much better." We also loved spending time with Leslie's sweet dogs, especially Reba, who enjoyed some special grooming attention.
Leslie was kind and generous as a hostess, we couldn't have asked for a nicer experience on that level. We arrived late and not realizing how isolated the location was,had not shopped for groceries and came with no plans for dinner - and she shared hers with us, and provided additional items like cheese & crackers. Homemade bread, eggs, milk, coffee, tea and a bowl of fruit were already there so we could have gotten by, but her dumpling stew was delicious and much appreciated.
Furthermore, with plans to spend a day at the Kentucky Horse Park, my camera battery charger was nowhere to be found and Leslie offered to let me borrow her very nice camera, I just used my own memory card and it worked great. She really did her best to meet our needs!
The apartment above her double garage (not sure it's properly called a carriage house) was comfortable even in the unexpectedly chilly/rainy weather, but we did not have enough good weather to enjoy getting to know and drive the ponies, which I had looked forward too, At least they were visible from the windows, and the dogs were very friendly too.
The shower (and water in the kitchen sink) unfortunately has a very strong sulphur odor which made showering unpleasant - a fan or ventilation in the bathroom might have made it better.
Anyway the location is definitely "out in the country" and rustic; since we have a little farm ourselves it felt familiar but some people may prefer a more urban setting.
It is close enough to the KHP to make getting there easy, and Leslie's directions were helpful and accurate.
From the moment we stepped out of our car at Leslie's home we felt at home. She and her three dogs came to greet us. Leslie was easy to talk to and our two sons , ages 4 and 1 1/2, immediately found companions in her dogs. Leslie provided plenty of time for my horse loving daughter to spend with her ponies. All of the kids enjoyed the chickens, turkeys, sheep and peacock. The two room apartment above the carraige shed was cozy for a family of five but provided everything that we needed. The stay at Leslie's provided a much needed change of pace from motels for my family.
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I'm down to earth, love good food and people, and love to travel. I live in a very rural area of central Kentucky, where I also have a B&B, halfway between Lexington and Cincinnati, just a half hour north of the KY Horse Park.
I love the idea of staying with others rather than in a big hotel devoid of personality! Hosting is also a favorite pastime.