What a nice campground John James Audubon State Park turned out to be. The Audubon Museum and Visitor Center that are here in the park are very picturesque especially with the backdrop of autumn leaves just beginning to turn. We spent quite some time just soaking in the view and watching the light illuminate the buildings and the grounds. Tearing ourselves away we decided to resume our plan to hike to Wilderness Lake. There are many large and ancient hardwood trees shading the path full of birds gathering for their great migration. Titmice, Robins and Tanagers were flitting about. We paused several times upon our hike to watch the activities of these birds.
The trail began as a paved pathway and turned into a rocky dirt path with some hilly elevation changes. Near the lake we saw a leopard frog and a fuzzy caterpillar we just had to admire. Thankfully he posed quite nicely for a photo as did a butterfly or two. A note of caution about fuzzy caterpillars is that many of them will possess some stinging spines hidden just under this so called fur… Some of these urticating hairs carry quite a bit of a toxin that can provide for a lot of discomfort if you get “stung” by them… I know this from past experience!
We pretty much had the trail all to ourselves so it was a leisurely and very enjoyable hike with near perfect weather for walking. The unspoiled lake was quiet and serene. Turtles were everywhere sunning on logs looking quite content. Probably as content as we feel when reclining in our anti-gravity chairs back at camp!
As we looped back to the visitor center where the car was parked we took a side trail near a lake where we found a Live Bait machine… never saw one of these before!!! We also discovered a small challenge course near the parking lot so we got on some of the elements and tried our skills out as Sharon has never been on one of these courses. But alas we needed to refuel with lunch for our planned afternoon adventure in the small nearby town of Henderson Kentucky.
Henderson has a nice historical walk in their city brochure highlighting some beautiful homes built in the 1800’s In addition there are sculptured replicas of Audubon prints that on occasion have a fun extra hidden critter sculpted into each piece. This scavenger hunt intrigued us so we mapped a route to combine these two activities. The historic neighborhoods and the sculptures provided us a fun diversion. Although we had to really scour the sculptures we found items such as hidden rhinoceros beetle, snake, ,turtle, fossils, bat and a frog.
The entire walk encompassed about 15 city blocks so we got a real feel for the town and met a few friendly townspeople. Oddly most of the eateries and bars were closed which we found odd for a Tuesday but we could tell that this town seems very much alive and well. One of our favorite houses was famous for being part one of Sharon’s favorite movies, A League of their Own starring Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie McDonald. Interestingly our Newton friends told us a friend of theirs had helped with an inside remodel of the home. It was really beautiful as were all of the historic homes in this neighborhood.
Back at the State Park we enjoyed more bird watching and conversations with our friendly Kentucky neighbor who wanted to share more sights he wanted us to see in his beloved state. We are so glad we found this campground gem as we really enjoyed not only the park but also nearby Evansville Indiana across the Ohio river and Henderson Kentucky this side of the river. However it is time to move on down the road…..next stop was Nashville where we are now staying at the Country RV Resort just north of the city…