Monday, July 27, 2015

A Visit to Barea, KY and a Hike to Anglin Falls…

Passport America, Save 50% on CampsitesWe left Lexington, KY and drove only a short distance south to Renfro Valley RV Park. This is a Passport America Park and allows stays from Sunday to Wednesday for $17.50 per night. They put the Passport America members in their more remote Creekside Park but for the price it can't be beat. We have 50 amp,full hookups and cable. Staying here for three nights easily paid for our Passport America membership. Because of the value we feel every full timer should consider membership to this organization.

Renfro Valley RV Park is part of the larger Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Renfro Valley, KY. It is the self proclaimed "Kentucky Country Music Capital!" The shows are Thursdays thru Saturdays so we Passport America folks can enjoy some inexpensive camping during the off days.

Lexington KY 008Lexington KY 013

Just down the road from Renfro Valley is the small town of Barea, KY. We drove over to Barea to enjoy a stroll around the town. There are some nice historic buildings and a small but very interesting college called Barea College. We parked near the visitor’s center and first explored Berea’s art district. The friendly ladies at the visitors center told us the town hosts a large number artisans and musicians. While we were there a small class had gathered where citizens were learning how to play the dulcimer.

After a bit we headed over to the Berea College which interestingly is the only college I  have ever heard of offering free tuition! It is home to a student crafts program that preserves traditional  Appalachian arts. Founded in 1855 as  the first interracial and coeducational college in the South they offer each student the equivalent of a full-tuition scholarship worth $20,900, or $83,600 for four years! In exchange students are required to work at least 10 hours per week at campus and service jobs. Wow, 10 hours per week of work for free tuition! I sure wish I knew about this place when I was in college.

We also wanted to do a short hike in the John B.Stephenson Memorial Forest State Nature Preserve to find the elusive Anglin Falls.  Since the area recently had a good rain we hoped to catch this waterfall in its full glory. The directions to it are tricky so we were fortunate that the Barea visitors center had a detailed map for us to take along. Even with the map it was tricky and in fact when we turned on the last dirt road (nearly a jeep trail) it appeared as if we were driving to someone's property.  We were relieved to see a trailhead sign a short way down the road along with a small gravel parking lot.

The hike was only a mile in and a mile out with some elevation gain going in. The vegetation in this wooded gorge was lush and thick. The mostly uneven trail meandered along the creek fed by the waterfall. Rated as moderate to strenuous we found nothing strenuous on this hike. Once near the falls we were in for a treat! This 75 foot waterfall (especially after a rain) showers water from high above as the trail ends directly at its base. We really enjoyed this short but very scenic hike…


  1. That's a very pretty waterfall. We're hoping to get back to the land of the waterfalls very soon.

  2. The shows are great and the little shops are fun to wonder through. We bought the dinner/show tickets. The museum is also fun there. Stay an extra night. If you head south, you'll pass Colonel Sanders original museum and store.

  3. Another lovely area to hike. We have not needed a passport America as of yet , maybe this fall we will pick one up.

  4. Depending on how and where you travel, Passport America can save you money. However, if you travel only during high season in the most popular areas, it probably won't. There were several years we never needed one or would have used one. However, with that said, travel plans do change and my recently renewed PA card just arrived in my mailbox. It's ready for fall and winter travel.

  5. I have a cousin who lives in Berea. A couple of years ago we stopped for a visit. Loved visiting the historic section. Even bought a few items at one shop.

    Gotta love P/A. We are in Gettysburg, PA again. This trip our savings is $156.00. Last month while in Florida our savings was $115.50 at one park. Those two alone pays for many years memberships.

  6. If tuition is free, I wonder how they pay the professors?

    1. Hold on to your hat... their endowment was $1.012 billion in 2013!!!