Sunday, February 22, 2009

A perfect weekend at Jenny Wiley State Park

Last autumn we took a little weekend trip to the mountains of Kentucky. Our destination was Jenny Wiley State Park deep in the Appalachians of eastern KY. Mountain hiking is not for the faint of heart…or knees! It was hard work. We were there in late October and practically had the park to ourselves. The remote location let us experience deep woodlands without the interference of other people. With over 13.5 miles of trails, there’s a lot to see, and these aren’t city trails of paved cement. They are dirt paths that rim the mountain, and if you’re not careful, you could actually get hurt!

Matthew Riccetti and Rick Riccetti hiking at Jenny Wiley State Park in 2009.
Matty and Rick on a rock outcropping.

Matthew Riccetti and Rick Riccetti hiking at Jenny Wiley State Park in 2009.
Matty and I taking a quick rest after our first morning hike.

Jenny Wiley State Park is a bird-lover’s paradise. I talked to the receptionist while we were there and she said during spring migration the place really comes to life. Speakers and experienced birders provide talks and field walks on the neo-tropical migrants stopping off on their way north, and extra attention is given to the warblers nesting in the park. Apparently American Redstarts nest all along Cabin Road and are a big attraction. She said you can even find Cerulean Warblers fairly easily.

Matthew Riccetti holding a beautiful autumn-colored leaf at Jenny Wiley State Park.
The scenery is wonder spring 
migrants like to stop off or nest here!

Looks like a sapsucker has been here...

This spring, I think we're going to head down for the spring migration. It will be interesting to see the change in the park. I wonder if as the temps rise, the solitude of the place changes.

Having the trails to ourselves was really nice. 

If you go, make sure you bring your camera. 
Photo ops are everywhere...and be sure to grab a map!


Kallen305 said...

Wonderful photos of you and your family Kelly! I love the last one of you with the camera! It sounds splended and can't wait to see the spring migration photos, and yes it will be soon despite the snow you are getting. Have a great Sunday.

Steve said...

Great photos of what looks to be a fantastic place. I'll be keeping an eye out for your spring migration pictures.

Phil and Mandy said...

Hi, I am close in Location to Pittswood Birds in Kent, England. I have only really started birding over the last few months on a regular basis. Was looking at some of your lovely photographs. Regards Phil

Kelly said...

...thanks, guys! I hope we can get down there for spring migration. I'm looking forward to seeing all the warblers again.