ShelbyKY local: Rachel White

What makes Guist Creek the Perfect Place for First-Time Camping

When I was a kid, my idea of camping was playing with American Girl dolls inside the Little Mermaid tent my dad set up for me in the living room. Although I don’t regret a single adventure I shared with Kit Kitteridge, this summer I got the itch to summon my more outdoorsy side and prove I was tough enough to rough it--to build a tent, start a fire, and sleep under the stars.

So I called my big sister (also a camping virgin) and her former-Boy Scout fiancé (convenient) and reserved Primitive Camping Site #11 at Guist Creek Campground for a weekend adventure.

Whether you’re a camping guru (oh, how I revere you) or you’re like me and borrowing camping equipment from your church basement, I want to tell you the 3 things that made Guist Creek the perfect place to first-time camp and why you should grab a few friends and family members and head for the woods.

  1. The Prime Location

I’ve driven US 60 through Shelbyville thousands of times and never visited the local gem known as Guist Creek Lake. This hideaway is located past Shelby County High, tucked behind stretches of corn and soybean fields.  I didn’t have to drive for hours to find a getaway from the familiar sights of town and rediscover Kentucky’s natural beauty. Also, my heart skipped a beat when I beheld the new Bulleit Distillery right across the street .

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  1.  The Camping Community

I used to think camping meant being in total isolation, but at Guist Creek my family and I were able to enjoy our own private, quiet space (picnic table and fire pit included) without sacrificing having friendly people nearby.  When my friend stopped by with her two toddlers, we met on our walk to the playground other couples with kiddos staying at neighboring sites. But I was most excited that I got to meet Bait Shop Brad, one of the gentlemen who work in the store by the marina.  He answered all my questions about the lake’s famous bass fishing tournaments and later drove out to our campsite to make sure we found it okay.  Before we left, I promised him I’d come back to fish someday soon (one outdoor activity at a time, okay?).

  1.  The People Who Came Along

My first time camping at Guist Creek was great, not because I proved myself to be a capable, independent outdoorswoman, because I didn’t (just ask the couple in the RV lot who watched me try to assemble our tent by myself before my brother-in-law arrived), but so much better, I got uninterrupted time with family and friends.  I had good conversation around a fire, watched my friend’s son taste his first s’more, and giggled with my sister as a raccoon raided our trash in the middle of the night. Sorry, Kit Kitteridge. I’m sold.

As the largest of Shelby County’s water ways Guist Creek Lake is one of its best kept secrets. With fishing, boating and canoeing all available your serene escape to nature will be full of excitement.

So who will you take with you?