21 May Farming Tour or Molly’s First Brick
Start at Public Parking Lot in Shelbyville on Main Street between the Shelbyville Heritage Center (627 Main St) and VFW Post 1179
|Left on Washington St||0||0|
|Right on 7th Street||0||0|
|Straight Thru Flashing Light||.5||.5|
|7th Street becomes Burks Branch Rd|
|Straight across Freedom’s Way||1.7||2.3|
|Left on Fox Run Rd||2.5||4.8|
|Right on Orphan’s Lane||.6||5.4|
|Left on Geoghegan||1.9||7.3|
|Left on La Grange Rd (KY53)||1.3||8.6|
|Right on Aiken||.3||8.9|
|Right on Dover||.9||9.8|
|Stop Dover Baptist Church||1.4||11.2|
|Right Hinkle Lane||.7||11.9|
|Left on LaGrange Rd (KY53)||3.0||14.9|
|Bear Right KY 322||.2||15.1|
|Right on Drane Lane||.7||15.8|
|Right on Eminence Pike (KY 55)||3.4||19.2|
|Left on Narrow Gage||.7||19.9|
|Right on Mulberry (Name of Road Not Marked)||2.8||22.7|
|Cross Washburn Intersection||1.4||24.1|
|Stop Mulberry Orchard||.6||24.7|
|Right on Bellview at the Stop Sign (name of Rd is not marked)||1.2||25.9|
|Go straight at Washburn Intersection||1.7||27.6|
|Bear slightly to the left at the unmarked intersection of Bellview and Clear Creek||1.1||28.7|
|Left on Eminence Pike (KY55)||2.6||31.3|
|Right on Freedom’s Way||.2||31.5|
|Left on Burks Branch Rd||1.5||33.0|
|Straight Thru Blinking Light on to 7th St||1.9||34.9|
|Cross Washington St||.5||35.4|
|Left on Main St||.0||35.4|
|Left into Parking Lot||.0||35.4|
Summary: Two thirds of this ride is single lane country roads with minimal traffic and showcases some of the best farm land in the state. It is a great group ride and includes a couple of scenic stops. It is also perfect for riders who have been tackling 20 milers and want to move up. Just follow the motto: “Go Slow, Go All Day.”
Farming Background. At one time Shelby County was the Number One Dairy and Number Two Tobacco County in Kentucky. We won’t talk about where it ranked in hemp production. As recently as 1980 there were over 400 dairy farms in the county. Now there are less than 10 and you go by three of them on this ride.
This was the first brick Ironwoman Molly Winke ever did. After running 6 miles along Burks Branch Road, we climbed on our bikes and headed out from Clear Creek Park. Why was in notable. Molly whined about being hungry the entire way, and all we had were gels. So, whenever we take this ride we “Pack a Snack”.
Places of Note Along the Way:
Clear Creek Park
About a mile into your ride you will skirt Clear Creek Park A portion of which borders Clear Creek. There are several dirt trails you can hike or run along the south side of the creek where Native American tribes and early settlers use to camp. When they were building the Park softball fields and ampitheatre in this area they found remains of pottery, flint and animal bones from 350AD-750AD. This was probably a location for hunting camp sites and not permanent villages.
As you cross Clear Creek and head up the hill you will see some of Snowhill Nursery’s plantings on the right. This wholesale nursery surrounds the park and is one of the largest businesses of its type in the state.
3.2 miles into your ride on your left you will pass a sign “Shadowland.” As I ride by, I always wonder: “C.S. Lewis in Shelby County,?????”
Fox Run Road
Note the old log cabin up on the hill at mile 5.7 into your ride, just before you cross Fox Run Creek and turn onto Orphan’s Lane.
Dover Baptist Church
Take a break at Dover Baptist Church (11.2 miles) which was founded in 1812. This building was constructed in 1887 with a subscription of $1,006 from its 95 members. There are stories of the pastor trying to read his sermon in the total darkness before electric lights were installed 1n 1939. The church has always had an active dedicated congregation and has been added onto several times, most recently in 1989.
We saw a bobcat in the wild was on 322 (15.7 miles), in the field to the right just before you get to Drane Lane. There is a stuffed one at the Park, and that is the only reason we knew it was a Bobcat.
The three dairy farms on this ride are at 18.6 miles, 21,8 miles, and 26.1 miles. Why have the farms disappeared? Shelby County Farms averaged about 30 milkers. Today, they milk 30,000 a day at Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana.
Stop for a Farm Visit (24.7)
Mulberry Orchard is a great place to stop in the summer. The owners are big supporters of cycling events in Shelby County. Matt Gajdzik is a first generation farmer, and Amanda comes from multiple generations of family farms in Shelby County. They started farming cattle together when they were dating and continued to expand after they got married. They now farm corn, soybeans, burley tobacco, hay, cattle, apple trees, peach trees, pumpkins, and a hemp patch all while operating the market and kitchen.
The Gajdziks planted over 3,000 apple and peach trees in early 2010. The orchard currently has 17 varieties of peaches and 16 of apples so everyone can find their favorites. Make sure you try the homemade donuts and apple cider.