Flat and Fast to Bagdad (Two Return Options)

Start at Public Parking Lot in Shelbyville on Main Street between the Shelbyville Heritage Center (627 Main St) and VFW Post 1179

Miles Total Miles

Left on Washington St 0 0
Right on 7th Street 0 0
Right on Eminence Pike (2268) .5 .5
Cross KY 55 straight on to Cropper Rd  (KY 43) 1.2 1.7
Straight on KY 12 4.4 6.1
Left on Elmsburg Rd (395) 4.9 11.0
Left into B&N Market .1 11.1
Right out of B&N Market on to Elmsburg Rd  (395) .0 11.1
Right on Vigo Rd (1005) 1.0 12.1

 

Flat and Fast Return

From Right on Vigo Rd 0 12.1
Left on Cropper Rd (KY43) 6.5 6.5
Straight Across KY55 on to Eminence Pike (2268) 1.6 20.2
Left on 7th Street 1.3 21.5
Left on Main Street .6 22.1
Left into the Public Parking Lot 0 22.1

 

Challenging But Rewarding Return

From Right on Vigo Rd 0 12.1
Left on Beard 3.3 15.4
Right on Benson Rd  (1779) 1.7 17.1
Continue on Benson Rd Straight Thru 1871 Intersection 3.7 20.8
Bear Right Toward KY 55 1.5 22.3
Cross KY 55 into Parking Lot with Taco Bell on your left .2 22.5
Go straight keeping Rural King to your right and pass Rural King .0 22.5
Bear to the left and go down the hill .2 22.7
Right on Washington St .1 22.8
Left into Parking Lot .6 23.4

 

Summary:  Good roads with plenty of opportunities for hammering take you to Bagdad in northeastern Shelby County.  Stop at the popular B&N grocery for a step back in time. Two options for return:  flat and fast via Vigo Road or some real hills and rough road along Beard and Benson.  Three rewards for the latter: a high heart rate, a view of the Bulleit Distillery, and the chance of eagle sightings at Guist Creek Lake.

Bagdad

Bagdad exists because of the railroad.  Early settlers in the area lived in the town of Consolation where there were general stores, a wagon maker, a harness and saddle maker, a hat maker a blacksmith, a distillery, a drug store and all the necessities to support a small town.  In 1850 a railroad was built near the community. The residents had to travel west about a mile to access the railroad, so the gradually the people moved and Consolation was abandoned.

The origins of the name of the town are unclear.  One story has it that a miller with a speech impediment said “bag dad?” when a customer entered the store.  Another said a local railroad man was called “Daddy Bags.”

The town grew and prospered since a trip to either Frankfort or Shelbyville took all day, (You just did it on your bike in less than an hour.)   If you hang around the B&N Market (11.1) for any period of time, you are sure to hear more stories about Bagdad.

As you exit town on KY362 (11.3) on your left you will see the Bagdad Roller Mills a feed and grain plant where they began manufacturing flour in 1884.   Around 1913 a guy by the name of Guest bought the mill. He called his flour “Guest’s Best.”  Unfortunately, the local wheat crop was so bad, he had go to the bank and borrow money to ship in wheat to make flour.  He couldn’t meet his obligations, and the bank foreclosed.   Fortunately, the mill was bought and thrived making feed for poultry and livestock and cornmeal and flour for human consumption.   The flour brand was White Lily which can still be bought in stores today though the Bagdad Mill sold the brand in the 1970’s.   Today the mill is a thriving business making high quality feeds including livestock, equine, pet, and specialty animals.

Challenging Return

The challenging return includes a heck of a hill on Beard Road and you will find Benson Rd a bit rough.  About ¾ mile on your right you will see the $115 million Bulleit Distillery which was dedicated in March 2017, and they are already considering an expansion.  A tasting room and tour will be available in the summer of 2019.

To your left is Guist Creek, the source of the Shelbyville water supply, and Guist Creek Marina.   You are not supposed to swim in Guist Creek lake, but that doesn’t keep some of the local triathletes from sneaking in for some open water swim practice.   In recent years, bald eagles have built nests around the lake.  It is now unusual to see one, so if you are inclined, pause on the bridge and look skyward.

ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau

1011 Main St.
Shelbyville, KY 40065
(502) 633-6388