So a little over a week ago I went hiking with my usual hiking partner to Quiet Trails State Nature Preserve in Kentucky. If you didn’t know it was there you’d probably drive by it and not notice. There’s a gravel parking lot that might hold 5 cars and a small sign, but that’s it. We stopped to ask directions at a gas station and the lady looked at someone else and said “ain’t that where they built that house?” We felt confident with these directions that we’d make it. Just look for where they “built that house” and we’d be sure to find it. 🙂
The trails themselves where as advertised: quiet. We saw no one the whole time we were there. There is a big green mailbox near the trailhead that holds maps, a clipboard to register your visit and lots of roaches! We did find one trail (the westernmost leg of the Deep Hollow trail) that was blocked by downed trees. We never found the trail again and wound up taking a compass bearing and hiking off trail until we got back to the truck since we were just 50 yards out. Otherwise the trails are clear and mostly well marked.
After hiking the main trails we decided to do the short out-and-back White Tail Rest trail. Near the end, my partner stopped me and whispered “hey look over there.” After a few seconds I made out a donkey through the trees. I’ve seen deer, rabbits, snakes and lots of other things on hikes, but never a donkey. I checked later and they’re not native to the forests of Kentucky, so this one must have gotten loose from a nearby farm. I tried to slowly move close enough to get off a couple pictures with my camera phone. When I got closer than 30 feet it started snorting, twitching its ears at me and eventually moved farther away. I had a spare apple in my pack so I tossed it in the donkey’s general direction and headed back.
Here’s the best shot of the 2 I took.