This page was first intended to be a "Quick List" for guests to surf for a few ideas to enhance your time in our beautiful area, but there are SO many things to see and do, the list grew to be quite extensive.  Sit back and carefully check all your options to plan your time at Aire Castle and this great Kentucky Lake area.

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See "Day Trekking" suggested day-trips that we recommend to you at the very bottom of this page!

Important Instructions - How To Use This Page
Click the checkbox on the items you would like as a part of your Custom Package.  An accumulative total will appear in the green box as you go, allowing you to determine how much you would like to spend on your total Custom Get-away Retreat Package.  Click again to remove an item, or replace with another item.  You will be able to e-mail a copy of your choices to yourself from the bottom of this page.  Consider your choices, then forward your list of special features to Aire Castle Inn.  Remember, some taxes and gratuities must be added to some choices.
You are not buying when you click - this is a worksheet page to help you plan your getaway.
See every detail of this page in order to plan your getaway to get the most for your time spent.  Some items do not have check boxes because of variable costs, however Aire Castle will be glad to make reservations & arrangements for you.  Just add them to your list.

E-mail us at stay@airecastle.com !  If you do not receive a reply within 12 to 24 hours, PLEASE call 270-354-5004.  (E-mail correspondences are sometimes lost.)

(Aire Castle does not charge a concierge fee unless unforeseen expenses are incurred.)

(To cover our expenses, Aire Castle Inn will charge 5% to 10% service fees for
using our credit card to reserve for you and for some concierge services when applicable.)
 
To our knowledge, Aire Castle Inn B&B is unique in offering this specially designed concierge feature to guests.  We enjoy serving you.

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Lodging:
(Taxes not included)

Adare Manor Whirlpool Suite
One Night Stay in Adare Manor Whirlpool Suite - $145
Two Nights Stay in Adare Manor Whirlpool Suite - $260
Three Nights Stay in Aare Mdanor Whirlpool Suite - $378
Full Week Vacation at Aire Castle Inn in Adare Manor Suite - $760

Kilkea Castle Whirlpool Suite
One Night Stay in Kilkea Castle Whirlpool Suite - $135
Two Nights Stay in Kilkea Castle Whirlpool Suite - $243
Three Nights Stay in Kilkea Castle Whirlpool Suite - $352
Full Week Vacation at Aire Castle Inn in Kilkea Castle Suite - $708

Aire Castle Inn B&B offers 25% off the one-night-stay rate for a full week stay and up to a four-week full month stay!  You get four weeks for the price of three!  (Based on the one-night-rate.)

Pre-Arranged Dinner Options:
(Pre-arranged - includes beverages, desserts, taxes & tip - actual dinner cost is an estimate & will vary.)

(Aire Castle Inn B&B has a close working relationship with these two fine restaurants)
Pre-arranged "Dinner for Two" Reservations at Brass Lantern Restaurant - $75 (average)
Pre-arranged "Dinner for Two" Reservations at Main Street Java - $45 (average) (CLOSED, hope to reopen soon)

Pre-arranged "Dinner for Two" Reservations at Patti's Settlement - $85 (average)
(or Aire Castle will be glad to make reservations only for you)

Romantic Options:
(Please your lady with these) - (Flower prices vary with seasons)

Seasonal Fresh Flower Bouquet - $20
Roses - Dozen - (Color Preference) - $30
Roses - Six - (Color Preference) - $20
Roses - Two Dozen - (Color Preference) - $50
Picnic-to-Go - $35
Want a Lunch on the Ride? Grab a Picnic-to-Go from us!
Show at Grand Rivers Variety Theater - $36 (per couple)
"Lady Anne's" Spa Gift Basket - $30 - (to $40)
Favorite Candy - (Gift Bag) - $10
Brownies, or Cookies - (Fresh Baked Plate Full In Your Room) - $15
Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate - (In Season) - $15
Cake Specialties - (Coordinate with Ann in Advance) - $15 (+ up)
Sparkling Cider, or Grape Juice - (Chilled) - $5
Wine* (Beringer’s White Zinfandel .75L ) - $10
Wine* (Beringer’s White Zinfandel 1.5 L) - $15
Champagne* - $15 (+ up)
Champagne* - $25 (+ up)

(Specify your choice of any brand of wine or champagne - priced accordingly*.)

* (Aire Castle Inn does not sell alcoholic beverages. We pick up as a service for you and you reimburse us for the cost.)

 

Surprise your Sweetheart with a gift! - www.CelticAttic.com
When you come to Aire Castle for your get-away, order a surprise Irish theme gift for your sweetheart from Celtic Attic via the link above, to be delivered straight to us and be in your room when you arrive.  A very nice touch!  See all the wonderful gifts to choose from.  (Allow seven full days for delivery.) (Prices vary greatly with your choices.)

Be certain to see our new "Gifts" page to view the varied Heraldry items we print right here at Aire Castle, such as our most popular item shown here, an "Armorial", which includes your family Coat-of-Arms and Family History origin.



 

Limo Rides:

We are very sorry to inform you that limousine services are no longer available locally.

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Day Trek & Other Fun Stuff: 

(See fun & exciting Day Trekking Pre-Planned excursions at the very bottom of this page)

"Henson's Broom Shop" is a fun place to visit; just a few miles West of Benton, located in the rolling hills of beautiful Western Kentucky, Henson Broom Shop was chosen to make the brooms used on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and their brooms were featured on Martha Stewart Show.  More recently, Henson was commissioned to provide brooms for The Spoon group of Rahway, New Jersey ( a theatrical production company across the river from New York City) to make the brooms for the upcoming nationwide tour of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"....they selected Henson from all the other broom business in the US and because of our connections with Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman....Martha Stewart Living.....and the ballet "Angels in the Architecture".  Henson Broom Shop is also a General Store that features Amish-made products of high quality and other odd items of interest.  See them at  http://www.hensonbrooms.com/index.html and visit the store while you are here at Aire Castle.

Horseback Riding (Seasonal)


Horseback Riding in the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is a great way to spend a few hours getting close to nature.  In addition to viewing absolutely beautiful scenery, you will see lots of wildlife up close & personal. Learn more about horse trails here.
(Pre-arranged Reservations Recommended) - (Aire Castle will reserve your horses)

Equine Adventures at Wranglers Riding Camp - (Please verify prices with this service)
45 Minute Ride $15 (for ages 13+) (age 4-12, $10)
1 ½ Hour Ride $25 (for ages 13+) (age 4-12, $20)

Reservations are required for Custom Rides:
Prices Vary - Based on Availability - Please Contact Us
 
Want a Lunch on the Ride? Grab a Picnic-to-Go from us!

Wagon Trail Rides, Includes Hayrides
1 hour

Ages 13 & up, $10
Ages 4-12, $7
Ages 3 & under Free

Around the Campground Wagon Ride
Ages 13 & up $5
Ages 4-12 $2
Ages 3 & under Free
Pony Rides: $5
Souvenir Photo: $5

Day-on-the-Lakes Boating
(Contact us for other telephone numbers for you to make your Water-Craft Reservations, or call our preferred marina, Moors Marina at 1-800-626-5472 to reserve your choice of watercraft.)

Pontoon Boat on Kentucky Lake - (half day) - $150
Pontoon Boat on Kentucky Lake - (full day) - $225
    
($200 deposit required to rent pontoon boat)

Ski Boat on Kentucky Lake - (half day) - $175
Ski Boat on Kentucky Lake - (full day) - $300
     ($250 deposit required to rent ski boat)

Jet Ski on Kentucky Lake (One Unit) - (half day) - $175
Jet Ski on Kentucky Lake (Two Units) - (half day) - $350
Jet Ski on Kentucky Lake (One Unit) - (full day) - $300
Jet Ski on Kentucky Lake (Two Units) - (full day) - $600
     ($500 deposit to rent each jet ski)

Sailboat on Kentucky Lake - (½ day) - $125
Sailboat on Kentucky Lake - (full day) - $180
     ($500 Safety Deposit required to rent sailboat)

(Above rates may vary or change without notice)

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"Hiking & Canoeing" in the Land Between the Lakes

Western Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is just across the lake from us (15 miles)!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hiking: (Choose from several trails) (Aire Castle's "Picnic-To-Go" makes any outing more fun.) (All trails are sprayed for ticks - Repellant is recommended)

Hematite Lake has the remains of an old iron furnace at its entrance.  This 2.2 mile trail gives hikers a chance to enjoy lots of wildlife including ducks & geese.  Rating - Easy

Honker Lake Trail is 4.5 miles of scenic woodlands & lakeside habitat, moderate hills and ridges with flat lakeside meadows.  Hikers frequently see Fallow Deer & Canada Geese.  Rating - Easy to Moderate

Canal Loop Trail is open to Mountain Bikes, so hikers must use caution.  This trail winds along the cliffs overlooking Kentucky Lake and affords a beautiful view of Kentucky Dam & sailboats in season.  Sunsets from this trail are magnificent.  Rating - Easy to Moderate - Very Busy

North-South Trail is for serious hikers only!  Starting at the North Check Station, this trail runs South to the Kentucky/Tennessee state line and beyond.  From the North Check Station to the state line, it measures 20 miles one way of cross-country hiking.  There is a trail to follow, but difficult at times.  Bring your compass and lots of water & trail snacks.  No porta-potties, no break stations.  (Mike has hiked this trail in years past & recommends that you be in good physical condition before hiking this one.  Deer tick repellant required!)

Canoe on Honker Lake, quiet and romantic.  Canoes are available at the Nature Station, an experience in itself.  See lots of nature & enjoy a picnic lunch.  (Seasonal - See LBL web site) 

(See the LBL web site link below under Other Stuff for full schedules & more information)

Fishing with a Pro

Aire Castle Inn B&B will be glad to pre-arrange your fishing trip, with lots of extras at the end of the day, or options for your "Fisherman's Widow" while you are fishing on the lake, such as a day at the spa & other treats!

Guided Fishing on Kentucky Lake - $120 (half day)
Guided Fishing on Kentucky Lake - $200 (full day)
      Click Here For Special Fishing Package Info 

(- Noel Dillard - Fishing Guide - www.Handicapable.net -)

Or contact Fishing Guide Brad Weakley directly, if you prefer, at www.kentuckylake.com/weakley , or call 1-877-547-FISH (3474)

Variety Shows
(Aire Castle will reserve your tickets. Prices vary with special shows.)

Our Lakes Area is blessed with three top professional options for your evening enjoyment.  Laugh, sing, cry, just relax & have fun at any of these great shows!  (Rates vary with each show - base rate listed here)

Show at Kentucky Opry - $22 (per couple)
Show at Grand Rivers Variety Theater - $36 (per couple)

Seasonal Productions: "Twilight Cabaret" - Seasonal Performances - Broadway Style Productions - Aire Castle Inn B&B highly recommends that you inquire about upcoming performances.  These shows are not running continuously, therefore you must call Shirley Johnson at 270-436-2399 for details, or see the web site, www.twilightcabaretproductions.com .  If you love the theater, this is for you.  Plan your Romantic Getaway Weekend to include a night at the Twilight Cabaret!

 

Golf Options
Golf outing (several courses) - no charge to arrange tee times
(Green Fees at all courses apply - see the list)

Aire Castle Inn B&B will be glad to pre-arrange your Golf Vacation in the Lakes Area at no additional charge to you.  Plus, if your spouse is not into golf, we can arrange other activities of interest for her.  Pick your choice of golf courses & other features to "Create Your Own Package", send the list to us and we will do the rest.

Local Courses

The Marvel Golf Club .......  354-9050 - www.marvelgolf.com - Closest to Aire Castle, this new Arnold Palmer Course is kept in pristine condition and is a great challenge to the avid golfer.  Aire Castle's 1st choice!  (Recommended by Previous Guests)

Other local Courses:

Benton Golf & Country Club ....... 527-9673
Calvert City Country Club  ....... 395-5831
Kenlake State Resort Park  ....... 474-2211
KY Dam Village State Park  ....... 362-8658
 

Regional Courses (9 hole, 18 hole & par 3 courses)
(Within a one-hour drive of Aire Castle Inn)

Arrowhead Golf Course .......  270-522-1999
Drake Creek Golf Course  ....... 270-898-GOLF
Edwin J. Paxton Golf Course .......  270-444-9514
Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course .......  270-762-2238
Lake Barkley SRP Golf Course .......  270-924-1131
Links At Nova Dell .......  270-886-1101
Mayfield Golf & Country Club  ....... 270-247-1862
Mineral Mounds State Park Golf Course  .......  270-904-7888
Oaks Country Club  .......  270-753-6454
Siloh's Golf Course 270-488-2182
South Highland Country Club 270-247-2918
Sullivan's Par 3 Golf Course 270-753-1152

Miniature Courses
Miniature Golf Marathon (several courses) - Pay as you play

Forgotten Past  ....... 527-9244
Maggie's Jungle Golf  ....... 362-8933
Henry's Golf Range  ....... 362-8170
Patti’s Settlement  ....... 362-7446

Other Stuff

"Gifts for your Sweetheart" - Have a nice gift ready for her, or him when you arrive for your time at Aire Castle.  Aire Castle Inn B&B is an affiliate of Creative Irish Gifts and all you have to do is click on www.CelticAttic.com right here to shop for a special gift from thousands of very special items, most with an Irish theme to remind you for years to come of Aire Castle and your special time spent here.  Get $5 off when you enter "AIRE" in the coupon code when you check out! In most cases, Creative Irish Gifts can have your gift here for you within a week.  Special order items and custom items require extra shipping time.  This is a very nice touch for your special retreat.

Calvert Drive-In Theater - Nostalgia at its best with new release movies!  Plan an evening with your sweetheart snuggled up in your own car at Marshall County's nationally famous drive-in theater.  It's FUN!  Tune your car's radio to the frequency of the theater, then windows up, or down are your choice.  Snack bar for all the good old junk food and a great family atmosphere.  Original owners continue to operate this establishment after 45+ years. (www.calvertdrivein.com

Forgotten Past (Museum-$2, Go-carts-$4, Mini-golf-$3, Bumper Cars-$4)
(Pay as you play)

Kentucky State Park Events - (See Ky State Parks web site)

Land Between the Lakes events & feature activities - Visit The Home Place, Planetarium, Buffalo & Elk Range, too many things to list - visit Land Between the Lakes.

Murray State University Events - For info about events surrounding Murray State University athletics and other recreational events, the best site is at www.murraystate.edu and then go to the athletics page for schedules.  Aire Castle Inn B&B is perfect for families & friends coming to see their sons & daughters perform in the arts, equestrian, music, sports & other events at Murray State University.  Parents are encouraged to bring their student-children back to Aire Castle Inn to visit, swim, play games, picnic, etc.

*Notice - ALL Packages that include arrangements with other businesses require payment in advance. Some packages are non-refundable, or only partially refundable, due to several businesses with different cancellation and refund policies are involved. Each package receives intense personal attention, special purchases, and/or preparation and lots of time. It is our pleasure to serve you in a most professional manner.  Should another business fail to provide the proper services for you, Aire Castle takes no responsibility for this failure.

 

HAVE YOUR CUSTOMIZED LIST E-MAILED TO YOU!

 

Send to Yourself - Type "Your" Email Address Here:

  
NOTE: Sometimes this email gets filtered into your junk mail, so please check your junk mail for your customized package if you do not receive it quickly.

Consider your Custom Package choices, then forward to stay@airecastle.com .

E-mail gets lost sometimes.  If you e-mail Aire Castle, but do not get a reply within 12 to 24 hours, please call 270-354-5004.

We offer stained glass classes as well so you and your
loved one can create a beautiful project together.

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Pre-Planned “Day Trek” Excursions

Here are Day Trek excursions that we know that you will enjoy. 

* * *

“Countryside Tour of Western Kentucky”

Just get in your car and take off: (We furnish maps)

  • ·         Roadside Attractions

  • ·         Great Restaurants

  • ·         Antique Shops

  • ·         Flea Markets

  • ·         Yard Sales

  • ·         Mini-Golf Courses

  • ·         Water Park

  • ·         Nature Sites

  • ·         Museums

  • ·         Historical Sites

  • ·         Lots More

 * * *

“Clark’s River Nature Trails”  (NEW!)

 Kentucky Dept. of Fish & Wildlife is developing hiking trails, fishing sites and all kinds of interesting things to see in the vast Clarks River Wildlife Area.  Consult the web site and visit their office in Benton for details.

 * * *

“Bicycle Trails”

(Contact any Kentucky Welcome Center, or Marshall County Tourism at www.kentuckylake.org for the latest edition of the Official Map of the Commonwealth of Kentucky which has bicycle trails shown.  Contact www.lbl.org for maps of LBL trails.)  .  End your day with a nice dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.  We can make your reservations, or you may choose to enjoy a romantic “Pre-Arranged Dinner for Two” (see our web site).

(For your biking trek, prearrange with us and we will drop you off, then pick you up, modest fee applies.)

·         Land Between the Lakes Trails (North/South Trail plus others)

·         Mississippi River Trail (North/South from Wickliffe to Historic Columbus Belmont to Reelfoot Lake National Wildlife Refuge)

·         Ledbetter Kentucky, or Smithland Ky. to Cave-in-Rock Ferry across the Ohio River, then circle Eastern Southern Illinois and back

·         Western Kentucky East/West Trail from Historic Columbus Belmont, Eastward following old roads and trails, crossing the Land Between the Lakes to Cadiz, on to Pennyrile Forest State Park

   * * *

 “Golf 'til You Drop”

·         Marvel Golf Course

·         Four other courses to choose from

·         Miniature Golf  (just for fun)

Start with Breakfast at Aire Castle, end with dinner at one of our fine local restaurants.

 * * *

“Antique Day Trek”

·         Hazel Kentucky (Antique Town)

·         Benton Antique Shops

·         Lunch at Main Street Java

·         Twin Lakes Antique Mall

·         Grand Rivers Shops

·         Dinner at Patti’s Settlement

 * * *

“A Day in Paducah”

First Stop: Tourism Convention Office Downtown

·         Museums

·         Arts District

·         Antiques Shops

·         Specialty Shops

·         Great Restaurants

·         Flood Wall Murals

·         River Front Picnic

·         Market House Theater

·         Carson Center Performing Arts Theater

·         Saturday Night Down Town After Dinner Street Party

·         Festivals (See Calendar of Events)

 

 

“A Day On the Lakes”

Start your day with a leisure breakfast at Aire Castle.  Bring your own boat, or we will prearrange for your choice from one of our local boat rentals.  Let us pack your “Picnic to Go” (see our web site).  Fishing licenses are available at all boat docks and bait shops.  Run up and down beautiful Kentucky Lake, fish the bays, ski & swim in the shallow waters and Sunbathe until golden brown.  A day on Kentucky Lake is very hard to beat.  End your day with a nice dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.  We can make your reservations, or you may choose to enjoy a romantic “Pre-Arranged Dinner for Two” (see our web site).

·         Boating (Pontoon all day, Speed-boat, or Jet-Ski)

·         Picnic (On land, or Boat)

·         Fish (Get your license)

·         Swim (Designated beaches)

·         Sunbathe (Don’t get burned)

 * * *

“A Day in the Land Between the Lakes”

·         Nature Centers

·         Elk/Bison Drive-Through Park

·         Planetarium

·         1850’s Home Place Working Farm

·         Hiking Trails

·         Horseback Riding

·         Canoeing

·         Picnic in the Woods

Start your day with a leisure breakfast at Aire Castle.  Consult the LBL web site and check ahead by calling Regina at the LBL office to inquire about any special (seasonal) events that are taking place.  Begin your day in the LBL at the Golden Pond Visitors Center and see the exhibit in the Planetarium.  From there, head South to the Wranglers Camp for horseback riding.  Then, ease on down to the 1850’s Home Place, a real working farm based upon how it was in the 1850’s.  Lots of interesting things to see, learn and do.   Drive back North to the Elk & Bison Prairie to drive through the park where you will see Buffalo and Elk.  North again takes you to the Nature Center for more educational experiences, then across the road to Hematite Lake, one of LBL’s inland lakes for hiking trails and a picnic.  Fishing if you like, but be certain that you have your license.  Rent a canoe on Energy Lake, March through November.    There are numerous hiking trails throughout the LBL, so plan ahead according to how you like to hike, short easy trails, or long strenuous trails.  Cross the canal at the North entrance.  Make your arrangements ahead of time.  Finish your day with a great meal at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement.  Two-inch thick pork chops are our favorite, reservations required.  Walk around Patti’s Settlement for awhile to shop and relax.  Drive a mile, or so North to Hwy. 641 South, cross Kentucky Dam at Sunset and make your way back to Aire Castle for a whirlpool bath and a nice rest from a Day Trek adventure.

 * * *

“Amish Country/Wine Country Tour”

·         Quick Drive to Marion Kentucky

·         Two Amish General Stores

·         Ferry Across the Ohio River

·         See Cave-in-Rock State Park

·         Shop Cave-in-Rock (optional)

·         Drive through beautiful Shawnee Forest

·         Visit East Southern Illinois Wineries

6.      (Hogg Hollow Winery)

7.      (Shawnee Winery)

8.      (Cache River Winery)

9.      (Windy Hill Winery)

10.   (Bella Terra Winery)

 

Aire Castle recommends an 8:00 a.m. breakfast for this Day Trek.  Guests take Hwy. 641 from Draffenville to Marion, Kentucky, then Hwy. 91 out of Marion just a few miles to the first Amish General Store.  You will enjoy the hospitality of friendly Amish merchants as you shop for homemade breads, canned goods such as Amish jellies and jams, plus hand crafted items.  Don’t spend all your money, because just a mile, or two down the road is the second Amish General Store with more great items.  Once you are shopped-out, continue just a couple more miles and you come to the Cave-in-Rock Ferry at the Ohio River.  You might have a 15 minute wait for the ferry, but what a fun way to cross the river.  Large rock bluffs upstream reflect in the water as riverboats cruise by.  Once on dry land in the little historic town of Cave-in-Rock, Southern Illinois, follow the signs to Cave-in-Rock State Park and get out to see the cave.  This might be a nice place to enjoy one of your Amish snacks. 

Back in the car, take Hwy 146 through scenic countryside of the Shawnee Forest to Hwy. 145 North, just a short drive to Hogg Hollow Winery (The owner’s name is Hogg).  This small winery has a large selection of tasty wines and great hospitality.  Hwy. 145 North again to State Road 8 East will jump you over to Tunnel Hill, Hwy. 45 North to Parker City Road West to Bella Terra Winery.  After tasting Bella Terra’s delights, continue West on Parker City Road to Windy Hill Winery for more delights.  By now, lunch is in order.  We recommend that you have cheese, bread and rich chocolates for a snack lunch.   From here, you have a choice.  Shawnee Winery is a storefront building in Vienna.  We prefer country wineries, but if you want to check them all out, you might want to stop, as Shawnee Winery is on your way South (Hwy. 45) to State Road 3 to Cache River Basin Winery at 315 Forman Lane at Belnap.  If you are worn out from your day’s adventure at this point, you may prefer to catch the Interstate (I-24) and take the most direct route back to Aire Castle, but we highly recommend that you make your way South from Cache Basin Winery to the Ohio River Scenic Byway and take your time enjoying the beautiful scenery along the Ohio River as you make your way back to Cave-in-Rock at Sunset. 

Catching the ferry again at Sunset is a beautiful site.  Ease back down Hwy. 641 to Hwy. 62 West.  There, where Hwy. 641 and 62 intersect with I-24, you will see the Southwest Grill Restaurant.  Stop in for Barbeque Ribs that will melt in your mouth, a great meal to end your day of adventure.  Take Hwy. 641 back to Draffenville and Hwy. 68 to Salem Chapel Rd. North to your Aire Castle.    

Note:  Western Southern Illinois has several more wineries and sites to see, but from Aire Castle, these that we recommend will give you a great day of fun and site-seeing as you enjoy your Day Trek into Eastern Southern Illinois Wine Country.

 * * *

“Amish Country/Hiking & Rock Climbing”

·         Quick Drive to Marion Kentucky

·         Two Amish Country Stores

·         Ferry Across the Ohio River

·         See Cave-in-Rock State Park

·         Shop Cave-in-Rock

·         Drive Through Beautiful Shawnee Forest

·         Hike & Rock Climb

  1. Bell Smith Springs

  2. Dixon Springs

  3. Garden of the Gods

 

Aire Castle recommends an 8:00 a.m. breakfast for this Day Trek.  Wear good hiking boots or tennis shoes and take insect repellant in Summer.  Guests take Hwy. 641 from Draffenville to Marion, Kentucky, then Hwy. 91 out of Marion just a few miles to the first Amish General Store.  You will enjoy the hospitality of friendly Amish merchants as you shop for homemade breads, canned goods such as Amish jellies and jams, plus hand crafted items.  Don’t spend all your money, because just a mile, or two down the road is the second Amish General Store with more great items.  Once you are shopped-out, continue just a couple more miles and you come to the Cave-in-Rock Ferry at the Ohio River.  You might have a 15 minute wait for the ferry, but what a fun way to cross the river.  Large rock bluffs upstream reflect in the water as riverboats cruise by.  Once on dry land in the little historic town of Cave-in-Rock, Southern Illinois, follow the signs to Cave-in-Rock State Park and get out to see the cave.  This might be a nice place to enjoy one of your Amish snacks. 

Back in the car, take Hwy 146 through scenic countryside of the Shawnee Forest to Dixon Springs.  A cluster of small country churches still meet for services on Sunday mornings.  Seasonally, the Dixon Springs swimming pool is open, but the water is “cold”.  Cross the bridge by the pool to hike in cavernous terrain that abounds with wildlife.  Careful in all these parks.  The terrain is very rough.  Back in your car, take Hwy. 145 North just a few miles to Lake Glendale where you can hike around the crystal clear lake, swim, or canoe (in season).  Water lilies cluster here and there on Lake Glendale.  North again on Hwy. 145 a few miles North of Eddyville (IL), then left onto a gravel road (West)  takes you to Bell Smith Springs where you can hike until you drop through rock walls over boulders on trails that Indians once roamed.  Save some energy, return to Hwy. 145 and drive North to Junction 34, turn right onto Hwy. 34, 12 miles through Herod to Karbers Ridge Road (left) and watch for signs to the Garden of the Gods.  Huge rock bluffs and awesome hiking trails await you for an afternoon of hiking.  Please be very careful on these rocks and take water.  Once you have hiked to your heart’s content, take Karbers Ridge Road East to Hwy. 1, then South back to Cave-in-Rock.  

Catching the ferry again at Sunset is a beautiful site.  Ease back down Hwy. 641 to Hwy. 62 West.  There, where Hwy. 641 and 62 intersect with I-24, you will see the Southwest Grill Restaurant.  Stop in for Barbeque Ribs that will melt in your mouth, a great meal to end your day of adventure.  Take Hwy. 641 back to Draffenville and Hwy. 68 to Salem Chapel Rd. North to your Aire Castle.   

Note:  There are several other hiking trails and sites to see in Southern Illinois, but having grown up here in this area, we know that these that we recommend are the best of the best for a one-day Day Trek experience.

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