Thursday, August 9, 2012

We Got the Southern Indiana "Blues"

Enjoying the Blue River in times past
Photo courtesy Cave Country Canoes

Enjoying the Blue River today
Courtesy Cave Country Canoes
Southern Indiana wants you to get the blues. 

That's the blues like in our wonderful  recreational options. So here are some of our blues --  
Blue Heron Vineyards, Winery and B&B, Blue Prairie Bed & Breakfast,  Blue River Cabin Rentals, Blue River Cafe,  Blue River Valley Farm, Bluespring Caverns and The Blue River.

Blue Heron Vineyards. Winery and B&B
5330 Blue Heron Lane
Cannelton, IN 

Poised on top of ridge almost 300 feet above the Ohio River and just upstream from the Cannelton Locks and Dam, Blue Heron Vineyards is a pretty spot to sip a glass of wine, take a sip of wine and enjoy the panoramic view. Specializing in estate and Indiana grown American and French-American grapes, Blue Heron wines range from dry to sweet. Many of the decorative labels were designed by graphic artist Danny Bolin of Tell City. Another local artist, Greg Harris, crafted the hand carved Celtic cross.
There are wonderful spots to sit and relax including the tree house-like deck, the stone patio and the pavilion.  Located on nearby vineyard property with a four acre lake is Blue Heron Farm's Bed & Breakfast, recently remodeled 1930 Farm House complete with a turn-of the century barn and vintage outbuildings. Guests may enjoy breakfast in the cozy dining room or on the outdoor decks of the winery.  

The Blue Heron is near Cannelton, home of the Cannelton Cotton Mill built in 1849 and once the largest manufacturing plant west of the Allegheny Mountains and now on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Blue Prairie Bed & Breakfast
 6538 W. CR 875 S., French Lick, IN 47432
(812) 936-3000       

Blue Prairie Bed and Breakfast, a new farm house surrounded by 120 acres of native prairie and woodlands, provides complete privacy as well as great birding and wildlife viewing opportunities.  Enjoy the spectacular view including the incredible fall foliage from the private, new outdoor hot tub just outside your door. Take a walk on one of the hiking trails the property or relax on your private patio.

You can time your visit to witness the migrations of the magnificent prehistoric and hill cranes, visible and audible during their southern migrations. Their flight path which goes over the Blue Prairie Bed & Breakfast begins in October or November and continues until the Christmas season.

Strictly non-smoking, the Pryors have preserved their acreage to enhance wildlife habitat, planting wildlife food plots, wildflowers and other plants attracting birds and animals giving guests an opportunity to view nature on every visit.     

Less than a mile from Patoka Lake, Indiana's second largest and most beautiful lake, the historic towns of French Lick and West Baden are also just minutes away as is Paoli Peaks ski resort. Canoeing and kayaking on the Blue River are forty minutes away. Golf packages are available. Wine lovers will be pleased to know that we are located on the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail.

Blue River Cabin Rentals
Come sit a spell
Along the Blue River Cabin Rentals
2350 Harrison Spring Road NW
Corydon, IN 47112
(812) 267-3031

Get away from it at Along the Blue River Cabin Rentals for either a weekend escape or extended getaway. Two unique cabins offer guests a quiet refuge as well as private access to Blue River.

The Harrison Spring Cabin is so named because it sits on the state’s largest spring on property that was once part of a 600-acre farm owned by United States President William Henry Harrison. The 86 million gallon spring, which may be one of the outlets of the Lost River, an underground river that flows through Southern Indian, was the site of Indiana’s first gristmill and sawmill which started operating in 1807. Waters from the spring create a tributary which connects to the Blue River. The spring is a registered National Natural Landmark.

The rustic Cardinal House Lodge, which can sleep up to 12, is also located on the Blue River. Both are great for those who enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, caving, bicycling, camping, wildlife viewing, dining, or just plain relaxing.

Blue River Café  
128 W Main St Milltown, IN 47145
(812) 633-7510

Eggplant Eloise
A casual gourmet restaurant with great food at reasonable prices located in quaint and charming Milltown, the Blue River Café is great for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch which runs until 3pm. The chef/owner isn’t afraid to mix things up culinary-wise. Menu items, using fresh local seasonal produce, include such wonderful dishes as Eggplant Eloise - beer battered & fried w/ onions carrots celery eggplant squash sweet red pepper then drizzled with a béarnaise sauce, Waterzooi – a Belgium seafood stew and fried green tomatoes. Desserts on the seasonal menu can include peach pecan streusel pie and bread pudding with Captain Morgan's hard sauce.

Sleek and more sophisticated than you might expect, the café has gleaming hardwood floors, pressed tin ceilings and the art by regional artists is displayed on the walls. But it’s not fussy, just fun.
 Live music Friday and Saturday starts at 7PM. For schedule of performers, check their Website.

Bluespring Caverns
1459 Bluespring Caverns Road
 Bedford, IN.

Beneath the rolling green hills of Southern Indiana, the sinewy 21 mile Myst’ry River courses through the subterranean passages of Bluespring Caverns near Bedford, Indiana.  The river gained its name in the early 1940s when, after a heavy rain, the large pond on George Colglazier’s farm near Bedford disappeared, revealing the entrance to the caverns.
Serious spelunkers could crawl through the caverns, most of them still unexplored in an area known as Limestone Country because of the porous rock beneath the surface that’s perfect for forming caves.  But for those of us who like soft adventure the best way to travel the longest subterranean river in the United States is on a specially designed 17 person flat-bottomed boat.   

Climb aboard for the hour long, 1.7 mile trip as the boat navigates the river’s twists and turns, moving through passageways whose walls are coated with a fine film of mud.  The tour is memorable with the boat maneuvering tight corners that take it from high vaulted chambers into narrow passages on a river abundant with rare albino blindfish and crayfish.  Overhead, water occasionally drips from stalactites.  When the drops hit boaters, the clammy experience is affectionately known as cave kisses.  These dripping ceilings along with the few moments when the guide switches off all illumination, plunging the caverns into a dense, impenetrable darkness that hides everything behind a black velvet curtain, remind visitors what the early explorers of these caverns, known to locals since the early 1800s, must have experienced.   

Return to the land above to grab food at the snack bar at the Hospitality Center and picnic under the sun in the wooded cove outside by the parking lot, pan for gold, learn the geological history of the cave through the storyboard exhibits and buy treasures such as native Indiana rocks and arrowheads at the caverns’ gift shop.

The Blue River
Cave Country Canoes
Winding its way from Washington County, the Blue River flows through Harrison County and Crawford County before merging into the Ohio River and is one of only three Indiana rivers on the national Natural Scenic River list.  

Discovered by Squire Boone, an explorer, woodsman and younger brother of Daniel, famed in his day for his exploits in opening up Indiana and Kentucky to settlers and founder of a small village located near a large cavern where he had once hid to escape pursuers.     

More than 50 miles of the river are popular for canoe and kayak trips; there are several public access points, as well as canoe liveries on the river such as Cave Country Canoes which offer a variety of river excursions.

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