Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast
My kids and I recently spent the weekend at Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast
This unique destination is in Burkesville, Kentucky.
Our trip to Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast was the perfect balance of outdoor time hiking, exploring, and visiting with animals, as well as spending relaxing time indoors playing games, reading, and yes, some screen time. It is a great place for making memories, at whatever pace you prefer.
Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast is run by Jaro and Marion who moved from the Netherlands to Burkesville, Kentucky in the spring of 2010. Along with running the B&B, they are also responsible for caring for the over 100 animals on the ranch.
We really enjoyed being at Hidden Cave Ranch during foaling season. We got to meet foals that were born that week, including one born the night before we arrived. We also met some newborn lambs, and got to feed a lamb from a bottle. We enjoyed meeting their three Scottish cattle, two alpacas, two donkeys, two pigs, and a ton of dogs, cats, chickens, and horses.
There is a very special, and very rare breed of horse at Hidden Cave Ranch – the American Bashkir Curly Horse. The Curly horse is a rare hypoallergenic, intelligent, and friendly horse. People who have allergies to horses can often be around the Curlys without having a major allergic reaction.
Marion breeds these horses, as well as providing horse lessons or trail rides for guests depending on their age and experience (for an extra fee). They have full sized and pony sized Curly horses at Hidden Cave.
My daughter and I have horseback riding experience, so we were able to take a short lesson in the ring followed by an hour trail ride on the Curlys. This was the highlight of my trip!
It wasn’t your typical head to tail, no rider control type trail horses. These are just great horses we took on a trail ride around the property with Marion, the owner. Very different than any trail rides we’ve taken in the past. And all of the dogs came along with us on the trail.
The horses and dogs are very used to each other. If you’re not ready for that type of trail ride, I recommend getting on the Curlys in the ring. They really are as beautiful, intelligent, and friendly as described.
The kids and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the weekend. The Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast has a rustic feel to it. The first things you see when you enter the house are a giant wood staircase, fireplace, and big, antique appliances like something out of Little House on the Prairie.
The entire B&B is full of huge, timber beams: the ceilings, beds, tables, and chairs in the rooms are all made of hand crafted wood. It feels like something out of the past, but at the same time each room feels clean and inviting, has heating, air conditioning, plenty of outlets, and Wifi.
Our room had a king sized bed, separate queen bed in its own little nook, a nook with a table and chairs, and good sized private bathroom with shower. We played games and ate snacks at the table in the room which was a really nice space to just relax as a family.
When we weren’t in our room or outdoors, we were in the finished basement where there are couches, tv, an (adults only) pool table from the Netherlands, snacks and drinks available for purchase, mini fridge, microwave, and activities like books, puzzles, and games.
The basement also has seating outside the walkout basement doors to one of the pastures. The weekend we spent at Hidden Cave Ranch, the two female Scottish cattle (Sissy and Maggie) were in that pasture. You can sit a couple feet away from them in the rocking chairs which are under the shade of the main floor’s deck.
The main floor has the dining room for all of the guests. A hot country style breakfast is included with each stay, and they can serve dinner too if you request it in advance (for an extra fee). They have a great selection to choose from for dinners from chicken nuggets and pizza to steak.
While there are some restaurants within half an hour of the B&B, we found it easiest to have breakfast and dinner at the B&B, and we really enjoyed chatting with the other B&B guests and owners during our meals.
(If you’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast, it’s like staying with family. Guests stay in different rooms of the house. Sometimes rooms have their own bathroom, sometimes it’s shared bathrooms. Everyone eats together at a main dining room, sharing the meal at the designated time set by the owners).
When we weren’t hanging out with animals at Hidden Cave Ranch, our other outdoor time involved hiking, caves, and lake time.
Hidden Cave Ranch has a privately owned cave on the grounds that is only open to B&B guests staying on site. It was a nice hike out to the cave where we spent time looking at the woods, creek, and wildlife. Four of the Hidden Cave Ranch dogs accompanied us on our hike to the cave, and I think they enjoyed it as much as we did!
Less than 15 minutes away from Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast is Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park. Dale Hollow Lake is on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. We drove over to Dale Hollow Lake and spent time on the lake shoreline exploring, skipping slate rocks, and picking out pretty, little shells. You can also fish, swim, and boat there (if B&Bs aren’t your thing, the owners of Hidden Cave Ranch also rent RVs that you can have placed for you at Dale Hollow Lake).
(If you want to do more on the water, check out Mutt E. Waters River Rentals Facebook Page. They have Kayaks, Canoes, Tubes and Floats for rent. They will drop you off at the river or the lake and pick you up after your trip. If you mention that you are staying at the Hidden Cave Ranch, you get 10% off.)
We hiked Cindy Cave Trail, and went in Cindy Cave (there’s a long trail and a short trail depending on your preference). Cindy Cave is a similar size to Hidden Cave, and the kids really enjoyed seeing bats, cave crickets, and exploring the nooks and crannies inside the cave.
On our way back to Hidden Cave Ranch we stopped at Dale Hollow Sweets. This is a great shop for coffee, desserts, and candy of all types. They had glow in the dark candy, Dr. Pepper flavored cotton candy, candy cigarettes, fresh baked fudge, cupcakes, cookies, and our favorite: mason jar sundaes!
In the opposite direction of Dale Hollow Lake is the town of Burkesville. This is a cute little town where you can find a few places to eat, shop, antique, or go to the Veterans Memorial Park on the Cumberland River which has a playground, basketball court, and paved walking loop.
Hidden Cave Ranch is located about three hours south of Louisville. Due to traffic, our navigation system took us a different way to Hidden Cave Ranch than it took us home, but both were equal in time. On one route, we drove right by the entrance to Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace in Hodgenville. On the other route, we drove right by Green River Lake State Park. Both are great places to stop if you need to break up the drive.
Since we hadn’t made arrangements for dinner at the B&B on our arrival night, we stopped to eat dinner in Columbia, Kentucky about 45 minutes from Hidden Cave Ranch. There’s a Walmart Supercenter in Columbia with a few restaurants around it. It’s also a good place to stop for anything you realized you forgot like toothbrushes or flashlights.
Hidden Cave Ranch is a working farm and not recommended for small children. The pastures are all fenced in by cords of electric fence, and the animals, though all friendly while we were there, are still animals and unpredictable. This may be a better destination for tweens, teens, and adult getaways.
Things to bring to Hidden Cave Ranch Bed and Breakfast :
-Lunch food, snacks, and drinks if you want to picnic on site or at the lake (snacks and drinks are available to purchase at Hidden Cave Ranch).
-Shampoo and conditioner (towels, soap and lotion were provided in our bathroom)
-Leisure activities like books, games, etc.
-Flashlights or head lamps for caving
-Hiking boots (for around the ranch and hiking)
-Clothes and shoes that can get messy
-Warm and cool clothes – the weather here is a bit unpredictable.
-Jeans and boots with heels for horseback riding
-Cash, check, Venmo, or PayPal – no credit cards accepted at Hidden Cave Ranch.
We have so many different nearly adventures you can go on with your family, check out our travel posts!