A Hidden Gem in the Narrawong State Forest: Sawpit Camping Area

One of the things I always try to do when I am out and about on a road trip or holiday is to see something new or visit a place I haven’t visited before. 

Even though we are camping at the same place we’ve camped at every January since 2014, there are still new things to explore. Last year we visited the wonderful Bay of Whales Gallery nestled in the hills above Narrawong.

Today we ventured up to Mt Clay in the Narrawong State Forest to check out The Sawpit picnic and free camping area. It’s only a short distance from where we are camping by the Surrey River at  Narrawong.

It’s really gorgeous up there. The natural bush forest is beautiful, a glorious natural canopy above the blackened tree trunks, reminders of bushfires In years past. 

The camping area is well designed, providing numerous sites for campers to spread out from one another.

Walking tracks enable visitors to immerse themselves in the environment on walks of different lengths, and the historic lumber cart and log display are reminders of the history that gave the area its name. 

Everything is clearly signposted, including a reminder for campers to take their rubbish home: given that everything was clean and tidy, it’s really encouraging to see that most of the visitors have been conscientious in that regard. 

Still, it seems that things are not always easily understood, as demonstrated by my own friend’s response to the following sign: 

Friend: “20 minutes one way. Why would you only go one way?”
Me: ”It’s a loop…”
Friend, after a few moments of thought: ”Oh. Yeah.”

What surprises me most is that many people don’t even know it’s there. It really is a hidden gem. 

Roadtripping #16

It is a mind-blowingly beautiful day in Southern Kentucky. Sunshine, blue sky, vivid greens of grass and trees, spring blossoms atop graceful trunks and branches, horses and cows in the fields, and the gentlest breeze bringing the scenery to life.

KOA Horse Cave was a gorgeous spot to camp. It’s well laid out and thoughtfully provisioned with a fire pit and picnic table for each camping site. There are lots of trees and some very pretty walking paths. Squirrels, chipmunks and ducks visited nearby while we were staying there. I still think squirrels are some of the cutest critters on the planet, despite regular assurances from my American friends that they are “pure, unadulterated evil”.

Kentucky is a really pretty state. There’s no end of “heartland” scenery here. The patchwork of farms on the landscape is lovely. There are some interesting barn designs here too, as well as the standard “American barn” style.

It is also very clean, from what I have seen. People here obviously take pride in how things look. It’s so nice to drive down the interstate and not see rubbish on the side of the road. It’s obviously something the state encourages too, with signs along the highway that read “Warren County: a certified clean county”. As a roadtripping, photo-taking tourist, it’s very much appreciated.

More than once I’ve seen three crosses set by the roadside – not the kind used to mark where someone has died in a crash,although I have seen those, too – but the kind used to remind people driving by that it’s almost Easter. It’s simple but poignant, and reminds me of Randy Travis’ song about “three wooden crosses on the right side of the highway”, so that has been playing on the brainPod today as we drive, along with George Strait’s “Heartland”.

I guess it’s not going to come as a surprise to anyone now that I’m heading to Nashville today.