On a normal day, the 2,600-acre Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area accommodates typical outdoorsy activities, such as mountain biking or disc golf. But from dusk until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in September and October this peaceful riverfront park is overtaken by Nightmare Forest's cavalcade of famous movie monsters. Scares emerge from every direction at the drive-in, where horror film icons, such as Jason from Friday the 13th series and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, depart the silver screen to petrify visitors in person. Further fear presides over a trail swarmed with hungry zombies and a corn maze where spirits lurk behind every twist and turn. One night each season, Nightmare Forest ramps up the terror with its flashlight tour, where only flashlights or mutant glow worms illumine the pitch-black attractions still teeming with freakish ghouls.
Though some say 13 is the unluckiest number, on Halloween, the number 1 might be even worse. As in, no one should enter 13 Fears all by their lonesome. Rife with the tormented souls of the dead and nearly dead, the enclave terrorizes each guest with every step they take.
Mike Hatzell is no stranger to agriculture—or wine, for that matter. As a young man, he tilled the soil of his aunt and uncles farm during the summer months, and years later when he served in France, he developed a love for wine. When he and his wife, Karen, were married more than 50 years ago, he planted the idea in her mind: one day, they would own and operate their own winery.
Back in 2007, that dream eventually came to fruition with the inception of Brooks Hill Winery. Joined by winemakers Butch Meyer and Mike Miller, the operation was in full force in just a year, and they have continued to expand and diversify their selection of wines. A number of them can be sampled at their on-site tasting room, which, despite the sound of it, is not a room that drinks wine.
With its lavender- and khaki-colored walls, cozy seating setups, and fireplace, Forest Edge Winery comes off more as a family's living room than a business. At the heart of its warm presentation sits a wrap-around bar, with pantries and shelves and cabinets nearby filled with, what else, but bottles of wine. That community-driven theme carries throughout the facility, including a downstairs children's room stocked with a television and creative activities. Outside, visitors venture in from the edge of the historic Bernheim Forest on Clermont Road–the start of Kentucky's bourbon trail.
Wight-Meyer Vineyard & Winery began producing wines in the late 1990s as Bullitt County's first commercial vineyard. In 2006, after initially plucking grapes from 2.5 acres of vines and squeezing them using telekinesis alone, Wight-Meyer’s founders converted their barn into a bustling wine production facility. The vineyard’s award-winning wines include a barrel-aged Kentucky norton and a rosé, some of which can be sipped during group tastings in the facility’s new tasting room.
While Daniel Boone busied himself gallivanting about the wilderness in search of the perfect hat, his brother led a much more peaceful life. Squire Boone surrounded himself with caverns filled with waterfalls and stalagmites and a tranquil pioneer village. Now named for him, Squire Boon Caverns and Village not only accommodates tours deep within its caves, but high above its forested floor through Squire Boone Caverns Zipline Course.
Designed for ages seven and older, each 90- to 120-minute treetop trip begins on the ground for a brief training session and equipment fitting. Once snugly secured in full body harnesses and adequately disguised as squirrels, participants embark on journeys that climb up to five stories above terra firma. Tours traverse a swinging suspension bridge and glide on six ziplines over the caverns and village, as well as acres of neighboring forests and ravines.