ColumbiaMagazine.com
Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  
 





























 
Day Trip: bounce along Jones Ridge to Beech Branch to 704

Jones Ridge Road is an incredible, short journey that feels very long. Don't go in your Sunday car. Do take the camera and a snack. Never ever go during or right after heavy rains. If they're home, you may meet and get directions from patient, friendly area guides Darrell and Tiffany Anderson who get an alert that strangers are coming from their dog Kiki. You'll laugh with them when they describe seeing every type vehicle come through, they even recently had a Lowe's truck driver stop after being directed that way by his GPS.

By Linda Marcum Waggener

One of the things I first loved about my first husband Ed is his habit of taking shortcuts when he's at the wheel. No matter that these usually turn out to be longer, they often have a story, and if it's in this region, there's always new light changing the beautiful landscape for photographing and sharing.

Jones Ridge Road off Highway 61 in Cumberland County Kentucky between Burkesville and Columbia is just such a shortcut.



Before you can read the white letters on the green sign designating Jones Ridge Road you see the little family cemetery halfway up the side of a hill.

Even though big beautiful hills are numerous in Cumberland County, there are no mountains and the cemetery remindes us of Eastern Kentucky where there is little flat land and mountainside cemeteries are necessities.

We begin winding up Jones Ridge Road, passing an abandoned house with yellow wild flowers around it, on the roadside and along a little creek.

Big Stone boulders are visible along the creek as we continue up and up, approximately 1,000 feet in elevation. More wildflowers line the roadside in blue, pink, yellow, lavender, white.

We pass a turn option labeled Pine Branch Road and keep climbing and winding, surely way over 1,000 feet elevation now. We pass by a goat herd resting in the shade on the left, the scene is so peaceful we slow for a photo. Lavender Paulownia trees brighten the opposite side of the road.

Winding on toward the sky, we have to stop at the crest of the hill to photograph a pasture completely covered with Narcissus blossoms.

Just past the flowers the road heads down hill. We stop to photograph the Fire Pinks and question why Fire pinks are so named when they are such a bold red? And Why are Redbuds so named when their flowers are pink?

Heading down the hill now, five mph feels way too fast. The smooth blacktop from the trip up is no longer, the road is solid stones, and bigger rock now.

What we didn't expect was that Jones Ridge Road was about to completely disappear.

The car levels out at the bottom of the hill, no longer pointing nose down. The road has just morphed into a creek bed.

We are at the base of the long winding road down the hill. Backing up is not an option. Thankfully there have been no recent rains! Mesmerized, laughing, nervous, we begin inching forward into the little stream, about a fourth the depth of the small car tires.

Wild flowers wave in the breeze at eye level on the creek banks to the right, rocky bluff blocks us on the left. Dogwoods, Locusts and Paulownias bloom along both sides.

Trying to take photos from inside the bouncing car doesn't work well, focusing is nearly impossible.

The creek rounds a bend and a farmhouse appears on the high banks above it, dogs are barking like crazy as we wind toward the yard. The creek goes on around a barn but the road is visible again so we veer left, taking the road.

Two residents come across the long yard, Darrell and Tiffany Anderson, to stand in front of what we learn is her parents home where Beech Branch meets up with Beech Branch Road. We ask, "where are we?" They laugh and we begin an enjoyable visit.

He explained, "The minute you drive into that creek where Jones Ridge Road meets it, you're immediately on Beech Branch Road."

She said in answer to our questions about the house, "It was a Voting house in early days, called a Box House, and her family converted it into their home.

Turned out that my first husband had been given a hint about the route because his friend Junior Stotts had sent him a photo of a mystery barn. His friend had probably driven through that creek bed with ease and confidence in a big pickup truck. We were driving a tiny Mazda, with very little confidence. We will be on the lookout for a nice big pickup truck before another adventure of this sort.

Darrell and Tiffany say they do same thing as often as they can, exploring and photographing the beauty of this region. Two weeks ago they visited Rockhouse Bottom and climbed up to the top of the arch for pictures. She is professional and freelance photographer.

Their dogs stand by, quiet at the end of our visit, but still observing the strangers. Kiki keeps watch with partner Timber.

We bid farewell and travel on the narrow blacktop road -- Beech Branch Road -- all the way to the T with Highway 704 near Amandaville.

The story of Highway 704/Amandaville is one for another day trip.

Links to other day trips follow.

- THE CUT with photo collection under the story

- ROCKHOUSE BOTTOM at Creelsboro, KY with photos


This story was posted on 2016-04-29 14:24:34
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.



Day Trip: turn here onto Jones Ridge Road



2016-04-29 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo By Linda Waggener.
Turn here, off Highway 61 between Columbia and Burkesville, to start your day trip. Before you can read the white letters on the green sign designating it Jones Ridge Road you see the little family cemetery halfway up on the side of a hill. Even though big beautiful hills are numerous in Cumberland County, there are no mountains and the cemetery reminds us of Eastern Kentucky where there is little flat land and mountainside cemeteries are necessities. The answer to Mystery Branch Road is "Beech Branch Road," the continuation of Jones Ridge Road which connects with KY 704. Chris Dial, the first person to correctly identify the location of Beech Branch Road suggests an alternate route from KY 61, especially from the north. "Take Smith's Branch Road to Pine Branch Road and then onto Pine Ridge Road. It leads to Jones Ridge Road." At Jones Ridge Road one turns left, or east, on JRR, which, at the creek becomes Beech Branch Road a relative short distance and a relative long time to travel road which goes to KY 704. - LW/EW

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Jones Ridge Road starting to climb



2016-04-30 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
Follow the yellow-flower-bordered one-lane road up toward the sky as you begin winding up Jones Ridge Road, passing an abandoned house.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Goat herd resting in the shade on Jones Ridge Road



2016-04-30 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
This goat herd resting in the shade looked so peaceful we slowed our Jones Ridge Road tour for a photo. They were being watched over by the black bird up in the tree.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Jones Ridge Road beauty includes crop of Narcissus



2016-04-30 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
Narcissus -- a whole field of them -- waved us on when we reached the hilltop on Jones Ridge Road.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Day trip: driving down the creek bed



2016-05-01 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
A house appears high on the banks as the creek bed/roadway rounds a bend and dogs are barking wildly as we get near.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Day trip: the road appears again at this barn



2016-05-01 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
After driving for what seemed like hours in the creek bed (actually only ten or fifteen minutes), it appears again as this barn comes into view. Notice the ribbon markers on the wire across the creek indicating that the creek bed/roadway option is at an end. A great barn, but not Junior Stotts mystery barn, which is, at this point, behind us. - LW/EW

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Day trip: guides do a lot of explaining about the road



2016-05-01 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
Patient guides Darrell and Tiffany Anderson stand in front of her parents home located on Beech Branch Road. They tell of all types of vehicles coming through that creek bed, even a Lowe's truck in recent memory, guided through there by a GPS.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Day trip: field of Fringed Phacelia near end of Beech Branch RD



2016-05-01 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
A valley filled with Fringed Phacelia marks the ending of Beech Branch Road as it nears the T with Highway 704. The day trip that started out on a narrow blacktop road, wound into a creek bed and then back out onto another narrow blacktop road, met up with a much wider narrow blacktop road just south of Amandaville, KY.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



To mystery Barn from KY 704 & one terminus for Day Trip



2016-05-01 - Beech Branch Road & KY 704 - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com photo.
A trip down Beech Branch Road on to Jones Ridge Road can also begin here at Beech Branch Road & KY 704. One can get to to KY 61 via Jones Ridge or, as the Mystery Barn Contest Winner suggests, Beech Branch onto Jones Ridge Road onto Pine Branch Road and a with a west turn at Smith's Branch Road back to KY 61.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Junior Stotts Mystery Barn: Discovered again by Linda Waggener



2016-05-01 - Along the Jones Chapel Ridge & Beech Branch Road continuation - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com (c).
Using Junior Stotts' directions or misunderstanding his directions, we went on a search to find the barn. Linda spotted this one, which turned out to be exactly the same. Chris Dial, a veteran explorer in the area, was the first to identify the Mystery Barn without inside information. - Ed Waggener

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



After Wednesday's heavy rains



2016-05-04 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, Columbiamagazine.com photo.
The high ground on Pine Branch Road afforded a bit of rainbow just above the tree line after today's - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - heavy rains. Pine Branch Road is off Jones Ridge Road.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Wisteria and Iris on Pine Branch Road



2016-05-04 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, Columbiamagazine.com photo.
Even the mid-afternoon hail and heavy rains couldn't ruin the beauty of the lavender Wisteria and peach colored Iris blossoms across from the McClister home on Pine Branch Road. Pine Branch is off Jones Ridge Road.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



Old fashioned pink roses on Pine Branch Road



2016-05-04 - Cumberland County, KY - Photo by Ed and Linda Waggener, Columbiamagazine.com photo.
Jackie and Peggy McClister said two large old fashioned pink rose bushes were among the many flowers her mother tended before her passing four months ago. We admired the blossoms during a visit after the hail and rains ended today, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Pine Branch is off Jones Ridge Road.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



 




























 
 
Quick Links to Popular Features


Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on ColumbiaMagazine.com.

 

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017


Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to webmaster@columbiamagazine.com. All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.