Best Dude Ranch in Ohio

KD Guest Ranch
Bringin’ The West to the East!  

There’s a dude ranch east of the Mississippi – in Ohio – that rivals the best in the west.

Ohio was once known as the “Gateway State” to the Wild West because its trails, rivers, canals, and railways connected the eastern states to the open plains of the west.  So when people today look for an authentic experience living, working, and vacationing all at the same time on a real dude ranch, they naturally think they must go west. That is until their search for the best dude ranches in the country uncovers a golden nugget known as KD Guest Ranch in Adamsville, Ohio where they are Bringin’ The West to the East!  

So plan now for a getaway close to home that’ll seem like another time and place. You’ll have lots of space so social distancing is pretty much built into this escape. KD Guest Ranch is family-run so if you want to help support a family-operated Ohio business once we are free to roam this summer, reserve some time here. The memories will last a lifetime.

Trip Advisor.com features 5-star reviews for this rare experience. In fact, all 54 reviews on the site are rated “Excellent.” There is nothing less than that. Here are some quotes from past visitors: “The food is amazeballs!” “Most memorable vacation ever.” “We are now cowboys – kinda.” “Extreme hospitality.”

So if you want to make sure this year’s family retreat is money well spent, consider that. And in a time of concern over what we come in contact with, know that many of the reviews emphasize the cleanliness throughout the facilities on the ranch.

This all-inclusive “breath of fresh air” vacation is perfect for families, friends, and small groups. But no matter what family you come from, you are going to be a part of the Burkey family during your stay. From the get-go, Kari (K) and Dave (D) Burkey turn on the charm at KD Guest Ranch. It is nestled in rolling hills untouched by man as far as the eyes can see, spanning hundreds of acres of family land. There, they lasso up trail rides, team penning, dude rodeo, evening entertainment, BBQ, and a whole lot more! The first thing that takes hold of guests is the serenity of it all. It is vividly colorful with wood lines, green pastures, and valleys with watering holes.

The best part is, you never have to cook or decide where to eat. Three hearty squares a day are served up with great conversation. When the metal triangle dinner bell is rung, there won’t be any stragglers. That’s for sure. The enormous dinner table is loaded with hot from the kitchen appetizers, bread, mouth-watering entrees, and plenty of salad, fruits, and veggies, compliments to the Burkey family chef.  Throughout the stay, whenever you find yourself parched, no matter where on the ranch that may be, there are pitchers of lemonade, iced tea and water served up. Fruit, ice cream bars, and other snacks may accompany it. The main meals are served in a variety of ways from family-style to buffet-style, and of course cowboy-style. Bacon, eggs, and grits may greet you in the morning, followed by a tasty lunch only to be topped by a lip smackin’ dinner with BBQ ribs or a thick juicy steak, not to mention fresh vegetables and mouth-watering homemade desserts. Common words you’re bound to hear meal after meal are, “I need that recipe.” You may be surprised that Kari and Dave are more than happy to give it to you. If someone has special dietary needs, no worries, your menu will be prearranged.

Some guests find the lodge life is just their speed and get lost in a novel on a comfy sofa in the rustic library flush with natural light. It’s where Kari permanently sealed a chest of Dave’s old rodeo gear from his bull-riding days.

The saloon has plenty of table space to spread out, billiards, fireplace, and on some evenings, a cowboy pluckin’ away at the guitar singing the night away while card games, conversation, and laughter echo throughout the lodge. When it’s time to retire to your guest quarters, you hit the trail and land in your cozy cabin done up special to make sure you never leave “the west.”

Once everyone is settled in and strangers become friends, you are matched with your horse for your 2 – 6-night stay. During orientation, you will observe a round pen demonstration and see how horses are trained. This lesson teaches horse psychology, how to ride and tack your horse. Pay attention because you will be responsible for grooming and saddling your horse.

When the dusty trails come to a calling, you’ll enjoy nature’s vistas, riding the fence lines and driving cattle. Each day, guests get to enjoy two horseback riding activities. The trail rides wind through more than 800 acres of rolling hills, creeks, and woodlands.

Afterward, it’s time for some cowboy fun. Enter the arena for rodeo games where you can learn to pen calves by separating three at a time from the herd and heading them into a small pen. With experience, you may partake in timed team penning. The sorting and penning of cattle originated from the open lands of the west when ranchers needed to sort their cattle from their neighbors.

Each night offers something different. There’s bonfire night, poker night, movie night, and saloon night to name several. There’s also live music or just a chance to kick back and relax on the porch. Other amenities include a game room, hot tub, massage, and exercise space, and conference rooms. Activities may include roping lessons, horse painting, arena games on horseback, or riding a mechanical bull.

KD Guest Ranch usually entertains smaller groups so that everyone feels like they’re part of the extended family. Just a stone’s throw from the lodge, there are several cabins. The cabins are spacious with rustic ranch decor but also include modern amenities. Watch the sunrise or set from the sprawling porch sipping a drink or passing time in a rocking chair.

Dave takes special care in putting together his groups. When families, couples, or individuals want to book 2 – 6 nights, they are matched to optimize camaraderie when possible. In addition, there are opportunities to book exclusive family reunions, corporate retreats, and team-building groups, as well as church, scout, and other groups.

Again, it’s clean as a whistle anywhere you go on the grounds. Located in the Southeast Ohio foothills of Appalachia country, KD Guest Ranch is ideally located for folks to mosey on over from any corner of Ohio, the surrounding states, and across the Midwest.

Learn more about KD Guest Ranch and available specials by calling 740-796-0099 or visiting www.kdguestranch.com/.

By Frank R. Satullo, The OhioTraveler, your Tour Guide to Fun

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