KD Guest Ranch in Adamsville, Ohio

kd-guest-ranch-1Welcome to KD Guest Ranch (dude ranch) in Adamsville, Ohio is where Ohio is the gateway to the wild west once again!

KD Guest Ranch (dude ranch) in Adamsville, Ohio:  City slickers east of the Mississippi can saddle up for the ride of their life on a western dude ranch …in Ohio!

Ohio was known as the “Gateway State” to the Wild West more than a century ago 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!  

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 550 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 the psyche is the serenity of it all. The setting is better than the actual west. It is not dry, barren, brown and flat, oh no! It is vividly colorful with wood lines, green pastures and valleys with watering holes that provide some old-fashioned cowboy kicks. Take an afternoon swim, canoe ride or just fish.

Some guests find the lodge life 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 three square meals Dave and his dad cook up for guests will be some of the best eatin’ you’ve ever done in your life. And you’ll never miss a meal because you can hear that metal triangle being rung near and far signaling, “Get it while it’s hot!”

The saloon has plenty of table space to spread out, billiards, fireplace and 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 4 – 6 day 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 getting, grooming, and saddling your horse.

When the dusty trails come a calling, you’ll enjoy nature’s vistas, riding the fence lines and driving cattle. 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 and whoop up a whole lot of rootin’ and hollering. Try not to say, “Yee-Ha!” When you git’r done.

For those who like to rough it, there’s an optional overnight excursion that’ll allow you to cook over an open fire and sleep under the stars or in a primitive cabin. But if that’s keepin’ it too real, gather round the bon fire or poker table and listen to live music back at the lodge.

Even cowboys take a day off here and there and when they do, you can usually find them gathered at the nearest swimming hole. In this case, it’s a small lake complete with floating dock, water slide, pedal boats and canoe. Spend the afternoon swimming, reading or playing horseshoes and volleyball. And when you get hungry, no worries, food comes to you. While you’re having fun in the sun, the barbecue is on. A really long picnic table waits with all the fixings for a feast amidst the breezy shelter of shade trees.

Throughout the stay, food is a plenty. 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 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.

Other amenities include a game room, hot tub, massage and exercise space and conference rooms.

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 four cabins that can accommodate up to 15 people. The cabins are spacious with a rustic ranch decor but also include modern amenities. Watch the sun rise 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 4 – 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.

KD Guest Ranch is only a few years old so everything from the barn, lodge and cabins appears to be brand new! And it’s clean as a whistle anywhere you go on the grounds. Located in the Southeast Ohio foot hills 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 by calling 740-796-0099 or visiting www.kdguestranch.com.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler by Frank R. Satullo, The OhioTraveler