While on our way to a museum in Bardstown, we drove past a sign describing “The Cobblestone Path.” We were intrigued enough to stop (frankly, because, from the road, the slight clearing in the woods on the hillside didn’t look like much).

Remember when I said that little Bardstown boasts a rather stunning amount of regional, state, and national history?

Here’s what the aforementioned sign says:

The Cobblestone Path is one of the oldest paved roads in all Kentucky. By 1785, this was the original entry to Bardstown from the east and part of the legendary “Wilderness Road.” Congress ordered the Pioneer Trace to be improved as a military road after 1792. The cobbled paving of this hill dates to at least c. 1790. It allowed two-way traffic by heavy freight wagons, and for all wheeled vehicles entering and leaving Bardstown. After serving for more than thirty years as the major entry connector to the east end of historic Arch Street, the steep pathway was relegated to light traffic and mounted riders after the improved turnpike was constructed c. 1830. Cut off from the city’s modern streets after 1925, the path’s isolation allowed it to survive, serving only pedestrian traffic after that date.


Bardstown's "Cobbled Path" dates from the late eighteenth century


... for perspective, here's A.J. standing on the path; this road is so steep and narrow that it's hard to imagine two-way freight-wagon traffic here ... what a job that must've been!


... and a close-up of some of the late-eighteenth-century cobblestones