Some days girls just wanna have fun … and that’s the kind of day Sharon and I had when we decided to drive south of Springfield and venture to Hidden Lake and Cooper Dock Wineries.
First of all, it was a beautiful day – really gorgeous! All of the heat and humidity, as well as the unlimited rain, just seemed to leave the area once September arrived.
So on the road we go! We decided to go to Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston first since on a map it looked like it was the furthest away, and we could jog over to Copper Dock before heading home. Hidden Lake Winery is a little over 100 miles from Springfield, and we had a plan to get there by lunchtime. Take I-55 South to Exit 33 (IL Route 4) and go towards Lebanon. After you get to Lebanon, turn towards Trenton (which by the way has a very cute ice cream shop called Dairy King). After this you will definitely want to use your GPS if you are not familiar with the area (like us). Turn on to Wesclin Road, then turn on to Wellen Road, wind around a bit, then you will find the Hidden Lake Winery!
It was a really beautiful drive, and could lead to a discussion about the differences between a highway, 2-lane road, hard road, black top, gravel road, lane, etc. Just sayin’ …
There is so much to like about this winery – beautiful grounds with lots of seating. We shared the chicken bacon ranch flatbread and a small charcuterie plate which was plenty for the two of us. They also have cabins for rent – I see a future road trip here again!
On to Copper Dock! It is located in Pocahontas (home to Gretchen Wilson) and will take you about a half an hour to get there from Hidden Lake Winery. Another beautiful, very peaceful, setting on a lake with lots of outdoor seating. They also serve food here, which is something we will have to try on our next visit.
We had a table right next to the lake – I could see the little fish from where I was sitting, and very scraggly looking turtle scared me LOL! He must have been looking for food.
We decided to stay off of the interstate highway and instead took the long way home – which is much better in my opinion if you have the time.
We went through Old Ripley, believe it or not, which led to a conversation about how towns and villages were named. Sharon and I are both familiar with a village named Ripley located in Brown County, so was Old Ripley originally just called Ripley? And then this new village unknowingly also decides to call itself Ripley, so the oldest of the villages just becomes Old Ripley? Why is there not a New Ripley? Maybe there is …
We realized we were going to go through Hillsboro, so naturally we had to stop at Cozy Cafe for egg rolls. I was introduced to these delicacies by my friends who own the wine store – they (or their family members) would bring them to the wine store, and I would be lucky if I could get one. Seriously, these are the best! I had actually never been to Cozy Cafe, so another first for me on this trip.
Lots of corn ready for harvest on the drive back … to me it is a beautiful site.
I would say Girls Day Out was a success – Cheers until next time!
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