The Ranch of the Valley of the Springs, also just called The Ranch, sits just a few miles to the west of Paoli, Indiana, in Orange County. Part of the Valley of the Springs resort, it’s an 1,100 acre working cattle ranch, home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole state.
My family and I had a chance to spend a night at The Ranch during a three-day visit to Southern Indiana. We spent the night in a gorgeous 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom cabin just a short walk from the main office.
When you enter the ranch, you’ll drive through a covered bridge reminiscent of the covered bridges Indiana has been known for over the years. Driving through the bridge and entering the ranch on the other side gives you a chance to slough off your cares of the world and leave it behind for a few days, or even just one day.
After passing through the bridge, we were hit smack in the face with a view of gorgeous fields with the brilliant yellow wildflowers and the ranch’s horses. Luckily no one was on the paved road at the moment, because we sat for a few minutes admiring the view.
The Ranch is a four-season resort, because the cabins are fully insulated, heated, and come with a gas fireplace. There’s also a DVD/VCR combo player and a few cable channels for when night comes or it’s too cold to go outside. The office also has a few DVDs and VHS tapes available, as well as some sporting equipment to borrow.
You can also take a one- or two-hour horseback ride, walk along some of the hiking trails, play basketball or volleyball, and then cool off in the below-ground swimming pool. Or you’re about 15 minutes east of the French Lick Casino and the West Baden Springs Hotel, which we visited that night (the hotel, not the casino).
The cabin we stayed in — Cabin #5 — was comfortable, very spacious, and beautifully decorated. There were king-sized beds in each of the room, which means it will hold 6 people, 7 if you want to put someone on the couch. The bathrooms were spacious, the size of normal bathrooms, not the little closets you find in most hotel rooms.
Rates at The Ranch vary from $149 for a weekday night for the smaller cabins to $229 for a weekend night for the larger cabins. There is also a Ranch House that sleeps up to eight people.
All in all, The Ranch was a wonderful place and the staff took great care of us. We didn’t have time to ride the horses or take a walk along the trails, but we did have a good time exploring the grounds and the surrounding countryside. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway after a hectic week or month, slip through the covered bridge and enjoy the peace and lush scenery for a few days.