Loraine and I set out from the Makanda Inn & Cottages to explore the East side of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. The nice thing about Makanda Inn & Cottages is that we are centrally located in the middle of the trail. The Ice provided some spectacular views. 

Gray-white icy tree seen from the front porch of the Inn

With good intentions to stick to a schedule, we were compelled to stop along the way to our first destination as we took in the beauty of the recent ice storm. We have to say winter provides some really spectacular scenery. We ended up seeing six hawks along the way.

The stream was flowing the Hawks were out and the gray day was highlighted by the ice

For this part we decided to head down to Owl Creek Vineyard, just 5 miles and ten minutes on beautiful winding country roads. Make sure you have your Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Winter Passport and get it stamped at each winery to take advantage of all the great benefits of this cool weather opportunity. Book January or February to reap the benefits of this offer. 

The red white and blue open sign on Owl Creek 's sign welcomes you to the winery

From there we took the short jaunt of 4.5 miles and 8 minutes to Starview Vineyards

The white star barn can be seen long before you arrive at Starview Vineyard

Once done at Starview it’s down the road to Orlandini Vineyard another 5.2 miles and ten minutes and more wine to try. 

Orlandini's beautiful copper sign almost hiding behind the ever green coated in ice

Hold on to your hats because you are going to have to travel a whole 1.7 miles and 4 minutes to get to Blue Sky Vineyard

Blue Sky's tan masonry sign at the entry lit up against the night sky

Now you could always reverse your loop and do Honker Hill Vineyard first. It is 7.1 miles and 12 minutes driving from Blue Sky and another 11.3 miles and 17 minutes back to the Makanda Inn & Cottages. Driving tip: on our two year old Garmin GPS the marker is a bit south of the actual location for Honker Hill.

Lucas Brothers Honker Hill Winery sign on tan building with geese in flight

But I can assure you there will be no traffic, either way you go the scenery is great. If you take Grassy Road to Honker Hill you will be treated to a nice view of Little Grass Lake and you could even stop off to check out Devil’s Kitchen Lake, if you are so inclined. 

Rustle Hill Winery sign against the gray winter sky

The last stop on the Trail, Rustle Hill Winery, is the closest to the Inn. Closed for the winter but a great place to grab a bite, hear some live music, and taste the wine, Just 4.5 miles and eight minutes south on Rt 51. Often the first stop for our guests after they check-in to get some dinner. 

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