Kentucky State Parks
List of 9 State Parks in Eastern Kentucky including location, size, accommodations and activities for each park.
Kentucky’s State Park system is home to many parks, resorts and historic sites, which offer nice accommodations, camping, recreational activities, educational opportunities, and facilities for meetings and conferences. The Kentucky Department of Parks can be reached by writing to them at Kentucky Department of Parks, Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Metro Street, Suite 1100, Frankfort, KY 40601-1974. You may also call 1-800-255-PARK (7275).
Barren River Lake and State Resort Park is about 2,187 acres and is located near Kentucky’s famous cave area. It is 44 miles east of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Taking I-65 to the Cumberland Parkway east, then traveling to US 31 E south, you can reach it. Overnight visitors may choose from the 51-room Louie B. Nunn Lodge, one of the 22 cottages or the 99-site campground. Fishing, boating, swimming, golf, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, tennis and basketball are among the many activities that park visitors may enjoy. Private meeting and dining rooms are also available for conferences and banquets. For more information, write Barren River Lake State Resort Park, 1149 State Park Road, Lucas, KY 42156-9709 or call 270-646-2151. For reservations, call 1-800-325-0057
Ben Hawes State Park is located 4 miles west of Owensboro off US 60. This 297-acre park offers an 18-hole and a 9-hole golf course, pro shop, hiking trails, an archery range, a softball field, a basketball court, picnic shelters and a playground. For more information write, Ben Hawes State Park, 400 Bloomfield Road, Owensboro, KY 42301 or call 270-684-9808.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park is located 48 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky on US 68. The salt springs at Blue Licks date back to prehistoric times and were the center of Indian life for a while as well. Blue Licks is most noted as the site of the final battle in Kentucky of the Revolutionary War. This park became a polished resort park in May 1999. Overnight travelers can stay in the 32 room lodge that was completed in 2000, one of the cottages, or the 51-site campground. Meeting space and banquet facilities are also available and can accommodate up to 100 guests. This 150-acre park has a nature preserve with hiking trails, an 18-hole miniature golf course, junior-Olympic sized pool, nature preserve, gift shop, picnic areas, and an interesting Pioneer Museum featuring mastodon bones and pioneer artifacts. For more information you may write, Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, P.O. Box 66, Mount Olivet, KY 41064-0066 or call 606-289-5507 or 1-800-443-7008.
Boone Station State Historic Site is located south of Lexington, Kentucky off I-75 at exit 104. This 46-acre site memorializes Daniel Boone who is one of Kentucky’s most important historical figures. Two of Daniel Boone’s brother’s, Samuel and Edward are buried at this site along with Samuel’s wife, Sarah. Picnic tables are available as well.
Big Bone Lick State Park is located 22 miles southwest of Covington, Kentucky on KY 338, off of US 42-127 and I-71/I-75. Hiking, camping, fishing, miniature golf, tennis, volleyball, basketball, softball, horseshoe pitching, and picnicking are among the many park activities that visitors may enjoy. This 525-acre park has a small museum with fossil displays, video presentation, and gift shop. It is thought that herds of mastodons, mammoths, and bison roamed these grounds in ancient times and were attracted to the warm salt springs. The park also has a Discovery Trail and an Outdoor Museum at Big Bone Lick. In addition the park features a herd of American Buffalo or bison as an effort to reestablish these near extinct animals in the Big Bone Lick area. The last time wild buffalo roamed this area in Kentucky was around 1800. For more information write, Big Bone Lick State Park, 3380 Beaver Road, Union, KY or call 859-384-3522.
Breaks Interstate Park is located 7 miles east of Elkhorn City, Kentucky and 8 miles north of Haysi, Virginia on KY-VA 80 on the border of these two states. Pikeville, KY is located northwest of the park. This park features a 5-mile long canyon that is 1600 feet deep and 250 million years old that is the largest canyon east of the Mississippi River. Accommodations at this 4,600 park include a 34-room lodge, 4 cottages, and a 122-site campground. A restaurant, visitor’s center, convention center, amphitheater, and gift shop are located within the park as well. Visitors may enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, white water rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and picnicking while at the park. For more information write, Breaks Interstate Park, P.O. Box 100, Breaks, Virginia or call 540-865-4413. For reservations, you may call 1-800-982-5122.
Buckhorn Lake State Park is located 25 miles northwest of Hazard, Kentucky and 124 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky. Visitors may stay at the 36-room Buckhorn Lodge or in one of the 856-acre park’s 3 cottages. Meeting and private dining rooms are also available. Water sports include a 95-slip marina, 2 boat-launch ramps into Buckhorn Lake, rental boats, fishing, and swimming at the lodge pool or public beach. Other activities include tennis, horseshoes, volleyball, shuffleboard, miniature golf and hiking. For more information write, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY Highway 1833, Buckhorn, KY 41721 or call 606-398-7510. For reservations, call 1-800-325-0058.
Carr Creek State Park is located 15 miles southeast of Hazard, Kentucky on KY 15. This 29-acre park offers a full service marina, a 39-site campground, a beach, and a 750-acre lake that is great bass, crappie and walleye fishing. For more information write Carr Creek State Park, P.O. Box 249, Sassafras, KY 41759 or call 606-642-4050.
Carter Caves State Resort Park is located 30 miles west of Ashland, Kentucky and consists of about 1,800 acres. Visitors may stay at the 28-room Caveland Lodge, one of 10 cottages, or the 89-site campground. Carter Caves Lodge underwent a $1.75 million renovation that was completed in May 1999. Meeting and banquet facilities are available and can accommodate up to 350 guests. Various cave tours are available for beginning to advanced spelunkers at an additional cost. Recreational facilities include 2 pools, horse stables, 2 tennis courts, picnic areas with grills and playgrounds, nature trails and a 9-hole regulation golf course. Non-motorized boating is allowed on the 40-acre lake, as is fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. For more information write, Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Drive, Olive Hill, KY 41164-9032.
Columbus-Belmont State Park is located 36 miles southwest of Paducah on KY 58 and KY 123/80. This 156-acre site is where the 1861 Battle of Belmont took place in a battle to overtake the Confederate stronghold. The park features a cannon and anchor that were part of the artillery used against Union troops in 1861, a Civil War Museum, an activity center, historic hiking trails, a miniature golf course, picnic areas, snack bar, gift shop, and a 38-site campground. For more information write, Columbus-Belmont State Park, P.O. Box 9, Columbus, KY 42032-0009 or call 270-677-2327.
Constitution Square State Historic Site is located in Danville, Kentucky, which is 35 miles southwest of Lexington and 80 miles southeast of Louisville. It was the birthplace of Kentucky’s statehood when it separated from Virginia on June 1, 1792. The Governor’s Circle is a bronze statue that depicts the state seal in a circle of plaques dedicated to each Kentucky governor. Replicas of the original log courthouse that was completed in 1785, a meetinghouse, and the jail that was constructed out of 9-inch thick logs stand on the site. There are several brick houses, a tavern and a schoolhouse that date back to that time period. A museum and art gallery can also be found at this 3-acre site that is open year-round. Picnic tables are located on the park grounds as well. For more information write, Constitution Square State Historic Site, 134 South Second Street, Danville, KY 40422-1880 or call 859-239-7089.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located 20 miles southwest of Corbin, Kentucky and consists of about 1,657 acres. Hiking, fishing, swimming, white water rafting, horseback riding, picnicking, tennis, shuffleboard and horseshoe pitching are among the many activities available. Visitors may stay at the 52-room Dupont Lodge, one of 26 cottages, or at the 50-site campground. Banquet and meeting facilities are also available. The Bob Blair Museum features Native American artifacts and exhibits of area plants, animals and history. Moonbows are visible on specific dates when the weather is clear. For more information write, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, 7351 Highway 90, Corbin, KY 40701-8814 or call 606-528-4121. For reservations, call 1-800-325-0063.
Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is located about 85 miles southwest of Somerset, Kentucky near the Tennessee border. This posh resort was opened in 1997 and features a 28,000 acre lake and 3,400 acres of unspoiled wilderness to explore. Visitors may stay at the 60-room Mary Ray Oaken Lodge or at the 144-site campground. Meeting rooms and banquet facilities are also available. The park has a marina with 36 open slips, 15 buoys and overnight tie-ups, a marina shop, pontoon boat rentals, and a boat-launching ramp. Water sports at the park include water-skiing, swimming, fishing, spear fishing, and scuba diving. Other activities include nature trails, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, picnicking and playgrounds. For more information write, Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, 6371 State Park Road, Bow, KY 42717-9728 or call 270-433-7431. For reservations, call 1-800-325-2282.
Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site is located 5 miles southwest of Barbourville, Kentucky on KY 459 and consists of about 12 acres. Dr. Walker was a physician and surveyor who led the first expedition through the Cumberland Gap in 1750. A replica of a cabin he built stands on the site today. The gift shop, concession stand and miniature golf facilities are open seasonally. The house and grounds may be toured year-round. The picnic areas, playground, and basketball courts are accessible year-round as well. For more information write, Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site, H,C, 83, Box 868, Barbourville, KY 40906-9603 or call 606-546-4400.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park is located on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. The 390-acre park is named for Erbon Powers “Tom” Sawyer, father of newswoman Diane Sawyer. Recreational facilities at the park include 10 soccer fields, 3 lighted softball fields, 12 tennis courts, an Olympic sized swimming pool, a fitness trail with 10 exercise stations, a nature trail that is wheelchair accessible, a model airplane airfield, a BMX track, and an activity center. The activity center houses a 600-seat gymnasium, indoor basketball, badminton, and volleyball courts, a weight room, shower facilities, a game area, a meeting room, and administrative offices. Sports leagues and clinics are offered throughout the year. Exercise programs, swimming lessons, arts & crafts classes and children’s classes in gymnastics, tumbling and physical education are also available. Picnic areas, a playground and a concession stand are also found at the park. For more information write, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, 3000 Freys Hill Road, Louisville, KY 40241-2172 or call 502-426-8950.
Fort Boonesborough State Park is located in Richmond, Kentucky. This 153-acre park has been reconstructed to resemble a working fort complete with cabins and blockhouses. Resident artisans demonstrate pioneer crafts and relate pioneer experiences to visitors. Recreational facilities include fishing, boating, miniature golf, swimming, hiking, and picnicking. A 167-site campground and meeting room are also located at this park. Museum tours are available for Fort Boonesborough and nearby White Hall State Historic Site. The two gift shops feature a variety of handcrafted items from around the state. For more information write, Fort Boonesborough State Park, 4375 Boonesborough Road, Richmond, KY 40475-9316 or call 859-527-3131.
General Burnside State Park is located 8 miles south of Somerset, Kentucky. This 430-acre island is surrounded by 50,250 acres of Lake Cumberland and was named for Civil War general Ambrose Burnside. The park features a 94-site campground, an 18-hole golf course, a marina, and boat rentals. Visitors may also enjoy swimming, fishing, boating and picnicking. For more information write, General Burnside State Park, P.O. Box 488, Burnside, KY 36119-0488 or call 606-561-4104.
General Butler State Resort Park is located 44 miles northeast of Louisville, Kentucky.
This 791-acre park was named for William Orlando Butler who was a hero in the War of 1812. Park guests may stay at the 53-room Butler Lodge, one of 24 cottages, or at the spacious 111-site campground. The conference center opened in January 2000 and can accommodate between 500 and 800 guests for banquets or meetings. Private dining rooms that seat up to 40 guests are also available as well as a 176-seat traditional dining room. The Butler-Turpin Historic House, a Lookout point, 9-hole and 18-hole golf courses, nature trails, picnicking, boating, swimming and a beach are among the park’s many attractions. Fishing has temporarily been suspended in order to re-stock the lake and a date has not yet been set for fishing to resume. Tennis and basketball courts as well as picnic shelters and playgrounds are also available. For more information write, General Butler State Resort Park, P.O. Box 325, Carrollton, KY 41008-0325 or call 502-732-4384. For reservations call 1-800-325-0078.
Grayson Lake State Park is located about 50 miles southwest of Ashland, Kentucky and includes a 1,512-acre lake that is surrounded by beautiful sandstone bluffs. Camping, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking and relaxing on the beach are among the many activities this 1,500-acre park has to offer. During the summer months the park is the stage for an outdoor musical drama. Playgrounds and picnic shelters are located around the park as well. For more information write, Grayson Lake State Park, 314 Grayson Lake Park Road, Olive Hill, KY 41164-9213 or call 606-474-9727.
Green River Lake State Park is about 1,331 acres and is located just south of Campbellsville in south-central Kentucky’s cave country. It features an 8,200-acre lake that is ideal for many water sports. There is even a beach designated for campers who are staying in one of the 156 camping sites the park offers. The full service marina has everything you might need to enjoy your day including 200 covered slips, several types of boat rentals, and jet skis. Fishermen will like the abundance of white, largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass in addition to bass, bluegill, crappie and muskie. Swimming, hiking, miniature golf, basketball, volleyball, picnicking are also activities visitors may enjoy. For more information write, Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville, KY 42718-9351 or call 270-465-8255.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park is located about 20 miles west of Ashland, Kentucky and consists of about 3,300 acres. Visitors may stay at the 36-room Jesse Stuart Lodge or the 63-site campground. Meeting and dining rooms are available. The Jesse Stuart Library & Reading Room contains personal mementos and works from the famous Kentucky author and poet are located in the lodge. Water sports including boating are available as well. The marina is open from April 1 to October 31 and offers 65 open slips and various types of boat rentals. For more information write Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, HC 60, Box 562, Greenup, KY 41144-9517 or call 606-473-7324. For reservations call 1-800-325-0083.
Isaac Shelby Cemetery State Historic Site is located 5 miles south of Danville, Kentucky off US 127. This site features the grave of Isaac Shelby who was Kentucky’s first and fifth governor. Shelby was also noted for his military, political and educational accomplishments and has counties named after him in 9 states. For additional information write, Isaac Shelby Site, c/o Constitution Square State Historic Site, Danville, KY 40422-1880.
Jefferson Davis State Historic Site is located 9 miles east of Hopkinsville, Kentucky on US 68. This site was built in honor of Confederate president, Jefferson Davis who was born on this site on June 3, 1808. He was a distinguished politician, a West Point graduate, a Mexican War hero, a congressman and senator for Mississippi, and the Secretary of War for Franklin Pierce’s administration. Davis founded the Army Medical Corps, suggested the purchase of the Panama Canal Zone, suggested that a transcontinental railroad connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and wrote “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.” The 351-foot obelisk rests on a foundation of solid Kentucky limestone and has seven-foot thick walls at the base and marks the site of Jefferson Davis’ birth. It features an elevator and observation room at the top of the structure that offers a panoramic view of the countryside. The grounds consist of about 19 acres. A gift shop, picnic shelters, museum, and a playground are also located on this site. This site was closed for repairs on January 6, 2000 and a re-opening date has not yet been determined but the closing is only expected to last for a short time. For more information write, Jefferson Davis Monument State Historic Site, P.O. Box 10, Fairview, KY 42221-0010 or call 270-886-1765.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky off US 23/460 on KY 3 deep in the heart of the Appalachians. It features 1,100-acre Dewey Lake and a variety of activities from Broadway shows in the amphitheatre to its wilderness trails amid beautiful mountain vistas. This 1,498-acre park is name for Jenny Wiley who was a brave pioneer woman that survived Indian capture and rugged conditions. Visitors may stay at the 49-room May Lodge, one of 18 cottages, or the 117-site campground. Dining rooms, meeting rooms, and a conference center are also available. A sky lift over Sugar Camp Mountain offers a scenic view of the park. Hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking and golf are among the other activities park visitors may enjoy. For more information write, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, 75 Theatre Court, Prestonsburg, KY 41653-9799 or call 606-886-2711. For reservations call 1-800-325-0142.
John James Audubon State Park is about 692 acres and is located on the northern outskirts of Henderson, Kentucky about one half mile south of the US 41 bridge over the Ohio River. The park is named for former resident John James Audubon. A museum features a unique collection of Audubon’s engravings, oils and watercolors as well as some personal memorabilia. The Nature Center has a wildlife observatory. The Discovery Center displays the locomotion, habitat, feeding, and behavior of birds. The park has 6 cottages for visitors to stay in and a meeting room that can accommodate up to 200 guests. Visitors may also enjoy camping, golf, fishing, hiking, boating, tennis, picnics, and periodic special events hosted by the park. For more information write, John James Audubon State Park, P.O. Box 576, Henderson, KY 42419-1893 or call 270-826-2247.
Kenlake State Resort Park is located 40 miles southeast of Paducah, Kentucky. This 1,795-acre park is on the mid-west shoreline of Kentucky Lake and has the longest shoreline of any man-made lake in the world. Visitors may stay at the 48-room Kenlake Hotel, one of 34 cottages, or the 90-site campground. Dining and meeting rooms are available as well. Park guests may visit the Kenlake Marina or enjoy fishing, swimming, golf, tennis, hiking, picnics or other park activities. For more information write, Kenlake State Resort Park, 542 Kenlake Road, Hardin, KY 40248-9737 or call 270-474-2211. For reservations call 1-800-325-0143.
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is located 21 miles south east of Paducah, Kentucky. It features the largest marina in Kentucky’s park system and the largest lake in the state. This 1,352-acre park has a 72-room lodge, a 14-room inn, 72 cottages, and a 221-site campground. The marina has 100 open slips and 225 covered slips in addition to several types of rental boats. There is also a 4,000-foot lighted airstrip. The convention center can accommodate up between 525 to 900 guests and the private dining room can seat up to 346 people. Visitors may also enjoy fishing, various water sports, swimming, golf, picnics, and more. For more information write, Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, P.O. Box 69, Gilbertsville, KY 42044-0069 or call 270-362-4271. For reservations call 1-800-325-0146.
Kincaid Lake State Park is located 48 miles southeast of Covington, Kentucky. This 850-acre park features a 183-acre lake and a 300-seat amphitheater. A multi-purpose building may be reserved for meetings of up to 240 guests. Camping, fishing, picnicking, miniature golf, swimming, hiking, paddle tennis, and a variety of athletic courts are also available. A boat dock with 38 open slips, a launching ramp and rental boats are located at the park as well. For more information write, Kincaid Lake State Park, Route #1 Box 33, Falmouth, KY 41040 or call 859-654-3531.
Kingdom Come State Park is located 65 miles northeast of Middlesboro, Kentucky. This 1,283-acre park has an elevation of 2,700 feet, which is the highest point of any Kentucky State Park. It was named after the Civil War novel “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” by Kentucky author John Fox, Jr. It features a circular stone gazebo at the park’s entrance that offers a spectacular view of Black Mountain and the town of Cumberland. Hiking trails are available to travel by foot, bike or light truck. At the base of Raven Rock lies an amphitheater. There is no campground at the park but primitive camping is allowed in designated areas. Fishing, boating, miniature golf and other activities are also available at the park. For more information write, Kingdom Come State Park, Box M, Cumberland, KY 40823-0420 or call 606-589-2479.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park is located 29 miles west of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This 3700-acre park has a fitness center, marina, convention center, 18-hole golf course and more. There is a 4,800 foot lighted airstrip just 3 miles from the lodge as well. Guests may stay at the 10-room Little River Lodge, the 120-room Barkley Lodge, one of 13 cottages, one of 5 suites at the lodges, or at the 78-site campground. The convention center can accommodate up to 500 guests and the private dining room can seat up to 331 guests. The fitness center is fully equipped with nautilus machines, fitness cycles, Olympic free-weight room, aerobic classes, tanning beds, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, locker rooms and more. Swimming, golf, tennis, trap shooting, hiking, picnics and other activities are available as well. The marina offers 112 covered slips, 60 open slips, boat-launching ramp and boat rentals. For more information write, Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Box 790, Cadiz, KY 42211-0790 or call 270-924-1131. For reservations call 1-800-325-1708.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is located 45 miles west of Somerset, Kentucky. Lake Cumberland has 50,000 acres of water and 1,225 miles of shoreline. It is considered to be one of the best areas in the Eastern United States for fishing and boating. It is know for its abundance of bass, crappie and walleye. Visitors may stay at the elegant 63-room Lure Lodge with its atrium, glass backed elevator, dining room, exercise room, hot tub and other pampering touches or they may opt for the cozy 10-room and 3 suite Pumpkin Creek Lodge. Private cottages or the park’s 147-site campground are also options for overnight guests. An Activities Center can be rented for conventions or reunions when using the park’s catering service. The marina has 100 open slips and various boat rentals. This 3,117-acre park offers fishing, indoor and outdoor pools, golf, hiking trails, riding stables, tennis, shuffleboard, picnic areas, playgrounds, exercise room & spa, and periodic special events. For more information write Lake Cumberland Resort Park, 5465 State Park Road, Jamestown, KY 42629-7801 or call 270-343-3111. For reservations call 1-800-325-1709
Lake Malone State Park is a 325-acre retreat that is located 22 miles south of Central City, Kentucky. It has a boat dock with 72 open slips that can be rented seasonally. Boat rentals are also available. Fisherman can try out their skills in the 788-acre lake trying to catch bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, and sunfish. Campers may choose from 100 primitive campsites with a central service building nearby to provide showers, rest rooms, and laundry facilities. A sand beach with lifeguard is also found at this park and it too offers showers and rest rooms as well as a vending area. The beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Hiking trails, picnic areas and playgrounds are also available. For more information write, Lake Malone State Park, Dunmor, KY 42339-0093 or call 270-657-2111.
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park is located south of London, Kentucky. This 896-acre park is named for the first judge in Laurel County and the road that was traveled by scores of settlers from 1774 to 1796. Some of the park’s features include McNitt’s Defeated Camp Pioneer Burial Ground, the Mountain Life Museum and McHargue’s Mill, a working pioneer grist mill. Campers will enjoy staying at the 146-site campground with utility hookups, showers, restrooms, laundry facilities and an activities room. In addition, the park offers a swimming pool, amphitheater, hiking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, miniature golf, gift shop, recreational areas and daily summer activities for visitors of all ages. For more information write, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, 998 Levi Jackson Mill Road, London, KY 40744-8944 or call 606-878-8000.
Lincoln Homestead State Park is located 5 miles north of Springfield, Kentucky. This 120-acre park features the original home of Nancy Hanks who was Abraham Lincoln’s mother, replicas of the 1782 cabin and blacksmith shop where Lincoln’s father was raised, and the home of Lincoln’s uncle, Mordecai Lincoln. The park also offers an 18-hole golf course, pro shop, picnic areas, playground, museum, and gift shop at this park. For more information write, Lincoln Homestead State Park, 5079 Lincoln Park Road, Springfield, KY 40069 or call 859-336-7461.
Mineral Mound State Park is located about 30 miles east of Paducah, Kentucky. This
541-acre park is on the shores of Lake Barkley. This park features a boat launching ramp, picnic area, and hiking trails. For more information about Mineral Mound State call Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park at 270-474-2211.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park is located in Bardstown, Kentucky. Federal Hill was the Bardstown mansion that inspired Stephen Foster to write “My Old Kentucky Home” that went on to become the official state song. Costumed guides give an enchanting tour of the stately mansion with its formal gardens. During the summer months, the amphitheater hosts an outdoor musical drama entitled “The Stephen Foster Story” under the stars of the night sky. Candlelight tours are offered during the Christmas holiday season. This 290-acre park also features an 18-hole golf course with pro shop, 39 camping sites, picnic area, playground, tennis court, gift shop, and more. For more information write, My Old Kentucky Home State Park, P.O. Box 323, Bardstown, KY 40004-0323 or call 502-348-3502.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park is located 52 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky, off the Mountain Parkway on KY 11. The natural sandstone arch for which the park is named was formed over millions of years and is a sight to behold. It is located deep in the Daniel Boone National Forest near the Red River Gorge Geological Area. The Natural Bridge is 65 feet high and spans 78 feet across and features scenic high stone cliffs and arches. The 1900-acre park has a sky lift, 9 hiking trails, nature center, tennis courts, picnic areas, pedal boats, miniature golf, fishing and more. The 35-room Hemlock Lodge offers private balconies with spectacular views. Visitors may also stay at one of the 3 cottages or at one of the 82 camping sites at the park. Dining rooms and meeting rooms are also available. For more information write, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, 2135 Natural Bridge Road, Slade, KY 40376-9701 or call 606-663-2214. For reservations call 1-800-325-1710.
Nolin Lake State Park is located north of Mammoth Cave National Park and southeast of Rough River Dam State Resort Park in west-central Kentucky. It is a 333-acre park with a 5,795-acre lake. There is a beach, picnic area, and a primitive camping area. The lake is also a popular spot to fish for bass, walleye, catfish and crappie. For more information write, Nolin Lake State Park, Box 340, Bee Spring, KY 42207 or call 270-286-4240.
Old Fort Harrod State Park is located 32 miles southwest of Lexington in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. This 32-acre park is name for Captain James Harrod who established the first permanent settlement west of the Alleghenies here in the rolling hills of central Kentucky. The fort has been reconstructed near its original site and costumed craftspeople perform various tasks. Visitors may watch broom makers, wood workers, basket weavers, blacksmiths, and farmers acting out pioneer living. The Ann McGinty Blockhouse, George Rogers Clark Blockhouse, James Harrod Blockhouse, Mark McGohon Cabin, William Pogue Cabin, Bryants Station Cabin, and John Lythe Cabin are some of the buildings guests can see. The Lincoln Marriage Temple where Abraham Lincoln’s parents were married, school building, pioneer cemetery, and museum with civil war history displays, Indian artifacts, and a gun collection are also located here. The amphitheater is host to two outdoor dramas, “The Legend of Daniel Boone” and “Shadows in the Forest” from mid-June through August. Picnic areas are also available. For more information write, Old Fort Harrod State Park, P.O. Box 156, Harrodsburg, KY 40330-0156 or call 859-734-3314.
Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historical Site is located about 25 miles south of Edmonton in Tompkinsville, Kentucky. The Old Mulkey Church was originally called the Mill Creek Baptist Church and was established by a small group of pioneer Baptists from the Carolinas and their leader Phillip Mulkey. John Mulkey was the first recorded preacher. By 1804 the congregation had grown so large that a meetinghouse was built. In 1809 the congregation was split by a controversy over Mulkey’s teachings and a second church was formed and called the Old Mulkey Church. This 60-acre park includes a cemetery in the churchyard that is where many Revolutionary War soldiers, early pioneers and even Daniel Boone’s sister Hannah were buried. A picnic area with playground and a gift shop are also located at this site. For more information write, Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site, 1819 Old Mulkey Road, Tompkinsville, KY 42167-8766.
Paintsville Lake State Park is located about 40 miles southwest of Ashland and about 4 miles west of Paintsville, Kentucky and was established in 1984. This 1,700-acre park features a full-service marina with 84 open slips, 84 covered slips, boat rentals, and a boat-launching ramp. Fishing for walleye and redbreast sunfish is available on the 1,139-acre Paintsville Lake. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in May of 2000 for a proposed $2.2 million campground and park office. The campground is planned to have 32 developed sites and 10 primitive sites along with recreational facilities, picnic shelters, and a bathhouse. The project is expected to be complete by the summer of 2001. For more information write, Paintsville Lake State Park, P.O. Box 726, Paintsville, KY 41240 or call 606-297-5353.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park is located 20 miles northwest of Hopkinsville in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. This park is surrounded by over 800 acres of beautiful woods and is named for the tiny Pennyroyal plant that is found in this area. The rustic stone and wood Pennyrile Lodge offers 24 rooms and sits on a high cliff overlooking the Pennyrile Lake. Thirteen cottages are located on the shores of the lake and a 68-site campground is located in the Pennyrile Forest. A dining room and meeting rooms are also available for groups up to 100 or more. A 9-hole golf course and miniature golf are offered to guests as well as hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, tennis, picnicking, and more. For more information write, Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, 20781 Pennyrile Lodge Road, Dawson Springs, KY 42408-9212 or call 270-797-3421. For reservations call 1-800-325-1711.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is located 45 miles southwest of Lexington in Perryville, Kentucky. This 250-acre site became the scene of the most destructive Civil War battle on October 8, 1862. More than 6,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing during the South’s last attempt to take Kentucky. The museum displays Civil War artifacts form the battle as well as maps of the battle’s layout. Monuments from several states honor their fallen soldiers. A Confederate monument was erected in 1902 and a Union monument was erected in 1931. Hiking trails and picnic areas are available for visitors as well. The annual Perryville Commemoration features authentic weaponry, clothing, campsites, and demonstrations of artillery, cavalry, infantry, and Civil War reenactments. For more information write, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, 1825 Battlefield Road, Perryville, KY 40468 or call 859-332-8631.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park is located 15 miles north of Middlesboro, Kentucky and overlooks the valley of the Kentucky Ridge State Forest. It became Kentucky’s first state park in 1924 and the first Mountain Laurel Festival was held in 1935. This celebration is held in the Laurel Cove Amphitheater on the last weekend of May each year when the mountain laurel is in full bloom. It features concerts, fireworks, dancing and the Mountain Laurel Queen’s crowning. This 1,519-acre park offers golf, miniature golf, hiking, swimming, naturalist programs, picnic areas, special events and more. The stone and wood Evans Lodge has 30 rooms with private patios or balconies for guests to enjoy the mountain views. A 36-site primitive campground and 20 cottages are also available for overnight guests. Dining rooms, meeting rooms, and the C. V. Whitney Convention Center can accommodate groups of 20 to 300 guests. For more information write, Pine Mountain State Resort Park, 1050 State Park Road, Pineville, KY 40977-0610 or call 606-337-3066. For reservations call 1-800-325-1712.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park is located about 40 miles southeast of Owensboro and about 40 miles southwest of Elizabethtown in western Kentucky. Aviators will enjoy having a 3,200 foot lighted airstrip and a shuttle service that is provided to the lodge. Rough River Dam Lodge has 40 rooms with private patios or balconies. Visitors may also choose to stay at one of the 15 cottages or at the 66-site campground. The dining room and meeting rooms can accommodate from 125 to 324 guests for banquets or conferences. The 637-acre park overlooks the 4,860-acre Rough River Lake that offers an abundance of water sports. The marina has 121 open slops, 29 open houseboat slips, 48 covered slips, a launching ramp, and rentals of fishing or pontoon boats. Hiking, picnicking, golf, miniature golf, volleyball, tennis, or shuffleboard may also be enjoyed by park visitors. For more information write, Rough River Dam State Resort Park, 450 Lodge Road, Falls of Rough, KY 40119-9701 or call 270-257-2311. For reservations call 1-800-325-1713.
Taylorsville Lake State Park is located about 30 miles southeast of Louisville, KY. This 1,625-acre park sits on a 3,050-acre lake. It has a 45-site RV campground, over 17 miles of hiking and horseback trails, 4 boat-launching ramps and a marina. Fishing for bass, bluegill and crappie is also permitted. For more information write, Taylorsville Lake State Park, P.O. Box 205, Taylorsville, KY 40071-0205 or call 502-477-8713.
Waveland State Historical Site is located 6 miles south of Main Street in Lexington, KY. This 10-acre site is where the beautiful Greek Revival home built in 1847 by Joseph Bryan stands. Bryan was a descendant of Daniel Boone and his family accompanied Boone through the Cumberland Gap before establishing one of the first settlements at Bryan’s Station in 1796. Tours of the home are available from March through mid-December with an admission fee. A picnic area and playground are also located here. For more information write Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Road, Lexington, KY 40514-1601 or call 859-272-3611.
White Wall State Historical Site is located off I-75 in Richmond, KY. It was the home of Cassius Marcellus Clay who was an abolitionist, newspaper publisher, Minister to Russia and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. This Italianate mansion, built by Clay’s father in 1799 has 44 rooms and was completely remodeled in the 1860s. More recently it was restored and showcases heirloom furniture and many unique features from that time. The house then had indoor running water and central heat, which were unusual for that time period. Costumed guides lead visitors on tours of the house and share history about White Hall and the Clay family between April and October. Candlelit tours of White Hall, decorated in traditional 19th century Christmas fashion, are available during the holiday season. A gift shop and picnic area can also be found on the 13-acre grounds.
For more information, write to White Hall State Historic Site, 500 White Hall Shrine Road, Richmond, KY 40475-9159.
William Whitley House State Historical Site is located 10 miles south of Stanford, KY. This 10-acre site is where the first brick home and circular clay racetrack in Kentucky were completed in 1794 by Kentucky pioneer William Whitley and his wife Esther. The estate, known as Sportsman’s Hill, was reputed for its architectural features and became a gathering spot for famous early Kentuckians like Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark. Tours of the house are available from mid-March through December. A gift shop, picnic area, and playground are also available to visitors. For more information write, William Whitley House State Historic Site, 625 William Whitley Road, Stanford, KY 40484-9770 or call 606-355-2881.
Yatesville Lake State Park is located about 25 miles south of Ashland, KY. The 39-acre park’s campground and launching ramps are about 15 miles away from the marina. The 2,300-acre lake has bluegill, bass and crappie for fisherman to enjoy catching. The nearby full-service marina offers 140 boat slips that were constructed in 1997 as well as boat rentals, gas, groceries, fishing equipment and souvenirs. For more information write, Yatesville Lake State Park, P.O. Box 767, Louisa, KY 41230 or call 606-673-1492.