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Kentucky State Parks

Genuine Kentucky

Through the “USA Military Discount” program, Kentucky State Parks will offer current and former members of the armed forces lodging discounts effective Nov. 1, 2020.

Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists are eligible for a state park discount from Nov. 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Discount rates are available at Kentucky State Resort Parks and the cottages at John James Audubon State Park.

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Following the reopening of Kentucky State Park campgrounds, parks officials announced today that campground bathhouses will also reopen. Campers with tents and pop-up campers will now have access to the state park campgrounds.

State Parks

As part of an ongoing effort to safely restart the state’s tourism industry, Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will reopen the four Kentucky State Park lodges previously designated as part of the state’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency response.

Parks that will reopen June 8 include Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

Kentucky State Parks

Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that as part of the Healthy at Work initiative the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will reopen tourism in an effort to generate revenue to boost the state’s economy and offer Kentuckians opportunities to explore the commonwealth through in-state travel.

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As part of an ongoing effort to ensure the health and wellness of the public as Kentucky fights aggressively to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet announced today that the Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky State Parks will be open to the public for daytime use only.

Kentucky State Parks

The Kentucky Department of Tourism, within the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, is excited to announce the release of a series of videos dedicated to highlighting the best of the Bluegrass State.

State Parks

In setting the example for social distancing in managing COVID-19, Kentucky State Parks have implemented the following precautionary measures to help ensure the health and well-being of all parks visitors and staff. 

•Food services are limited to carry out only. No food will be served in restaurant dining rooms. Lounges and bars are closed

•Hidden Rivers Restaurant at Blue Licks Battlefield State Park will remain closed

•Historic homes and museums remain open per winter and spring schedules

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Fresh air fanatics, get ready, camping season is about to open at Kentucky State Parks.

“Our state parks are treasured by thousands of Kentucky families, including mine,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I hope to see Team Kentucky outside and having fun this year – stay safe and keep exploring!”

The camping season officially opens March 13, 2020, at all 30 Kentucky State Park campgrounds that feature about 2,300 campsites across the state.

Kentucky State Parks

Announcing $50 million in infrastructure projects to bolster and make improvements to Kentucky State Parks, Gov. Matt Bevin ceremonially signed House Bill 268, a measure that made the parks funding possible.

The $50 million for parks was included in a bond issue approved earlier this year by Gov. Bevin and the 2019 General Assembly. The money will address the most critical needs within the parks system, which include improvements to wastewater treatment facilities, roof repair and replacement, utility improvements, communications systems and other state park upgrades.

Kentucky State Parks

Gov. Matt Bevin joined Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and Kentucky State Parks officials at General Butler State Park to announce the kickoff of phase II of the Commonwealth's “Refreshing the Finest” initiative.

Launched in 2016, “Refreshing the Finest” has already invested $18 million in maintenance and operational improvements to the Kentucky State Parks system. The 2018 General Assembly allocated an additional $20 million to replace park lodge roofs, upgrade campgrounds, repair wastewater treatment plants, fix swimming pools and make other much-needed facility repairs.

Kentucky State Parks

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District announces that it will hold a 50th Anniversary celebration, Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Grayson Lake Dam Site Recreation Area from 1-5p.m.

This is a free event and open to the public with family and children activities and local entertainment. It will also include several prominent speakers and the establishment of a time capsule that will be opened on the dam’s 100th anniversary.

Kentucky State Parks

Kentucky is a hidden gem of Southern fare, featuring one-of-a-kind restaurants and chefs specializing in local ingredients and distinctive cuisine.

With the newly announced Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative, nine regional signature meals, culinary trails and hosting of the upcoming season of Top Chef, Kentucky continues to grow as a must-visit destination for all food lovers.

The Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative encourages guests to learn about the unique cultural aspects of each region that in turn contribute to their signature dishes.

Herald-Dispatch

Plan a spring adventure on Tygarts Creek on a canoe or kayak with a 6-mile  excursion hosted by Carter Caves State Resort Park.

The park is offering guided trips on six dates in 2018 – April 14, 21, 29 and May 2, 6 and 12.

The 3.5-hour trip down Tygarts Creek goes through one of Kentucky’s most beautiful limestone gorges. The park will provide canoes or kayaks, paddles, life vest, transportation shuttle from and back to the Welcome Center, and guides for your trip.

The fee is $40 per person. (The fee is $30 a person if you bring your own canoe or kayak.)

Genuine Kentucky

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at a Kentucky State Park this year with your special someone! Many parks are offering events and weekend packages in February to help celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The packages include overnight stays, meals and entertainment. Kentucky State Resort Parks have lodges, restaurants and recreational opportunities.

Carter Caves State Resort Park

Carter Caves State Resort Park will present a weekend of outdoor adventure with its ninth annual Winter Adventure Weekend Jan. 25-28, 2018.

Guests will be able to enjoy hiking, paddling trips, recreational tree climbing, cave tours including wild cave trips, winter survival, rappelling, ice climbing a zip line and other adventures.

Trip Advisor

The amphitheater at My Old Kentucky Home State Park is closed because of electrical and structural issues. An inspection conducted this week by the Kentucky Department of Parks determined that the stage area is not safe for employees or park guests.

The J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre was constructed in 1958 and has hosted The Stephen Foster Story annually since that time.

Trip Savvy

The Kentucky State Parks will celebrate the start of 2018 with several New Year’s Eve parties and events planned at resort parks across the state.

Dinner buffets, entertainment, dancing and theater are among the options at the parks on Dec. 31. Many parks are offering lodging packages that include entertainment and meals.

For more details on New Year’s Eve events at Kentucky State Parks, visit http://parks.ky.gov/new-years-eve

The Lane Report

Seventeen Kentucky State Resort Parks will serve the Thanksgiving Day buffet on Nov. 23, 2017.

Kentucky State Parks will serve 2,000 pounds of turkey, 1,500 pounds of sweet potatoes, and 750 pounds of country ham. Additionally, 4,300 pieces of fried chicken, 1,300 pounds of roast beef, and 12,000 rolls will be served along with 600 pies, including pecan and pumpkin.

The parks have hosted the Thanksgiving Day buffet for more than 40 years and typically serve around 10,000 guests.

Road Trippers

Current and former members of the nation’s armed services can receive lodging discounts at Kentucky State Parks with the “USA Military Discount” program from Nov. 1, 2017, to Mar. 31, 2018.

Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists, are eligible for the program.

“Kentucky State Parks are proud to offer this lodging discount to show our appreciation to the women and men who serve or who have served in uniform for our country,” Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland said.

Adventures in Homeschooling

Step back in time as Big Bone Lick State Historic Site returns to days long past during the 35th annual Salt Festival the weekend of Oct. 13-15.

The festival features demonstrations of pioneer living, frontier skills, traditions, and lifeways. Browse the crafters corner to see the many handcrafted items for sale and find lots of good eats at the food court. 

Morehead Writing Project

Kentucky State Parks are offering a lodging discount to Florida residents looking for a place to stay to avoid Hurricane Irma.

Guests with a Florida driver’s license can receive 25 percent off the regular rate for lodge rooms and cottages through Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

The Kentucky State Parks have 17 resort parks that feature lodges, restaurants and recreational activities. Most resorts also have cottages. Additionally, the park system operates 30 campgrounds across the state.

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Kentucky State Parks will be participating in the Aug. 21 Great American Solar Eclipse with fun and educational events during July and August.

Some parks have astronomy experts scheduled to give talks about the eclipse.

Kenlake State Resort Park will kick off the events July 28 with “The Star Geezer" Mark Steven Williams.

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park will host University of Louisville Astronomy Professor Benne Holwerda for a presentation the weekend of Aug. 19-21.

Kentucky State Parks

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park will receive 30 recycling bins for its campground thanks to a grant made possible by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group in collaboration with Keep America Beautiful.

The grant, obtained by the Friends of Jenny Wiley, is aimed at keeping parks across the country free of litter. The program has placed 3,400 recycling bins at parks in 38 states over the last four years.

Mother’s Day Buffet Planned At State Parks May 14

May 8, 2017
Kentucky State Parks

Give mom a break this Mother’s Day with a buffet at a Kentucky State Park. The Kentucky State Parks will be offering a Mother’s Day buffet Sunday, May 14, at its resort parks.

 

The menu includes salad bar, fruit, cheese, roast beef, roast pork with apple dressing, chicken and dumplings, fried catfish and hush puppies, vegetables and desserts.

 

The buffet will start at 11 a.m. and closing times will vary by park. General Butler State Resort Park is having seatings at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30, 4 and 5:30.

 

Derby Day Breakfast at Waveland May 6

Apr 17, 2017
parks.ky.gov

Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington will host its annual Derby Day breakfast on May 6 with a special menu for guests.

moreheadwritingproject.org

Experience the beauty of the Carter Caves Wildflower Pilgrimage April 21-22 at Carter Caves State Resort Park near Olive Hill.

Throughout the weekend guests will experience the beauty of the area during wildflower walks. This is the perfect weekend for experienced wildflower enthusiasts, beginner bloomers or those who just enjoy being in the woods to get outside and experience the natural beauty of spring.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of Carter Caves. All trips are free this year.

lakecumberland.com

Make plans to bring your family to a Kentucky State Resort Park for the annual Easter buffet on April 16 for a great meal.

The menu at the resort park restaurants includes roast beef carved on the line; baked country ham; catfish and hushpuppies; and a chef’s favorite entree selection. The meal will also include fresh fruit, a cheese bar, garden vegetables, salad, and desserts.

The price for adults is $19.50, and children (12 and under) are $9.50, not including tax. The price includes a beverage. The buffet will be served starting at 11 a.m.

lakecumberland.com

 If you’re planning to enjoy the outdoors this year and go camping, make sure to try out a Kentucky State Park campground.

 

The parks have 30 campgrounds across the state. To help kickoff the camping season, the state parks will hold its annual “Camper Appreciation Weekend” on April 28-30, when campers can get two nights for the price of one.

 

Another camping discount offered during April is a two nights for the price of one Sunday through Thursday nights. Guests should use the discount code “Spring2017” when making online reservations to get the discount.

Kentucky State Parks

Kentucky State Parks announced today that it will look at alternative recreational uses for the 9-hole golf courses at Carter Caves State Resort Park and Kincaid Lake State Park.

The parks previously sought proposals for private businesses to manage the golf courses, but did not receive any responses.

As a result, the course at Carter Caves will close permanently April 2. The course at Kincaid Lake will remain open through Oct. 31, 2017.

parks.ky.gov

The Kentucky State Parks’ Family Adventure Quest is fresh and new for its 12th year with a convenient online registration available for the first time.

Family Adventure Quest is a digital photo scavenger hunt for families or friends that features “quests” at state parks across the state. By correctly answering these quests, your team can qualify for prizes while at the same time experiencing great adventures!

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