Department of Parks
Elk Tours Offered at 2 Eastern Kentucky State Parks
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Two state parks in eastern Kentucky will offer guests a unique wildlife viewing opportunity this fall and winter – elk viewing tours.
Visitors to Jenny Wiley and Buckhorn Lake State Resort Parks can choose a weekend and stay at a state park lodge or cottage to enjoy one of these unique tours.
New this year are evening tours and an overnight all-terrain vehicle tour set for Sept. 6 – both at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park near Prestonsburg.
Participants should bring their cameras – there should be great photography opportunities. The largest elk herds are located on privately owned lands that are normally closed to the public. This is one of the few opportunities available for the public to see the greatest number of elk.
The return of elk to the region is considered to be one of Kentucky’s biggest wildlife management success stories. The animals, after being gone from the state for 150 years, were returned in 1997. They now number around 10,000.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Fall 2014 dates: Sept. 20, 21, 27, 28; Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26; Nov. 1, 22, 29; Dec. 6.
Winter 2015 dates: Jan. 17, 24, 25; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; March 7
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is sponsoring elk tours at a cost of $30 per person or $15 per child 12 and under. This fee includes your transportation via van to the viewing sites and a continental breakfast. The park also offers packages for $160 for two people that include lodging and breakfast. Because these tours fill up quickly, registration is suggested. Special group and business tours are also available. Early morning (5:30 a.m.) and evening tours (3:30 p.m.) are offered on most dates.
The park is also offering an overnight ATV elk tour Sept. 6. The cost is $100 per person or $150 per couple. This trip includes a guide, dinner, snacks, breakfast and elk tour. Participants must provide camping equipment, ATV, transportation to site, and personal items.
Jenny Wiley is offering an overnight camping elk tour on Sept. 13. The cost is $100 each or $150 per couple. The park will provide transportation to the site and guests must bring camping items and equipment.
Call 1-800-325-0142 for information and reservations.
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn
Fall 2014 dates: Sept. 20, 27; Oct. 25; Nov. 1, 2, 22, 23; Dec. 6, 7.
Winter 2015 dates: Jan. 3, 4, 10, 11, 24, 25, 31; Feb. 1, 7, 8, 21, 22, 28; March 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29.
Enjoy seeing these majestic animals in their natural habitat. With sightings recorded on every tour over the last several years, guided elk viewing adventures have proven to be memorable wildlife viewing experiences. Participants must register by calling Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park at 800-325-0058. Participation in the natural history program the evening prior to the trip at 7 p.m. is strongly recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, camera, water and snacks. The tour van leaves the park between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. depending on the date, and usually returns to the park around 10:30 a.m. to noon. Package price of $120 per couple ($90 per single) includes one night’s lodging, continental breakfast and transportation to and from the elk preserve the following morning. Stay the night before or after with package for an extra $50. The cost for the tour only can be arranged. Call 1-800-325-0058 for reservations and information.
For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov