Department of Parks
Spring Rolls Out Variety at Kentucky State Parks
FRANKFORT, Ky--Warm weather signals a time to shuck jackets, adopt a warm weather attitude and don casual attire to head outside and enjoy nature. Kentucky has nature and scenic beauty aplenty at any one of 52 state parks and historic sites convenient to every area of the state. Events and activities are happening all over the state that complement rising temperatures. Check out all the options and times and make reservations at www.parks.ky.gov.
Campgrounds are open for the season and several are having yard sales on site. Stroll and shop these campgrounds to see what goodies and treasures may be waiting for just the right buyer. Blue Licks State Resort Park on U.S. 68 near Mount Olivet, Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park near London and Fort Boonesborough just north of Richmond and I-75, have sales planned. For great bargains, check all three. Blue Licks is April 17, Levi Jackson and Fort Boonesborough set up shop on May 7.
In the eastern region of the Bluegrass State, wildflowers, birds and the art of description are on tap at several different parks. Carter Caves State Resort Park, near Grayson, has the Tygart Creek Regatta planned. Paddle a six-mile canoe excursion through a beautiful gorge scheduled for Saturday, April 17. Carter Caves also has their annual wildflower pilgrimage that complements camper appreciation weekend on April 23 and a seven-mile hike (moderate difficult terrain) into Kiser Hollow on May 1. Natural Bridge State Resort Park near Slade-- less than an hour’s drive from Lexington--is home to a wide array of native wildflowers that decorate Kentucky’s land of stone arches this time of year. The park’s Wildflower Weekend is April 23-25 and a colorful opportunity for a spring getaway in the Daniel Boone National Forest with Kentucky Native Plant Society representatives. Field trips, nature walks and experts are included in the event. On April 24-25, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park near Greenup hosts the Dogwood Writer’s Workshop for novice and established writers alike who want to sharpen their skills for describing the great outdoors and any other subject. Network and learn from professionals and other writers and find out literary market news in beautiful surroundings that enhance any experience.
Parks in the central region of Kentucky--north to south--offer special events in coming weeks that range from star gazing to geocaching to learning about critters. E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, near Louisville, celebrates Earth Day on April 22, with hiking, geocaching, and more. Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, just south of Jamestown, celebrates Earth Day on April 23, with a geocaching adventure for beginners and experienced hunters, families and friends. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin, has several special programs over the next several weeks. Sharpen photography skills on April 23, plan a family nature getaway for the Family Eco Adventure Weekend April 23-25, and on May 8, join the star party where telescopes and modern-day Galileos teach about sky maps and other space objects. On Mother’s Day, May 9, at General Burnside Island State Park near Somerset, naturalist Tammy Elza with her Kentucky Environmental Education Co. will show the particulars about nurturing animals native to Kentucky.
Finally, in the western region of the state, nature is the star of the show in fine fashion at five park sites hosting a variety of get-outdoors adventures. The Woods Walk at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, is scheduled for April 17. Participants will experience the natural wonders of this ecosystem and the resources used by the prehistoric Mississippian culture that once lived in this village site. It’s mountain bike day on May 2 along the Macedonia Trail at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, near Dawson Springs. Three loops make up the intermediate ride, which is suitable for beginners, too. The path is four to six miles long, depending on route. Let the birthday celebration for the famous American wildlife artist begin at John James Audubon State Park at Henderson with the Ohio Valley Birding Festival on April 29-May 2. The park has a stunning collection of artifacts and the museum includes exhibits of the wildlife artist’s work and life.
Many memorable experiences happen each spring at Kentucky State Parks. Get busy making a few for you, your friends and family.
Kentucky State Parks are made up of 53 state parks plus one that is shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges – and has more acreage in the system than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw millions of visitors and generates hundreds of millions to Kentucky’s economy. For more information about amenities, events and other aspects of KySP, visit the Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov