Department of Parks
Three State Resort Parks To Offer Fall and Winter Elk Tours
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks will again be offering elk tours this fall and winter, allowing visitors to see these majestic animals up close.
Tours have been added at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park – one of three parks that host the event. Elk viewing is also offered at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park and Pine Mountain State Resort Park.
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 more than 8,500.
You can pick out a weekend, stay at a state park lodge or cottage, and rise early to enjoy one of these unique tours. 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.
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park in Perry County is offering elk tour packages. The park’s weekend packages include a night’s lodging, two meals, and the elk tour. The package price is $150 per couple; $110 for individuals. Morning tours leave at Stay an extra night Saturday for $45. The elk tour alone is $30. (The park reserves the right to cancel tours due to inclement weather.)
Buckhorn Lake has a lodge, cottages, Bowlingtown Country Kitchen, hiking trails, mini-golf and fishing.
The dates for the elk tour weekends at Buckhorn Lake are Sept. 12-14; Oct. 17-19; Nov. 14-16; Nov. 21-23; Dec. 5-7 and Dec. 12-14. In 2009 the dates are Jan. 17-19, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, Feb. 27-March 1, March 13-15 and March 27-29.
For information and reservations, call Buckhorn Lake at 1-800-325-0058.
Tours offered at Pine Mountain State Resort Park near Pineville are $20 a person ($10 for children 12 and under). The program includes a Friday evening seminar concerning the natural history of the elk and the restoration program, a continental breakfast, passenger van transportation and interpretive guide services.
Pine Mountain has a rustic lodge, modern cottages, log cabins, Mountain View Restaurant, hiking trails, championship golf course, interpretive center, mini-golf, naturalist programming, and a gift shop. The park also conducts a popular series of special events throughout the year.
The dates of the Pine Mountain elk tours this fall are Sept. 19-20; Oct. 10-11; Oct. 17-18 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1, and in 2009 Jan. 9-10, Jan. 16-17, and Jan. 23-24. Call Pine Mountain at 1-800-325-1712 for information and reservations.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at Prestonsburg offers half-day tours that include a continental breakfast and costs $20 for adults and $10 for children under age 12.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park has a lodge, cottages, campground, Music Highway Grill, hiking trails, disc golf, fishing, a summer theater and recreational activities.
The dates at Jenny Wiley for 2008 are Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28; Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26; Nov. 1, 15, 22, 29 and Dec. 6. For 2009, the dates are Jan. 10, 17, 24, 25, 31; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 and March 7, 14.
For information and reservations, call Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at 1-800-325-0142.
Group tours are also available at these parks. Call the park for information. For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov