Department of Parks
Kentucky State Parks Offering Plenty of May Activities
FRANKFORT, Ky. – With the arrival of May, the Kentucky State Parks are gearing up for a summer full of special outdoor events, entertainment, water activities and plenty of family fun.
Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional time for the opening of swimming pools and summer programming at many state parks. But there are many activities scheduled before Memorial Day, which falls on May 31 this year.
The state park calendar for May is filled with canoe trips, entertainment, historic re-enactments and athletic events. There’s a variety of things to do at the park system’s 31 campgrounds, 17 resort park restaurants, historic sites, marinas, horseback riding trails and award-winning golf courses.
To learn more about the 52 Kentucky State Parks, including special events, park details, or lodging and camping reservations, visit www.parks.ky.gov. Guests may want to call the park in advance to check pool opening status or events affected by weather before making travel plans.
(The state parks holding canoe trips reserve the right to cancel the trip due to unsafe water or weather conditions. Due to recent rains, the water level is under constant surveillance and participants will be updated frequently as to the trip status.)
Listed below are just some of the special events scheduled for May:
Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
May 15: Barren River 5K Classic
Run this challenging course that takes you through the beautiful scenery of the park. Prizes will be awarded for each division and overall male and female winners. Registration fee includes T-shirt and goodie bag. To register, call 270-646-2151 or download a registration form at www.parks.ky.gov/raceseries/.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet
May 22: Licking River Canoe Adventure
This one-day trip is an all-inclusive, 20-mile excursion on the Licking River. Park will supply canoes, life jackets, box lunch, snacks, drinks, and evening buffet meal at Hidden Waters Restaurant. Cost is $69.95 plus tax. Space is limited. Contact Paul Tierney, Park Naturalist, for reservations and additional information by calling 800-443-7008.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
May 22: Cumberland Falls Beautification
Meet at the Visitors Center at 9 a.m. to help restore Cumberland Falls back to its natural beauty. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt and cookout lunch. 1-800-325-0063.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, Louisville
May 15: Storytelling and S'mores
Join us around the campfire for an evening of storytelling and yummy s'mores. Our storytellers will delight you with their humorous stories as your whole family sets around the campfire roasting marshmallows. Program will be at Picnic Grove from 7-9 p.m. $5 per family. 502-429-7270.
Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond
May 29-30: 18th Century Trade Fair & Rifle Frolic
Visit a social, political and business gathering of merchants, traders, artisans, Native Americans, militia members, beggars, long hunters, scouts and other characters. Listen to period music, visit camps and shop for 18th century goods as you compare life today to life 225 years ago. See a weekend of 18th century history come to life! This event is free with a paid admission to the fort. The event is 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 859-527-3131.
Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg
May 15: Bark in the Park
Bring your leashed family pet and enjoy a dog’s day out. This will be a festival devoted to the beloved family with a dog and cat show/contest with vendors selling and displaying all sorts of animal products. Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 859-734-3314.
General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton
May 29: Play It Again Concert Series
Kevin Stonerock is a melding of folk, roots country and rock with straightforward honesty. His 1978 first solo album, “Day Before Tomorrow” on 700 West Records racked up respectable sales and overseas airplay. Guitar Player magazine has deemed Kevin's guitar work “strong and inspired.” To date, Stonerock has five solo releases. His latest release is “Land of a Thousand Smiles” on Two Moon Records. This event starts at 7 p.m. at the Butler-Turpin State Historic House. 866-462-8853.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Greenup
May 15: Tractor Show
Greenup Old Tractors, Engines & Machinery (G.O.T.E.M.) will be having their annual Tractor Show at the Community Pool Parking Lot. All tractors are welcome along with hit and miss engines. Tractor registration is 9-11 a.m. Show hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be a Tractor Parade through the park at 11a.m. Tractor games begin at 1 p.m. with a Kiddies Tractor Pull followed by Tractor games for adults. Fun for the entire family and this event is free.
May 30: Homegrown 2010-Songs of Zachariah
The Greenbo Lake Amphitheatre “Homegrown 2010-Songs of Zachariah” is a day-long music fest featuring Christian, country, folk, and pop music from 1-9 p.m., sponsored by WTCR and Tours Eastern Kentucky. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Greenbo Lake Amphitheatre for a day of great music. This event is free and concessions will be available. No alcohol. 1-800-325-0083.
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
May 14-15: Home Grown Bluegrass and Creative Arts
Enjoy two days of pickin’ and jammin’. Local bluegrass bands will host this annual festival that is fun for all ages. A favorite is the open mic and pickin’ opportunities so bring your instrument! Friday night is music only; Saturday features music, art vendors, children’s events with magic shows, face painting, art classes, pottery, balloons, petting zoo and more. This event is held in conjunction with the Creative Arts Festival. Event admission is free; parking is $4 per car. 270-826-2247
Kenlake State Resort Park, Aurora
May 28-30: Memorial Day Weekend
Some of the activities for this Great American Weekend at Kenlake include learning how to fold the American flag, archery, tennis, flag football, and more. Make your own fishing pole. On Friday evening, help us eat the BIGGEST treat ever -- our Giant Banana Split! The Saturday evening program will feature the Tammy Elza animal show. The Sunday evening program will be storytelling, roasted hot dogs and some s'mores. Plus crafts, and more games, and more fun. 800-325-0143.
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville
May 29-30-Spring Craft Festival
This is an outdoor-juried craft show located on a point overlooking beautiful Kentucky Lake. The show features handcrafted items created by artists from Kentucky and neighboring states. Artist demonstrations and traditional Kentucky festival food mark this weekend “Made in Kentucky.” Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 1-800-325-0146.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Cadiz
May 15: Barkley Hoopfest
Lake Barkley State Resort Park is hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The tournament will have two age groups; 13-16 and 17 and up and is open to male and female players. Tournament fee is $15 per team. Pre-registration is required. Trophies are awarded to winning team in each age group. 800-325-1708.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade
May 15, 22, 28, 29: Squaredancing at Hoedown Island
Enjoy squaredancing outside at Hoedown Island at Natural Bridge State Resort Park. The island is located just behind the lodge and starts at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $3 a person; children 12 and under are free. Join us for dinner and spend the evening dancing. 800-325-1710.
Nolin Lake State Park, Bee Spring
May 22: Music Across Nolin
Once again this year the Friends of Nolin Lake will be offering music from 7-9 p.m. at the picnic shelter. The band for this evening will be The Acoustic Duo, with concessions available. 270-286-4240.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
May 15: Canoe the Tradewater
Ever see the beautiful sandstone cliffs along a river’s edge or enjoyed a backcountry river trip? This is your chance. Rebecca Clark, the park’s naturalist, will take the group to the Tradewater River for this awesome outdoor adventure. The flat water canoe trip is recommended for people ages 12 and up who have canoed before. The maximum number of participants is 18. A couple of kayaks are also available for rent. Lifejackets and paddles provided. Bring your own sunscreen and bug repellent. These trips will be half-day trips. Snacks and water will be provided. Registration fee is $20 per canoe. 1-800-325-1711.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville
May 27-30: Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival
A spring mountain celebration hosted by the city of Pineville featuring an assortment of gala events including concerts, dances, fun run, golf tournament, carnival and the crowning of the Mountain Laurel Queen. The event punctuates the arrival of spring to the mountains and the blooming of the Mountain Laurel. The park will host the Governor’s Luncheon and Queen’s Coronation on Saturday, and the Queen’s Breakfast on Sunday. For more information, contact the park at (606) 337-3066 or (800) 325-1712.
Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough
May 14-16: Mint Julep Model Airplane Scale Meet
Come and see some high-flying action at Rough River Dam State Resort Airport! Radio-controlled model airplanes are built to scale and are judged on detail and precision. Planes are split up into divisions that include Best Civilian, Best Military, Fun Scale Sportsman, Fun Scale Aerobatics, and more. You can see these planes up close and personal and watch them doing unbelievable stunts high above your head! This event is hosted by the Southern Indiana R/C modelers and is free of charge for spectators. 1-800-325-1713.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 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 Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov