Spring is right around the corner, and there are plenty of parks in Kentucky for those feeling adventurous. We are known for our beautiful lands, rivers and lakes, all of which make perfect spots to relax or have an adventure. We can hike, fish, swim or boat (in some cases.) We can also just sit in the serenity of our beautiful Kentucky and enjoy the environment.
12. My Old Kentucky home State Park at 501 E Stephen Foster Ave in Bardstown.
This isn’t a woodland adventure, but it is an adventure back in time. Visit the Federal Hill manor and explore the area said to have influenced the Stephen Foster Story. You can even watch the story itself live via a play. The architectural art of the area alone is like stepping back in time.
11. EP Tom Sawyer State Park at 3000 Freys Hill Road in Louisville.
This comfortable park offers a great playground and wonderful area to roam. There is a clear field to play Frisbee or other outdoor games.
10. Carter Caves State Resort Park at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill.
Spelunking is a favored past time here because there is so much to see. The area has not only some unique cave formations, but also a lush woodlands surrounding the area. You can take a tour or just go exploring on your own in the area.
9. Barren River Lake State Resort Park at 1149 State Park Road in Lucas.
We use to visit here during my youth. The woodlands were always opening the doors to new adventures and the water was an awakening experience. We’d boat, swim and fish, camping out on the lake sometimes. It was here that some of my favored childhood memories were created.
8. Fort Boonesborough State Park at 4375 Boonesboro Road in Richmond.
This area was home to a Fort in 1775, explored by Daniel Boone himself and some of Kentucky’s first pioneers. Now it is a beautiful place to camp and check out replicas of some of the initial buildings. You can look at how the first Kentuckians survived in our beautiful wilderness.
7. Cumberland State Resort Park at 7351 KY 90 in Corbin.
The beautiful Cumberland State Resort Park is home to the amazing Cumberland Falls, and the renowned moonbow. It is a wonderful place to get lost in nature and just soak up some scenery.
6. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at 75 Theater Court in Prestonburg.
This state park is named after Jenny Wiley, a woman that was captured by the local Indians during 1789 but escaped and survived. The park has the beautiful Dewey Lake as its centerpiece and acres of gorgeous woodlands surrounding the water.
5. Lost River Cave at 2818 Nashville Road in Bowling Green.
This is the longest underground river tour in the state and a true adventure. The gorgeous clear waters give a different perspective then above ground rivers, including unique formations and stalactites. The outside area is another beautiful woodland area worth exploring.
4. Nolin Lake State Park on 2998 Briar Creek Road in Mammoth Cave.
This was another place of childhood adventures where we’d camp, fish, swim and boat. I can vouch for the fun we had growing up on weekends at Nolin. The massive area offers plenty of quiet spots to get away and sink into the serenity of nature.
3.Mammoth Cave National Park at 1 Mammoth Cave Prky at Mammoth Cave.
Mammoth Cave is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the North America and well deserving of that title. It has hundreds of miles of mapped out caves with many areas still unexplored and uncharted. Most of the original cave system was mapped out by slaves, and this was the 2nd massive tourist attraction promoted in the US. Niagara Falls was the first.
2. Paintsville Lake State Park in Flatgap Kentucky.
This is a wonderful lake that offers incredible scenic beauty and great fishing. One can simply sit and soak up the environment or go walking around the area, exploring and checking out the wildlife.
1. Natural Bridge State Resort Park at 2135 Natural Bridge Road in Slade.
This breathtaking spot in the Daniel Boone Forest offers visitors a view that goes on for miles. You can hike around the area of go straight to the bridge and gaze out over the peaceful woodlands. The acreage is full of history and our wondrous natural beauty including the Red River Gorge nearby.
These are just a few of our beautiful parks in Kentucky that offer both serenity and a sense of adventure. What is your favorite park in Kentucky to visit and explore?