Our state is renowned for natural beauty, and our many manmade attractions. The problem is, there are so many different types of places, it can be hard to learn of them all. There are countless memorable marvels in Kentucky that just don’t get near the attention deserved.
Here are 11 memorable marvels in Kentucky that we should all visit at least once:
11. Wickliffe Mounds
These ancient Native grounds are preserved at 94 Green Street in Wickliffe. The Mississippian Natives occupied this site from A.D. 1100 to 1350, building an entire city of earthen mounds, houses, and other buildings. They were known to be a peace loving, farming community and many artifacts have been found in the area. The largest mound was said to be a spiritual center of the people.
10. Lake Cumberland
This huge manmade lake in Jamestown around 5465 State Park Road, is one of several beautiful manmade bodies of water in Kentucky. Most of our lakes were actually created by man and not by natural sources. Many of the manmade lakes were created over top of what were once communities, including Lake Cumberland.
9. Mammoth Cave
There are over 400 miles of mapped caves in this amazing natural wonder. It is the longest mapped cave system in the world, and has worn many hats over the years. It was shelter, a small tuberculosis healing unit, a salt peter mine, a graveyard to many, and now a renowned tourist attraction.
8. Natural Bridge
This unique connection made of stone is one of several in the Natural Bridge State Park, located at 2135 Natural Bridge Road in Slade. Mother Nature created a way of getting animals and humans from one side to another without breaking up the natural order of things.
7. Chained Rock in Pineville
A big boulder may not garner that much attention, but this big boulder does. It hangs precariously over the community of Pineville, and could easily do unfathomable amounts of damage if it rolled from its resting place. To prevent that, a large chain was attached to this boulder decades ago. The purpose is to alter its direction and prevent it from crushing Pineville. It makes a lovely look out.
6. Castlepost in Versailles
Have you ever wanted to be swept away by your prince, or princess charming? Or wondered what it would be like to walk the halls of a medieval castle? You can do so at 230 Pisgah Pike in Versailles at the renowned castle, Castlepost. Initially it was a designer home, but more recently it is an event venue and bed and breakfast. You will be living like royalty during your visit, so do not expect low budget pricing. The castle even comes with its own dragon.
5. Tri-State Park
This unique spot is located in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park at 91 Bartlett Park Road in Middlesboro. What makes it so unique? When at the gazebo at the peak, you can physically see, AND touch Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee all at the same time. This is Mother Nature’s way of binding these three states together and providing us all with a phenomenal view during any season from any direction.
4. Lost River Cave
This unique cave system is a mere fraction of the size of Mammoth Cave, but it offers its own, unusual atmosphere. Located at 2818 Nashville Road in Bowling Green, it has the only underground boat tour in the state. Taking a cave tour is really interesting, but taking a cave boating tour… amazing!
3. Lilley Cornett Woods
This renowned spot of preserved woodlands is located in Letcher County. It is among the largest tracts of old forest growth in Kentucky that is both preserved and protected from logging and commercial use. Settlers had made a small village here well over a century ago, and a small cemetery stands in the woods. One grave is that of Lilley Cornett. If you want to see what Kentucky would look like had mankind not “developed” the land, this is the place to go. Mother Nature is beautiful, all by herself.
2. Cumberland Falls moonbow
The Niagara of the South is both beautiful and unusual. This gorgeous natural attraction offers the perfect conditions for a moonbow to appear under the stars. It is truly a sight to behold, and parks department has a calendar of days and times when the moonbow is most likely to appear.
1. Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani
This is a traditional monastery at 3642 Monks Road in New Haven, was established on December 21st in 1848. This renowned structure is said to be the “motherhouse” of all Trappist and Trappistine monasteries in the US. This is the oldest monastery in the US that is still in operation. Thomas Merton, monk, author and social activist, made this his home from 1941 to 1968.