Kentucky Travels: Our Top 10 State Parks in Kentucky

For today’s post we’ve put together a few of our favorite Kentucky state parks from The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or something fun to do for the afternoon, we think you’ll find something you’ll like. (Photographs courtesy of parks.ky.gov)

  1. General Butler State Resort Park – Carollton, KY – Named after General William Orlando Butler who fought in the Revolutionary War, this is a place where visitors can hike the wooded trails along the ridges and cliff edges, paddle out on the lake, fish, or golf.
  2. White Hall State Historic Site – Richmond, KY – Featuring a ghost mansion with 44 rooms and full of rich, Kentucky history this is a very unique place to visit.
  3. Barren River Lake State Resort Park – Lucas, KY – A much less wooded, more open park that is great for a quiet getaway including a beach, pool, hiking trail, and golf course.
  4. Lake Cumberland State Resort Park – Jamestown, KY – A great place for fishing and hiking, this park is full of natural Kentucky wildlife you won’t see anywhere else.
  5. Carter Caves State Resort Park – Olive Hill, KY – If you ever wanted to tour bat caves this is the place for you. This gothic-style park features an underground Dance Hall and summer evening movies for visitors.
  6. Paintsville Lake State Park – Staffordsville, KY – A relatively new place founded in 1984, this state park features boating and a campground for those who just want a relaxing time with family.
  7. Lake Barkley State Resort Park – Cadiz, KY – A canal connects Lake Barkley to Kentucky Lake, forming the largest engineered body of water on earth. Beautiful and elegantly decorated, this is wonderful for a family vacation.
  8. Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park – Dawson Springs, KY – Named after the pennyroyal plant that grows here this is a more inconspicuous location but is beautiful year round. A lake, hiking trails, and beautiful scenery is what you can expect by visiting here.
  9. Breaks Interstate Park – Breaks, VA – This park is located across Virginia and Kentucky and is one of the most notable geological features in the United States. Whether you choose to kayak or explore the 60 different species of trees, this is the right place for those who want to embrace nature and encapsulate themselves in Kentucky wildlife.
  10. Kentucky Horse Park – Lexington, KY – We end this list with a place that is nearby our home at UPK. Horse exhibitions, art galleries, as well as the chance to ride the horses here are what intrigue visitors of this park.

What do you think? Tell us in a comment below if you plan on visiting any of these state parks! Don’t forget to check out Susan Reigler’s book The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks to learn more about other great Kentucky state parks to visit.

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