Kentucky State Parks

Kentucky State Parks The Kentucky State Parks operate 44 resorts, recreation parks and historic sites in Kentucky.

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that he...
02/20/2024

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that helped shape the park system into what it is today or were simply a part of its history! Today we're featuring Fain W. King (1892-1972).

In 1932, Colonel Fain King acquired property in Wickliffe, KY that was the location of a Native American burial site and mounds complex of the Mississippian culture. He excavated the mounds and named the site after himself, the King Mounds and eventually developed the site as a tourist attraction with a museum and guided tours, later calling it the Ancient Buried City. King worked with archaeologists from the University of Alabama and University of Chicago and along with his wife, Blanche B. King. In 1946 King donated the site to Western Baptist Hospital who ran the site until 1983, when they donated it to Murray State University. In 2004, the Wickliffe Mounds were transferred to Kentucky State Parks, and designated as a State Historic Site.

parks.ky.gov

As we celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary year, we are sharing special experiences and memories from park ...
02/19/2024

As we celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary year, we are sharing special experiences and memories from park staff, long time guests, retired and seasonal employees, and others who are talking about "What Kentucky State Parks mean to me."

Featured speaker: Cheston Loy


parks.ky.gov

Kentucky State Parks is celebrating a centennial in 2024! Hear from current park staff, long time guests, retired employees and seasonal employees from the p...

'Swingin' with Sinatra & Elvis, featuring Lee Dean' will take you back in time with plenty of songs from two of the worl...
02/16/2024

'Swingin' with Sinatra & Elvis, featuring Lee Dean' will take you back in time with plenty of songs from two of the world's biggest singers! The Tom Sawyer State Park Foundation is hosting the fundraiser on Sunday, March 3, from 3 - 5 p.m. at the Sawyer Hayes Center at EP "Tom" Sawyer State Park. Kentucky State Parks is your place for fun events as we celebrate 100 years! Purchase tickets online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/swinging-with-sinatra-elvis-tickets-829103148837?aff=oddtdtcreator.
➡️https://parks.ky.gov/events/swingin'-with-sinatra-elvis-5631

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that he...
02/16/2024

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that helped shape the park system into what it is today or were simply a part of its history!

Willard Rouse Jillson. In 1924, an Act of the General Assembly established a State Park Commission to find “any suitable and available State park sites…to be turned over to the State for their preservation, beautification, and maintenance.” Governor Stanley appointed state geologist Dr. Willard Rouse Jillson to serve as the chairman of the Kentucky State Park Commission. From 1924 to 1932, Jillson oversaw the establishment of the state’s first four state parks: Cumberland State Park (now Pine Mountain State Resort Park), Pioneer Memorial State Park (now Old Fort Harrod State Park), Blue and Gray State Park (closed in 1933), and Natural Bridge State Park. parks.ky.gov

02/15/2024

“Like a song in your heart, Kentucky State Parks are calling you now.” It’s a blast from the past this ! We’re digging deep into the Kentucky State Parks archives as we continue to celebrate the 100 Year Anniversary. This commercial from the earlier days does a great job showcasing Kentucky State Resort Parks and their offerings from that time.

Happy Valentine's Day! Kentucky State Parks are grateful for all the love you've shown over the past 100 years. For epic...
02/14/2024

Happy Valentine's Day! Kentucky State Parks are grateful for all the love you've shown over the past 100 years. For epic views that are sure to steal your heart, hike the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail! Learn more at https://parks.ky.gov/explore/pine-mountain-state-scenic-trail-7826.

📸: Shanna Kurth
📍: Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail

As we celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary year, we are sharing special experiences and memories from park ...
02/13/2024

As we celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary year, we are sharing special experiences and memories from park staff, long time guests, retired and seasonal employees, and others who are talking about "What Kentucky State Parks mean to me."

Featured speaker: Susan Miller


parks.ky.gov

As we celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary year, we are sharing special experiences and memories from park staff, long time guests, retired and ...

02/12/2024

Help us promote Kentucky's natural beauty! Join the Kentucky Department of Parks as a Tourism Marketing Supervisor and contribute to promoting our beautiful state parks through creative campaigns and graphic design. Apply now at careers.ky.gov and today!

As Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary celebrations continue, February's next Fireside Chat at Fort Boonesborough St...
02/12/2024

As Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary celebrations continue, February's next Fireside Chat at Fort Boonesborough State Park is coming up! Stop by the park on Feb. 17 for a first-person presentation by Richard Phelps as Daniel Trabue. Trabue will share his life story of helping to settle this area. He recounts his time spent at Ft. Boonesborough, Ft. Logan and the surveying and building of the present-day town of Columbia, Kentucky. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for snacks and refreshments with the presentation starting at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are required as there is limited seating. Call (859) 527-3131 for reservations and more information and if no answer please leave your name and phone number. Cost is $12 per ticket. For more information about Fort Boonesborough State Park go to https://parks.ky.gov/explore/fort-boonesborough-state-park-7811.

02/09/2024

2024 marks 100 years of Kentucky State Parks! Join the Filson Historical Society for the opening of "Kentucky Progress: Establishing the Kentucky State Parks" on March 1, 2024 at 5 pm.

In 1924, history and tourism were the drivers of economic transformation in Kentucky. Liberated by the automobile, tourists could travel on their own time, away from the rails. Parks would draw visitors along newly paved roads, lodge them in modern accommodations, and familiarize them with the natural beauty and resource wealth of the state. With an eye on out-of-state industrial investment, parks were the face of Kentucky Progress. 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of Kentucky State Parks and the 140th anniversary of the Filson. Both institutions tell an intertwined story of interpreting Kentucky’s past, promoting its economic success in the present, and reflecting the slow progress from segregation to inclusion.

The curatorial team, staff, and sponsors will give remarks at 5:15 pm. This a free event open to the public but registration is encouraged. Reserve your place here: https://filsonhistorical.org/events/upcoming-events/

This exhibit is sponsored by Stock Yards Bank & Trust.

Get off the couch and plan a mid-winter adventure with a park naturalist at John James Audubon State Park! February's mo...
02/09/2024

Get off the couch and plan a mid-winter adventure with a park naturalist at John James Audubon State Park! February's monthly guided hike is observed on National "Spice Up Your Life Day"! This FREE event is set for Saturday, Feb. 17 at 1 P.M. and is a great way to celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary. The hike will cover about one mile of trail in the hilly nature preserve. Bundle up for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Bring along some family and friends to create some fun! All ages are welcome. Begins from the Museum front lawn. Questions? Contact: Lisa Hoffman at 502-782-9727 or email to: [email protected]. Watch the John James Audubon State Park Facebook and Instagram pages for weather-related hike announcements. For park information go to https://parks.ky.gov/explore/john-james-audubon-state-park-7815.

Celebrate Kentucky State Parks' 100th Anniversary with a special Valentine’s event! Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner Theat...
02/08/2024

Celebrate Kentucky State Parks' 100th Anniversary with a special Valentine’s event! Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, a Sweetheart Dinner & Dance or a Valentine's Tea. For more information on these and other upcoming events, check out the online calendar at https://parks.ky.gov/events.

As Kentucky State Parks 100th Anniversary continues throughout 2024 we'll be featuring historic photos, videos and vinta...
02/08/2024

As Kentucky State Parks 100th Anniversary continues throughout 2024 we'll be featuring historic photos, videos and vintage promotional materials from the early days of Kentucky State Parks.

Today's photo is from Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. Notice the outdoor pool next to the lodge. We think this photo is from the mid 70's. Plans to convert the outdoor pool into an indoor pool began sometime around 1988, according to park blueprints.

Today the indoor swimming pool is open year-round to lodge and cottage guests, making Lake Cumberland State Resort Park one of two state resort parks to offer indoor swimming all year long.

Make plans to visit at https://parks.ky.gov/explore/lake-cumberland-state-resort-park-7795.

02/07/2024
Enjoy an evening of Bluegrass music at Rough River Dam State Resort Park on February 9. This FREE family friendly event ...
02/07/2024

Enjoy an evening of Bluegrass music at Rough River Dam State Resort Park on February 9. This FREE family friendly event takes place the second Friday evening of every month and is a great way to celebrate 100 years with Kentucky State Parks! Grab a meal at Grayson's Landing Restaurant and find a seat to enjoy some great Bluegrass music from the Breckinridge Bluegrass Association. Make it a weekend getaway by booking a lodge room or cottage at https://parks.ky.gov/explore/rough-river-dam-state-resort-park-7800.

02/06/2024
02/06/2024

As Valentine’s Day swiftly approaches, check out romantic options to celebrate with your sweetheart at Kentucky State Parks. 💘 For dinner with a side of drama, join Carter Caves State Resort Park’s Valentine’s Murder Mystery Dinner on Feb. 10 and Greenbo Lake State Resort Park’s Murder Mystery “The Deadly Valentine” on Feb. 9. Rough River Dam State Resort Park is hosting a Sweetheart Weekend on Feb. 10-11, where guests are encouraged to dress up as famous romantic couples from history for the chance of winning a prize. For additional information and other events, visit ➡️ https://parks.ky.gov/events.
📸:Greenbo Lake State Resort Park

02/05/2024

Passionate about outdoor recreation and historical programming? Become a Parks Program Services Leader with the Kentucky Department of Parks! In this position, you’ll focus on creating, implementing, and evaluating engaging programs for park visitors. Apply now at careers.ky.gov and today!

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that he...
02/05/2024

In celebration with Kentucky State Parks 100 year anniversary we’re taking a closer look at 100 important people that helped shape the park system into what it is today or were simply a part of its history!

Virginia “Jenny” Sellards Wiley (1760-1831) was a pioneer woman who was taken captive by Native Americans in 1789 and witnessed the death of her brother and children. She was held several months in what is now Little Mud Lick Creek, in Johnson County. After 11 months of captivity she escaped to Harman's Blockhouse and with the help of the settlers, made her way back to Walker's Creek, where she began a new family with her husband, Thomas. In the 1950s Dewey Lake State Park became Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to honor her place in Kentucky history. parks.ky.gov

02/02/2024

The governor made spoke at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park on Friday, telling lawmakers more money needs to be allocated to improve the state's parks and recreation areas.

02/02/2024
It's the perfect prediction for a 100th anniversary year at Kentucky State Parks!! Spring is right around the corner. St...
02/02/2024

It's the perfect prediction for a 100th anniversary year at Kentucky State Parks!! Spring is right around the corner. Start planning your visit at parks.ky.gov.

As Black History Month begins and Kentucky State Parks' 100th Anniversary celebration continues, we visit historic Chero...
02/01/2024

As Black History Month begins and Kentucky State Parks' 100th Anniversary celebration continues, we visit historic Cherokee State Park, located near Hardin. Cherokee State Park opened in 1951, during the Jim Crow era, as the only state park in Kentucky for African Americans. The park covered 300 acres and featured a 200-seat dining hall, picnic areas, a bathhouse, docks for fishing and boating and cottages for guests.

In June 1963, Cherokee State Park closed and merged with what's now known as Kenlake State Resort Park. A two-mile trail that connects historic Cherokee State Park and Kenlake State Resort Park opened in 2021. The trail is named in memory of the first superintendent of Cherokee State Park, Coach Lester Mimms. For more information about the history and park happenings of Cherokee State Park, go to https://www.friendsofcherokeestatehistoricpark.org/.

📸: Friends of Cherokee State Historic Park

01/31/2024

Keep your eyes on the sky this time of year at Barren River Lake State Resort Park! Sandhill Cranes use Barren River Lake as a stopping point and roosting area during the winter months. Celebrate 100 years with Kentucky State Parks and plan a visit to Barren River Lake State Resort Park this upcoming season at https://parks.ky.gov/explore/barren-river-lake-state-resort-park-7781.

01/31/2024

At Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, winter is an excellent time for elk tours. 🦌 Since elk were reintroduced to Kentucky in 1997, the elk population has increased significantly, with an estimated population of 11,000-12,000. Viewing the animals in the wild is an incredible experience worth waking up early for and a great way to celebrate Kentucky State Parks’ 100th Anniversary. Elk tours fill up quickly, and reservations can be made by calling 606-889-1790.

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500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY
40601

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