A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky State Parks to host national Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend Sept. 12-13

In recognition of Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend, Kentucky State Parks have partnered with Girl Scouts (GSUSA) and the Kentuckiana Girl Scout Council to host both live and virtual events Sept. 12-13. Through this collaborative effort, Kentucky State Parks will provide virtual access to outdoor programming as well as free in-person programs open to girl scouts and their families across the commonwealth. “Kentucky...

Beshear delivers ‘tough report all around’ — 816 COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths; talks state parks, voting

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday reported 816 COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 49,991 cases and 966 deaths. The case count includes 116 children 18 and under. The youngest was 2 months old. There were 59 cases in Fayette County. “Today we have a tough report all the way around,” the Governor said. “Thirty-six deaths in the last three days. That’s what happens...

John Schaaf: McConnell’s talk of state bankruptcy is strange, and his timing of announcement is peculiar

In a strange move, Sen. Mitch McConnell recently announced he favors “allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” so he’s pushing an idea that would require states to raise taxes and sell off assets such as the Kentucky State Parks. Sen. McConnell’s announcement is peculiar because of its timing and because of the chaos that would result if a state declared it could not pay its bills. Luckily,...

Kentucky State Parks, Kentucky Horse Park open for daytime use only to prevent spread of COVID-19

As part of an ongoing effort to ensure the health and wellness of the public as Kentucky fights aggressively to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet announced that the Kentucky Horse Park and Kentucky State Parks will be open to the public for daytime use only. Effective Friday (April 3), Kentucky State Parks and the Kentucky Horse Park will suspend all overnight reservations...

Kentucky State Park campgrounds to open March 13 with nearly 2,300 campsites across the state

Fresh air fanatics, get ready. Camping season is about to open at Kentucky State Parks. “Our state parks are treasured by thousands of Kentucky families, including mine,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I hope to see Team Kentucky outside and having fun this year – stay safe and keep exploring!” The camping season officially opens March 13 at all 30 Kentucky State Park campgrounds that feature about...

Eagle Watch Weekends offered at three Kentucky State Parks in January and February

Kentucky State Parks are offering Eagle Watch Weekends at three state parks during January and February 2020. Guests can see bald eagles and other wildlife in their natural habitat along the shores of Kentucky Lake. Kentucky State Parks have been offering eagle tours for more than 40 years. The tours are led by state park naturalists and staff from the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The...

Fort Boonesborough State Park’s ‘18th Century Christmas at the Fort’ event set for Dec. 6-7

Find out what Christmas was like in the pioneer days at Fort Boonesborough State Park’s “18th Century Christmas at the Fort” event Dec. 6-7. The Friday night event (Dec. 6) will allow guests to see the fort lit with candle lanterns and bonfires. Cabins will be decorated and occupied by living history interpreters presenting 18th century holiday traditions. There will be interpretations from the...

Kentucky State Parks offering discounted rates to current military, veterans and retirees through March

Current and former members of the nation’s armed forces can receive lodging discounts at Kentucky State Parks with the USA Military Discount program through March 31. Those on active military duty, retired members of the military, veterans, members of the National Guard and reservists, are eligible for the program. The lodge at Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville (Photo from KSP) With the...

Carter Caves State Resort Park raises $8,000 for school backpack program to help feed hungry children

Carter Caves State Resort Park has raised $8,000 to support a backpack program in Carter County schools that helps feed hungry children. The park accepted cash and food donations during its recent Halloween Haunted Trail. Besides the money, about 700 food items were donated. Carter Caves Park Manager Chris Perry (left) stands with Vicki and Doug Boster, who donated food to the park’s food drive.The...

Sixth annual Waveland Art Fair to be held Sept. 7-8 at Waveland State; will feature outstanding artists

The sixth annual Waveland Art Fair will be held Sept. 7-8 at Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington, and it will feature several outstanding artists. Guests can browse and shop with Kentucky artist artwork both days, then take a walk through the historic home, where costumed staff will greet them. Guests can also enjoy lunch from Forage or Rise Up Pizza food trucks and special Kentucky fare from...

Archaeology Day features family activities at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site on Sept. 21

Family-friendly activities that include crafts, music and games will be part of Archaeology Day at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site on Sept. 21. The day — part of Kentucky Archaeology Month — will feature demonstrations and hands-on educational activities about archaeology for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a mock excavation for kids, artifact laboratory station,...

Seven Kentucky State Parks recognized in ‘Best in Kentucky’ awards from Kentucky Living magazine

Seven Kentucky State Parks were recognized in Kentucky Living magazine’s “Best in Kentucky” awards, which were announced Thursday at the 2019 Kentucky State Fair. The seven parks honored were My Old Kentucky Home, Cumberland Falls, John James Audubon, Green River Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Natural Bridge and Barren River Lake. Kentucky State Park employees (from left) Richard Blanton, Wes Lanham,...

10th annual Greenup County Music Festival set for July 13 at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park

The 10th annual Greenup County Music Festival will be held July 13 at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park. The free festival starts at 5 p.m. with music by Roger Smith of Argillite. The remaining lineup features: • Emmy Davis at 6:15 p.m. • Bonnie, Shannon & Friends at 7:15 p.m. • Josh Brown & the Hard Livin’ Legends at 8:15 p.m. • Sean Whiting at 9:15 p.m. The amphitheater at Greenbo...

‘Writers in the Park’ is Saturday at Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site in Tompkinsville

More than a dozen authors are scheduled to speak and sign their books at the Writers in the Park at Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site Saturday. Old Mulkey Meetinghouse Writers in the Park will be held 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the park in Tompkinsville. The event includes authors from throughout Kentucky and other parts of the country, representing a variety of genres. Two Monroe County authors...

New park managers named at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Mineral Mound State Park

New park managers have been named at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park and Mineral Mound State Park, Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland announced Tuesday. Chris FugateChris Fugate has been promoted to the park manager position at Buckhorn Lake. Fugate, a state park veteran of more than 20 years, began at Pine Mountain State Resort Park as a cook and transitioned to the position of a chef at Buckhorn Lake...

Perryville’s Joni House honored by American Battlefield Trust for preservation work at historic site

Joni House, the manager of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, was honored for her preservation work by the American Battlefield Trust during its annual conference in Lexington. The Kentucky State Parks were also recognized with a State Preservation Leadership Award from the trust. Joni House received the Shelby Foote Preservation Legacy Award for her work at Perryville Battlefield State Historic...

Second year of Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail featuring regional cuisine open through Oct. 31

For the second year, guests can sample some tasty regional fare at nine Kentucky State Parks on the 2019 Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail. This highly successful trail is part of the Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative that showcases one-of-a-kind restaurants and chefs specializing in local ingredients and distinctive cuisine. Better in the Bluegrass was highlighted by the last...

Unbridled Adventure Race Series begins June 29 at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park will host the Unbridled Adventure Race Series kickoff event on June 29. The starting point of the paddling portion of an adventure race. Adventure races are multi-disciplinary events including some form of mountain biking, trekking/running and paddling. The races involve navigation over unmarked wilderness courses, so good navigation with a topographical map and...

Fly Fishing Weekends offered by Kentucky State Parks at six locations May through November

Kentucky State Parks are offering a series of Fly Fishing Weekends at six parks starting in May and running through November of this year. The weekends include one day of classroom work and a second day of fishing on a stream. Bill Carman, a hunting and fishing guide with more than 50 years of experience, will serve as the instructor. Participants will learn how to choose equipment, select a fly, read...

Kentucky State Parks announces discounted ‘Kentucky Resident Rate’ at 17 resort properties

Kentucky State Parks have a new lodging rate that gives a break to Kentucky residents. The lodge at Pine Mountain State Resort Park (photo by Melissa Ansiel) The “Kentucky Resident Rate” offers up to 10 percent off the normal lodging rate at the park system’s 17 resort parks. Guests must show a Kentucky driver’s license or some other identification that shows they are a Kentucky resident. Reservations...