A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Pine Mountain State Resort Park’s Donnie Caldwell honored as Kentucky PGA Professional of the Year

Donnie Caldwell, the PGA professional at Pine Mountain State Resort Park, has been recognized as the golf professional of the year by the Kentucky Section of the PGA. Caldwell has worked at the park for 18 years and became a PGA professional in 2005. He was honored March 4 at the state PGA’s awards presentation in Lexington. Donnie Caldwell“The Kentucky State Parks are very proud of Donnie’s...

Kentucky State Parks to hear public comment Feb. 27 on grant for Carter Caves campground upgrades

The Kentucky State Parks will hold a public hearing Feb. 27 for a grant to help make campground improvements at Carter Caves State Resort Park. The campground at Carter Caves State Resort Park (Photo from KSP) The hearing will be at 6 p.m. EST at Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Drive, Olive Hill, as part of the Kentucky Department of Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund grant process. The...

Public hearing scheduled for Feb. 25 on grants for Blue Licks Battlefield Campground upgrades

The Kentucky State Parks will hold a public hearing Feb. 25 for a grant to help make campground improvements at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park. Blue Licks Battlefield campground (Photo from KSP) The hearing will be at 6 p.m. at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, 10299 Maysville Road, Carlisle, as part of the Kentucky Department of Parks Land and Water Conservation Fund grant process. The...

Women’s Adventure Weekend set for Feb. 8-10 at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park

If you’re interested in learning about hiking, paddling, mountain biking and more outdoor adventure, consider signing up for the Women’s Adventure Weekend Feb. 8-10 at Greenbo Lake State Park. The weekend will include sessions on night navigation, trail food, appropriate clothing and gear, paddling, mountain biking and more. The adventure film “Blood Road” will also be screened on Saturday...

Get your New Years Eve party on — at one of Kentucky’s state resort parks; here are your options

Delicious meals, live music and dancing are a great combination for ringing in the new year and many state resort parks across Kentucky are offering New Year’s Eve packages that include all that in addition to an overnight stay. Eleven state resort parks are hosting New Year’s Eve parties on Dec. 31, 2018. All are promoting overnight packages and most feature a combination of dinner, live music,...

Kentucky State Parks announces January and February dates for Eagle Watch Weekends

A unique tradition for more than 40 years, Kentucky State Parks announced dates for its 2019 Eagle Watch Weekends, a chance to observe bald eagles as they gather around the major lakes of western Kentucky looking for food. Bald Eagle (Photo from KSP) This unique wildlife-watching opportunity is offered as a tour by water in January and February of 2019 at three Kentucky state resort parks. Led by state...

Annual battle re-enactment of ‘1778 Siege of Boonesborough’ set for this weekend

Fort Boonesborough State Park will host its annual “1778 Siege of Boonesborough” weekend this Saturday and Sunday. Events will include a battle re-enactment on both days at 2 p.m. There will also be a “night battle” at dusk on Saturday. A scene from the 1778 Siege of Boonesborough. The event commemorates the September 1778 attack on the fort by Native Americans and French Canadians during the...

September two-for-one camping deal offered at Kentucky State Park campgrounds

Kentucky State Parks are offering a weekday camping special this September. Guests can purchase one night of camping Sunday through Thursday and get a second consecutive night free from Sunday through Thursday. The offer is good from Sept. 4 through Sept. 27. When making reservations online, guests should use the promo code “Fall2018.” Three Kentucky State Parks have slightly different camping...

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site lowers lake level to reduce chance of dam failure after leak found

State officials are drawing down the water level of a small lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site in Boone County because of a leak in the dam. (Photo from Kentucky State Parks) The drawing down of water is intended to reduce the chance of a sudden failure of the dam at the 9.6-acre lake and provide an opportunity for the Department of Parks to access the damage. The dam is classified as a low-hazard...

Shupe to present nine ‘World of Reptiles’ shows at Kentucky State Parks during July

Scott Shupe was one of those kids who would surprise his mother when she washed his clothes. She would often find a snake or a toad in his pants pocket. “I never outgrew that fascination with wildlife,” said Shupe, who grew up in Graves County and now lives in Murray. The wildlife author and naturalist has worked in wildlife in Kentucky, Florida, South Dakota and Oregon during the last 40 years. Scott...

Help Wanted: Kids needed as citizen-scientists during statewide ‘BioBlitz’ on June 9

Children across the commonwealth have an opportunity to learn about and assist in scientific work at Kentucky State Parks while helping make a positive impact on our environment. On June 9, state parks across Kentucky will hold a “BioBlitz” — a short period of time when students, teachers, scientists and others conduct an overall count of animals, plants and other organisms in a designated area....

KSP invites families to explore the outdoors with children during ‘Kids to Parks’ Day May 19

Children across the Commonwealth can enjoy fun outdoor events as part of “Kids to Parks Day” on May 19 at several Kentucky State Parks. “Kids to Parks Day,” first celebrated in 2011 by the National Park Trust, helps to mark the beginning of state park events throughout the summer and the importance of active, healthy living. A hike at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park (Photo from KSP) Kentucky...

Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail, nine regional signature meals make state a destination foodies

Kentucky is a hidden gem of Southern fare, featuring one-of-a-kind restaurants and chefs specializing in local ingredients and distinctive cuisine. With the newly announced Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative, nine regional signature meals, culinary trails and hosting of the upcoming season of Top Chef, Kentucky continues to grow as a must-visit destination for all food lovers. The...

Kentucky State Parks offering 20 percent discount on weekday golfing at all courses through May 24

Golfers can get a 20 percent discount off the normal rate at all Kentucky State Parks golf courses Monday through Thursday through May 24. The golf course at Mineral Mound State Park (Photo from KSP) You can get the discount by reserving a tee time online at parks.ky.gov The discount does not apply to overnight golf packages. The park system offers excellent play at courses across the state. Parks...

Louisville’s E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park celebrates arrival of Spring with Goose Creek 5K April 14

Celebrate the arrival of spring by signing up for the Goose Creek 5K race at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park on April 14, 2018. Prizes will be awarded to the overall female and male finishers, as well as the top two female and male finishers in each age group. The Goose Creek 5K at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park (Photo from KSP) The registration cost is $25 through April 11 at 4 p.m. Day...

Kentucky State Park to serve annual Easter Buffet April 1 at 15 resort park restaurants

Kentucky State Parks will be serving the annual Easter buffet April 1 at 15 resort park restaurants. The menu includes beef carved on the line, baked country ham and local favorites. The meal will also include fresh fruit, a cheese bar, garden vegetables, salad and desserts. The price for adults is $19.50, and children (12 and under) are $9.50, not including tax. The price does not include a beverage....

Kentucky State Parks offering opportunities to watch March Madness Basketball at several park locations

College basketball fans have several options to watch their favorite teams during March at Kentucky State Parks. Natural Bridge State Resort Park near Slade has Trail’s End Tavern with TV sets and a variety of beverages available. The tavern is inside Hemlock Lodge. Trail’s End Tavern at Natural Bridge State Resort Park (Photo from KAP) Jenny Wiley State Resort Park at Prestonsburg also has...

Henderson’s John James Audubon State Park, other locations plan St. Patrick’s Day specials, events

Wear something green and get in free on St. Patrick’s Day at the John James Audubon State Park museum. The park in Henderson is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with specials for visitors at the museum, gift shop, and golf course. John James Audubon museum (Photo from KSP) Guests who wear green on Saturday receive free museum admission. They can also enjoy “Shamrock baked goods” at...

Department for Local Government accepting 2018 applications for Land Water Conservation Fund

The Department for Local Government announces the 2018 Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) application is open to the Kentucky State Parks to assist in their endeavors to improve existing outdoor recreational facilities. This will allow the Commonwealth to meet the Kentucky Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational Plan (SCORP) Strategic Goal in maintaining and enhancing the Kentucky State Park...