One of the beautiful (and challenging!) hiking trails at John James Audubon State Park
If you love hiking and the beautiful outdoors, you needn’t look any further than the nearest Kentucky State Park. Most of our parks in Kentucky have outstanding hiking trails and what better day than National Trails Day to get familiar with them?
Kentucky State Parks will be taking part in National Trails Day on June 6 with events across the state to recognize the excellent hiking opportunities at state parks.
From the Kentucky State Parks:
National Trails Day was launched by the American Hiking Society in 1993 to help promote exercise, trail development and the outdoors. It has grown to more than 2,000 events around the country.
The Kentucky State Parks have more than 300 miles of hiking trails. The parks’ newest trail is the Sportsman’s Hill Walking Trail at William Whitley State Historic Site near Stanford. This trail opened this year and follows the path of the horse race path established by Col. William Whitley in 1788. Visitors can walk the trail free of charge and read about the history of the race path along the way. The trail is a maintained grass path.
For more information, including staff recommendations on some of their favorite trails, visit www.parks.ky.gov For more information about the national event, including special events at other Kentucky locations, visit www.americanhiking.org.
Here is a listing of some of the events planned at Kentucky State Parks. All events are scheduled June 6 (all times local):
Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Barren River Lake State Resort Park will be offering two guided hikes on National Trails Day. Take a hike on the Connell Nature Trail, a one-mile moderate hike at 10:30 a.m. or wait until the afternoon to take an easy 1.2-mile hike along Peters Creek Trail at 3:30 p.m. Please bring water, apply bug spray and sunscreen, and wear appropriate footwear for these hikes. For more information contact Jamie Avery at 1-800-325-0057 or Jamie.email@example.com.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Union
Bison Trace and Cedar Run Trail Mosaic
The outing begins at 11 a.m. with a guided walk to see the bison herd and learn about their natural history. The hiking begins as we progress along upland forest ridges through a genuinely peaceful area of Big Bone Lick. Enjoy the serenity of wooded seclusion as you ply the trails of one of Kentucky’s most unique parks. Meet at the Visitor Center for this 1.5 mile hike. Call 859-384-3522.
Big Bone Hydro-Hike
Join the park’s interpretive staff for a splashing good time on a special creek bed hike. The hike begins at 2 p.m. with a visit to the park’s largest salt-sulfur spring where mammoths and mastodons once drank brine water at the end of the Ice Age. Afterwards, we step things up with aquatic adventure as we explore Big Bone Creek – right down the middle. Bring old shoes and expect to get wet! Meet at the Visitor Center for this half-mile hike. Call 859-384-3522.
Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Buckhorn
Hook and Hike Day
Celebrate National Trails Day and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Free Fishing Weekend (you don’t have to have a fishing license to fish this weekend) at Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park’s Hook and Hike Day. At 9 a.m. on the marina bank there will be a kids’ fishing tournament for children 15 and under. Bait will be provided. There will be a limited number of poles available, so bring one if you have it. At 1 p.m. there will be a guided hike of the Moonshine Holler Trail, beginning in front of the lodge. At 7:30 p.m. there will be a program on basic orienteering. All activities are free. Call 606-398-7510.
Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus
Enjoy the natural beauty of Columbus-Belmont State Park by taking a “history hike” around the grounds, nature trail and historic earthworks. Maps and a bottle of water provided at the snack bar. Scavenger hunt instructions will be issued with museum admission and a prize given when complete. Camping reservations can be made online at www.parks.ky.gov or by calling 1-888-4KY-Park (1-888-459-7275). For camping trailer and log cabin rentals call 270-677-2327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin
Trekking Series Hike-Bark Camp Creek
Bark Camp Creek is one of the most scenic streams in our state. This hike is about 5 miles in length. Please bring food and water to last several hours. Meet at the park visitor center at 9 a.m. Cost is $5 per person. Call 606-528-4121
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
Venture out with the interpretive staff on National Trails Day and hike by lantern light. Some kid-friendly battery-operated lanterns will be provided. Feel free to bring your own – please no glass lanterns. Dress for the weather, bring a flashlight and meet us at the Audubon Museum at 7 p.m. This is a free hike. The park has several programs being offered as part of Free Fishing Weekend, when fishing is allowed with no license requirement. Call the park at 270-826-2247.
Needless to say, hiking trails not listed above are just as fun as the ones listed above! Find a Kentucky State Park hiking trail this weekend and fall in love with hiking.
Picturesque Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park Trail