You already know how much we love the Kentucky State Parks – not only do we visit them regularly, we encourage everyone we meet to go as well. A recent Kentucky Living Magazine contest proves that we aren’t the only ones in love with our parks.
Kentucky State Parks were picked for 17 awards as part of Kentucky Living magazine’s 2014 Best in Kentucky honors in the April issue.
17 awards! That’s awesomeness Kentucky-Style!
“We’re so gratified that so many people love the Kentucky State Parks,” Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said. “Our parks are true gems, and we appreciate the recognition from the readers of Kentucky Living.”
The reader write-in contest covered a variety of topics, from favorite restaurants to best vacation places. Kentucky State Parks won first place honors in four categories:
- General Burnside Island State Park for best golf course (tie)
- Cumberland Falls State Resort Park at Corbin for best overnight stay
- Cumberland Falls for scenic view
- Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site for Civil War site
Here are the other parks that were honored with second or third place recognition:
- Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park – Outdoor recreation spot, 3rd; Place to find Made in Kentucky items, 3rd; Family outing, 3rd; Overnight stay, 2nd (tie); Non-franchise restaurant, 3rd.
- Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – Extreme adventure/sport location, 3rd; Weekend getaway, 2nd.
- My Old Kentucky Home State Park – Golf course, 2nd; Iconic Kentucky landmark, 3rd.
- Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park – Golf course, 3rd (tie).
- Natural Bridge State Resort Park – Family outing, 2nd; Scenic view, 2nd.
- Columbus-Belmont State Park – Civil War site, 3rd.
Each of these wins is incredibly deserving – obviously – but the fact that I keep thinking of other (equally deserving) parks is a tribute to just how special the Kentucky State Park system is. For example..
- When it comes to golf courses, there are A LOT of Kentucky State Parks that could easily take top billing. Kentucky Dam Village and Dale Hollow are just two that come to mind.
- As for scenic views – Every State Park, in my opinion, has its own “Award Worthy” scenic views. It’s tough to top the views at Pennyrile Forest State Park, Pine Mountain, and Carter Caves. Lake Barkley’s lodge, alone is a work of art – then add in the view of beautiful Lake Barkley and you’ll wear your camera out. Kenlake also have beautiful lake views – and their landscapers deserves awards showered on them. Even our smaller parks have gorgeous scenic views. Two “scenes” that come to mind are Barren River Lake at sunset (gorgeous) and boat rides on Rough River Dam (breathtaking).
- It, too, is a smaller park, but the food at Pennyrile is among the best. We’ve never had a bad experience in their restaurant. Even their buffets are great (and I’m not that big on buffets – you can usually get much better, fresher food – FOR A LOT LESS – off the menu).
- Lake Cumberland State Resort Park(the only park with a Disc Golf Course) is A LOT of fun packed into one beautiful spot. The people are also ridiculously friendly at this park!
Like I said, the fact that I keep thinking of Parks that COULD have won just goes to show how amazing our parks are (no doubt, I’ll think of even more after I’m trough typing this out). I hope people will take this opportunity to get out to as many Kentucky State Parks as they possibly can. There is something extra special about each and every single state park. There’s something nostalgic, warm, wonderful, and genuinely Kentucky about each of our parks.
For reservations and/or more information about these and other Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov.
To see the Kentucky Living article on the 2014 Best in Kentucky, visit www.kentuckyliving.com
View a few of our favorite Kentucky State Parks in the gallery below and see more pictures of Kentucky State Parks in our photo albums.