Adventure Tourism Opportunities at Kentucky State Parks

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If you're looking for a little adventure, the Kentucky State Parks are ready for you.

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The state parks offer excellent adventure tourism opportunities for visitors who want to get outside

If you're looking for a little adventure, the Kentucky State Parks are ready for you.

Canoeing, hiking, overnight backpacking trips and wildlife viewing opportunities are available at state parks throughout the year. Several excursions are planned starting in February and March.

The trips are led by state park naturalists who can provide their expertise and guidance as you explore the waterways and trails in Kentucky's parks. Guests can enjoy great scenery and wildlife as they get outdoors.

"The state parks offer excellent adventure tourism opportunities for visitors who want to get outside," said First Lady Jane Beshear. "This is a great way to get exercise while enjoying Kentucky's scenic beauty."

Here is a listing of events planned during March and April. For more details, visit


Natural Bridge State Resort Park - Canoeing for Beginners
Learn the basics of canoeing on the Mill Creek Lake at Natural Bridge State Resort Park and then experience river canoeing on the beautiful Red River in the Red River Gorge Geological Area. The river trip is 8 miles on an enjoyable class I section of the Red River. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration fee of $25 per person includes guide, canoe, paddle, and life jacket. Contact Tyler Morgan, Naturalist. 606-663-2214. Tyler.Morgan(at)


Barren River Lake State Resort Park - Overnight Backpacking/Camping Trip
3/14/2009 to 3/15/2009 & 3/28/2009 to 3/29/2009
Are you wanting to try backpacking (or get back into it) but don't want to purchase all the equipment? We will be practicing Leave No Trace us as we guide you on this overnight outing under the stars. You must pre-register for this event. Fee is $75 a person. We provide all the equipment. Contact Lisa Deavers, Recreation Supervisor. 270-646-2151. Lisa.Deavers(at)

Natural Bridge State Resort Park - Beginner's Backpacking Workshops
3/14/2009 to 3/15/2009 & 3/21/2009 to 3/22/2009
Enjoy the beauty of Natural Bridge and the Red River Gorge area while learning the basics of Leave No Trace backpacking! Trips are 8-10 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 400'. Participants must be able to hike this distance carrying 30 pounds. Space is limited and participants must be 18 or older. The registration fee of $85 per person includes instruction, equipment and meals for the duration of the trip. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Contact Tyler Morgan, Naturalist. 606-663-2214. Tyler.Morgan(at)

Lake Barkley State Resort Park - Barkley Backpacking 101
4/4/2009 to 4/5/2009 & 5/9/2009 to 5/10/2009
Interested in spending a night under starry skies and a day surrounded by woods and water? Setting out on an overnight backpacking trip and investing in the gear to do it can be a chore - unless you've been on one of Barkley's Backpacking 101 Weekends! Join the Park Naturalist on Saturday morning for a one-night camping trip where we provide the gear, the experience, and the memories! Registration is limited, so call at least two weeks ahead and reserve your spot. Contact Jenny Howard, Park Naturalist. 270-924-1131. Jenny.Howard(at)


Carter Caves State Resort Park - Unbridled Adventure Program "Arches & Karst Trek"
During the trek you will hike and see two amazing natural bridges, enjoy scenic views of Smoky Lake and see many exposed sandstone & limestone cliffs. The trek continues into the beautiful Horn Hollow Valley where you will get to view the entrance and/or peak inside of Horn Hollow Cave. From there we will hike back to civilization and the comforts of life. Required equipment includes sturdy shoes, a pack lunch, a couple of bottles of water, and a flashlight if you want to peak inside of Horn Hollow Cave. The fee includes the guided hike and a Carter Caves souvenir. The fee is $20 per person. Meet at the Welcome Center at 9:30am. The trek is approximately 6 miles and 4-5 hours in length. Pre-registration required! Call the Recreation Department at the park to register. Contact Coy Ainsley, Park Naturalist. 606-286-4411. Coy.Ainsley(at)

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park - Half Day Hike at Macedonia
Macedonia is an area of the Pennyrile Forest region that was once a small town. The trail that leads there today is frequented by mountain bikers and hikers. It is made up of several loops that can be done in different combinations to make the trail longer or shorter. Naturalist, Rebecca Clark will lead the group on several loops of the trail and discuss the history of the area and the changing forest. Contact Becky Clark, Park Naturalist. 270-797-3421. RebeccaE.Clark(at)

Lake Barkley State Resort Park - Barkley Backcountry Weekend
3/27/2009 to 3/29/2009
Get outside at Lake Barkley! Whether you're an experienced backcountry enthusiast or a backyard explorer, you'll enjoy this event organized by and for those who love the outdoors! Throughout the weekend, we'll have outdoor experts and demonstration gear on hand, share principles of Leave No Trace hiking and camping, cook up some campfire meals together, hit the trails, discover public back country areas in Kentucky, and learn about the issues of conservation and back country concern. Contact Jenny Howard, Park Naturalist. 270-924-1131. Jenny.Howard(at)

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park - Michael Tygart Hike
Travel back in history on this 9-mile trek named for early Kentucky explorer, Michael Tygart. The moderately easy trek leads past a mid-19th century iron furnace, historic cemetery, and iron ore pits, descends into Pruitt Fork Valley, site of several pioneer homes and numerous wildflowers. It concludes along the scenic lakeshore. Begins at 9 a.m. and ends approximately 2 p.m. $15 registration fee includes souvenir. Contact Paul Verespy, 606-473-7324. paul.verespy(at)


Mountain Biking on Fossil Trail-General Butler State Resort Park
4/1/2009 to 11/30/2009
We invite you to experience our Fossil Trail at General Butler State Resort Park. Come gear down with us during these open times for Mountain Biking April - November. Riders under 16 years of age must have adult/guardian rider supervision at all times. Riders must wear helmets and adhere to no ride dates as posted at Lodge Front Desk, Recreation Center and/or Bike Butler's website Caution is required since trail is open to hikers. Enjoy our challenging terrain and scenic beauty. One loop for the Fossil Trail is 4.5 miles and considered moderate skill level. Contact Tanya Supplee, Recreation Supervisor. 502-732-4384. Tanya.Supplee(at)

Mountain Biking Day at the Macedonia Trail-Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
This trail area is mostly a series of 3 main single track loops, which all connect and are well marked. Most riding is considered intermediate, but is compatible for beginners who may want to walk a few rocky or root covered sections which are a bit more technical. There are also a few easily seen creek crossings, which are often dry, that can easily be walked. Loop 1 descends into a scenic creek valley with some nice cliff areas. Loops 2 and 3 travel through wooded, rolling areas, with some short steep climb but nothing too long. The length of the trail is from 4-6 miles, depending on the route taken, and can be shortened if necessary. The ride will take place rain or shine, unless the surface is so wet that it would be damaged. Registration fee is $5 per person or $10 per family. Contact Becky Clark, Park Naturalist. 270-797-3421. RebeccaE.Clark(at)


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