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Parks and Recreation in Kentucky

The 49 Kentucky state parks and 17 resort parks are some of the most stunning in the United States. Below are some suggestions of where to start your explorations.

Armco Park

Explorations across the gorgeous landscapes and tree-lined roads of eastern Kentucky can yield fun-filled days. In a city like Ashland, you'll find just the right blend of down south charm, early American history, and the modernity you'd expect to find in a bit city. Plan your next visit to Ashland soon.

In Ashland, don't miss your chance to check out Armco Park. Found southwest of downtown Ashland, just off of Highway 60 along East Little Garner Road, Armco Park is a delight for those seeking outdoor recreation. Open annually May 1st through November 1st, Armco Park, among many things, is known for it's excellent Disc Golf Courses. Many disc golfers enjoy the Blue Course.

Carter Caves State Park

Found along Tygarts Creek in Carter County, eastern Kentucky, the impressive and popular Carter Caves State Park is a can't-miss attraction. Plan your next visit to the Bluegrass State and head out east – Carte Caves SP is a short, scenic drive west from Louisa.

With an elevation of 1,040 feet, and a total area of nearly 2,000 acres, Carter Caves SP is an exceptional destination for outdoor travelers visiting Kentucky. Don't miss a tour of the Saltpeter Cave, or the aptly named Bat Cave – don't mind Robin. You'll also have access to the Smokey Valley Lake and the Tygarts Creek.

Fort Boonesborough State Park

Across the state of Kentucky, you can find a whole host of important and historic landmarks. From the iconic U.S. Civil War sties, to Native American sites, Kentucky is rarely lacking in places to visit. Head for Richmond out in eastern Kentucky, southeast of Lexington, and check out Fort Boonesborough State Park.

Established by the legendary Daniel Boone as a frontier fort in 1775, Fort Boonesborough State Park is the second oldest American settlement in Kentucky. As you explore Fort Boonesborough, check out the junior Olympic-sized swimming pool – ideal during summer, or see re-enactors live life like they would have in the late 1700s.

General Butler State Park

As you plan your next trip to Kentucky, make sure you include set aside some time to explore General Butler State Park. A premier outdoor destination in Carrollton, Gen. Butler State Park is a short drive from nearby La Grange. Set your sights on touring the Louisville area this spring or summer.

You'll be able to bird watch, fish at Butler Lake, hike the many trails, canoe, and for the golfers, there's an 18-hole mini-golf area and a nine-hole executive course. Many anglers who fish the waters around General Butler State Park land hauls of bluegill, catfish, crappie, and bass.

Green River Lake State Park

Plan your next trip to Kentucky and head east. Be sure to visit Green River Lake State Park, located south of Campbellsville. This 1,331-acre park features the beautiful 8,200-acre Green River Lake. This wonderful park was established in 1969, after construction of the 141-foot-high dam on the Green River was completed.

Enjoy hiking on one of the park's twenty-eight multi-use trails or bring your bicycle for a nice ride along the lake. Tow your boat to the marina and launch into the lake, for a great day on the water. Don't forget your fishing pole to try your best at catching smallmouth bass, bluegill, Kentucky bass, crappie and white bass.

Greenbo Lake State Park

Spread across more than 3,330 acres of eastern Kentucky landscape, the Greenbo Lake State Park is a premier destination for travelers and locals alike. Because it's an easy drive west from Ashland, make that your launching point. No matter the season, you'll find plenty to do at Greenbo Lake State Park.

You'll find an 18-hole miniature golf course within Greenbo Lake State Park, ideal for visiting families. There's also an amphitheater for concerts and other performances, and a boat dock and marina for fishing and other aquatic fun. Be sure to try hiking any of the 25 miles of trails found within Greenbo Lake SP.

Natural Bridge State Park

Bluegrass State travelers ready for a fun day of exploring, have a wonderful option in eastern Kentucky. Travel southeast of Winchester, to find the beautiful 2,369-acre Natural Bridge State Park. This magnificent park was established in 1926 as one of the first of four original state parks. The namesake Pottsville conglomeratic sandstone Natural Bridge arch, stands 65 feet high by 20 feet wide, spanning 78 feet long. Geologists believe this incredible natural wonder has stood for over a million years.

Plan to spend at least a full day exploring the park, including the park's 1,188-acre nature preserve, established by the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission. Choose one or more of the ten trails leading to the Natural Bridge, for a fun day of hiking.

For a relaxing journey to the top of Natural Bridge, enjoy a ride in the Sky Lift. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the breath-taking view from Lookout Point. Bring along your fishing pole or borrow one from the park, for fishing fun at Mill Creek Lake. Try your best at catching a bluegill, black crappie, rainbow trout, black bullhead or channel catfish. Canoeing, kayaking and pedal boating are also fun ways to spend time on the lake.

Thoroughbred Park

While spending time in downtown Lexington, get acquainted with some of the important individuals in the equestrian industry. Make your way to Thoroughbred Park to view the twelve bronze horse statues, designed by sculptor Gwen Readon, and view the plaques honoring those who dedicated their lives to the sport of horse racing. Enjoy the serene beauty of the park, landscaped with flowers and water fountains. It's a short drive in from nearby Georgetown.

The park's location pays homage to the racing days of the early 1780s, when straightaway races were held on the streets of Lexington. This unique 2.75-acre park features The Winner's Circle, The Track, The Knoll, Lexington Grove and The Meadow. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the statue of Lexington, one of the most revered champions of Thoroughbred racing. Schedule plenty of time to stroll through the entire park. Whether staying in eastern Kentucky overnight or for a few days, enjoy a visit to the Thoroughbred Center.

Triangle Park

Make the most of your time in the vibrant city of Lexington by exploring the outdoors. Choose from more than 100 city parks for a wonderful day outside. Triangle Park is one of the many green spaces located throughout the city. Stroll through park's lush landscaped grounds, while listening to the beautiful 360-foot waterfall and admiring the Honey Locust trees. You'll find an ease of access from nearby Georgetown.

Whether you bring your favorite book to read while relaxing under the shade, watching a movie on The Lawn or listening to live music, Triangle Park is the place to be. During the winter, the park hosts ice skating at the Unified Trust Company Ice Rink. Rent a pair of skates for a fun evening on The Lawn. Stop by the Main Cross Cafe for a tasty snack or lunch. Rest comfortably during your eastern Kentucky travels.

Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Spend quality time with friends and family on your next visit to Lexington and eastern Kentucky. Make your way to Whitaker Bank Ballpark for a fun day of baseball. This wonderful stadium has been home of the Lexington Legends minor baseball team, since it opened in 2001. Join more than 6,900 fellow fans to cheer on the Legends.

Fans thirsty for a beer and up-close action, make their way to the "Budweiser Stables" area along the first base line to watch the game from the picnic tables. The "Kentucky Ale Taproom" restaurant also provides delicious food for patrons. Kids love playing on the playground, obstacle course and bouncer located near the third base line. Have fun during your eastern Kentucky travels, with a great day at the ballpark – a short drive from nearby Paris and Georgetown.

Yatesville Lake State Park

Make the most of your next visit to the Bluegrass State. Head for the eastern region of Kentucky and visit Yatesville Lake State Park, an ideal destination for outdoor adventure seekers. Established as an official state park in 1992, Yatesville Lake SP is a short drive away from Louisa.

Be sure to travel with your clubs and book a tee time at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course, found within Yatesville Lake State Park. Anglers have a blast at Yatesville, too – many often land impressive hauls of bass, crappie, and bluegill. Check out the Yatesville Marina to stock up and acquire a license.