Photo Friday: Kentucky State Parks

With version 2.0 of this blog up and running (with only a few snags), I’m going to join in on one of my favorite blog events, Photo Friday. Though I’d love to tell you I plan to participate every week, I can’t promise that. I will try though.

For my inaugural Photo Friday post, I decided to honor the suggested theme of state parks, especially since I spent this past summer touring all 51 of Kentucky’s state parks. State parks are a huge asset to any community, and in Kentucky they’re especially great, since admission to all Kentucky parks is absolutely free. In other states, admission is usually quite nominal, so what are you waiting for? Go check out your parks.

As it’s fall, I’m going to focus on four of my favorite Kentucky parks for hiking.

First up, Cumberland Falls, the only place in the Western hemisphere to see a moonbow, which is essentially a nighttime rainbow created by the light from a full moon and the mist of the falls. Remaining viewing dates for 2010 are November 19-23 and December 19-23. While viewing the falls is the most popular activity, you can also go rafting, hike in the surrounding forest, and camp.

South of Cumberland Falls and just a few miles north of the Cumberland Gap, where Daniel Boone entered Kentucky and blazed the Wilderness Trail, is Pine Mountain State Park. The hiking here is gorgeous, thanks to lush thickets of rhododendron and mountain laurels.

Another popular hiking destination is Natural Bridge State Park, where you can follow a rhododendron-lined trail up to a huge natural stone bridge that you can observe from below before walking across. If you’re feeling lazy, take the chair lift up and then hike back down.

Carter Caves, in northeastern Kentucky, is not nearly as well known as Natural Bridge, but it also has many cool rock formations. Those looking for hiking opportunities without the crowds will want to put this park on their itinerary.

Visit the Kentucky State Parks website to find out more information on all 51 of the parks in the Bluegrass State.

3 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Kentucky State Parks”

  1. I loved Natural Bridge State Park when we visited this spring. Great photo! We’ll definitely have to check out Carter Caves on our next trip to KY, I’ve never heard of it and we really enjoy great hiking spots. Thanks!

  2. What amazing pictures!!! I hope to get to Kentucky some day and expore these natural wonders. Hopefully after Tues our state parks will be free to most of us who live here in California. What a gift to be able to visit the state parks without worrying about day admission!

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