Outdoor Adventures Abound in Kentucky’s State and National Parks, Recreation Areas

This summer, Kentucky invites visitors and locals alike to explore the outdoor wonders of the Bluegrass State. From Mammoth Cave National Park to state parks throughout the state, Daniel Boone National Forest and Red River Gorge Geological Area to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Mammoth Cave National Park, the world’s longest known cave system, is one of the state’s most visited attractions. Although cave tours are currently closed, surface trails are open for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Be sure to check their website for the latest information on when other adventures above and below ground will resume.

With 45 State Parks, 30 of which feature campgrounds, the Bluegrass State is the ultimate summer outdoor destination. State Parks offer fun outdoor adventure opportunities, including: hiking, biking, paddling, boating, horseback riding and more. The portion of the Appalachian Mountains that stretches through eastern Kentucky is easily one of the most scenic areas in the United States. Although the coronavirus pandemic closed some parks and areas of parks, most are operating under normal business hours as of June 1. Recreational parks, lodges, cabins, hiking trails and golf courses are open, while playgrounds, swimming pools and beaches will remain closed for the time being. State park campgrounds will reopen June 11, with reservations now open. For the most up-to-date information regarding Kentucky’s state parks, please visit https://parks.ky.gov/covid-19-information.

The Daniel Boone National Forest in southern and eastern Kentucky is spread across 21 counties, with more than 708,000 acres managed by the national forest. Visitors can hike, camp, rock climb, boat, hunt, fish, ride, target shoot and relax. Most recreation sites were closed during the pandemic, but the forest is reopening using a site-by-site approach, with most day-use sites and OHV trails opening June 3.

And the Red River Gorge Geological Area (RRG) also opens June 3! This popular area has several natural outdoor attractions that draw visitors from near and far away. World-renowned for rock climbing and rappelling opportunities, RRG is one of the top destinations for these activities in the country! Soar through the area on a zip line for the ultimate adventure tour. There are plenty of trail opportunities in the area, too, as well as some great sites to camp or rent a cabin. Visit Natural Bridge, a beautiful 78-footlong sandstone arch located within RRG – it’s one of the most visited attractions in the state. Or take a nature hike to one of the area’s many waterfalls.

Miles of shoreline along lakes around the state (some within state parks and others not) offer water recreation opportunities for the whole family, such as Buckhorn Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, Grayson Lake, Lake Cumberland, Nolin Lake and more. Another can’t miss outdoor destination is the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky, which offers wildlife viewing, nature hikes, paddling or kayaking through waterways, fishing adventures and more.

Before visiting our wonderful outdoor attractions, please check their websites for the latest information.

Media Contact

Angela Blank, Assistant Director of Communications & Media Relations, [email protected]