Known for their historic significance and charming hospitality, Kentucky and Tennessee are wonderful states to visit and reside in. Not only are the Bluegrass State and Volunteer State known for their lively cities, they are also filled with exceptional, scenic state parks. Here are some of the best.
Big Bone Lick State Park (Kentucky)
Despite its famously unique name, this charming park in northern Kentucky gets its title from the Pleistocene megafauna fossils uncovered there. Bearing the heritage as the “Birthplace of American Vertebrate Palentology,” Big Bone Lick bears import not just for its landscapes but for its historical significance. Visitors can check out the new museum and 62 campsites, but a family favorite is always the roaming bison herds. Find directions at the park’s website.
Fall Creek Falls State Park (Tennessee)
Boasting the largest recreation area in the state, the sprawling Fall Creek Falls area in eastern Tennessee features a golf course, riding stables, a nature center, a gorgeous lake, lodges and of course many scenic waterfalls. The 26,000-acre state park, which was founded 80 years ago, enjoys many visitors each year. In addition to the usual outdoor activities, Fall Creek Falls has opened the Arbortrek Treetop Obstacle Course with over 75 sky-high obstacles. For information, click here.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park (Kentucky)
Located along the Middle Ford of the Red River southeast of Lexington, Natural Bridge State Resort Park boasts a breathtaking rock formation that towers above the wooded landscape. Hike the area along one of the 10 trails or take a sky lift up to see the natural bridge. It’s also famous for its weekly Natural Bridge Hoedowns that take place on Saturdays outside from May through October. Stay in a cabin or the Hemlock Resort to see the peaceful valley at night. To plan your visit, go to Natural Bridge’s website.
Rock Island State Park (Tennessee)
There’s a lot to love about this state park located southeast of Nashville. The 883-acre Rock Island State Park is filled with breathtaking overlooks and towering rock formations. The 30-foot-tall Great Falls is a highlight, and the waterways attract many professional kayakers from around the world. The park’s historic Great Falls Dam is celebrating its hundred-year anniversary in 2017 and is offering public tours. To learn more, visit the park’s website.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park (Kentucky)
Featuring one of the most beautiful resorts in the state, the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is a favorite vacation destination for both the historic DuPont Lodge and the winding, scenic Cumberland River. Over in southeast Kentucky, the famous Cumberland Falls offer a picturesque venue for hiking and photography, as well as gem mining, birding, rafting and horseback riding. For a complete profile, visit Cumberland Falls’ website.
These state parks in Tennessee and Kentucky are just a small selection of the many wondrous natural treasures in the area. Spend a weekend visiting one or find a local park near you.
This article is presented by Gossett Mazda.