Archive for the ‘Kentucky State Parks’ Category

I’m back from my Mother’s Day camping trip with my daughter, and had a wonderful time. Saturday evening we went to dinner at the Carter Caves State Park Lodge after a storm and spotted the unusual double rainbow. After eating, the same skies were calm and blue. Nice.

rainbow double  rainbow after2

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Annie says…

Let’s go camping! I’m off for a few days of lovely camping at Carter Caves States Park for my annual foray of the Fraley Mountain Music Festival. The weather is forecast for Perfect Camping; no rain, warm days, cool nights. I’ll toast a marshmallow for you, my faithful readers, and be back soon.

The t-shirt reads: Send More Tourists. The Last Ones Were Delicious.

Well, there’s bears all over Eastern Kentucky but we’re pretty careful on our hiking trips. Plus we’re Second Amendment adherents. Plus we will have an experienced hunter with us. We also have…..fire, in numerous forms.


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First, I hope you sure have reservations if you’re camping at a Kentucky state park on the 4th because the holiday will be booked solid, I guarantee. Our state park campgrounds are so nice we get lots of out-of-state visitors, especially during peak times.

Don’t worry. There’s lots of summer and fall left to camp in our gorgeous state this year so here’s some help:

Some practical info on towing a trailer. That’s what we use, although lots of people use  tents, which are a lot better nowadays than the clunky tents we used a few decades ago. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/5-smart-tips-for-towing-a-trailer-15629324?click=pp

Here’s the link to Kentucky state parks; you can reserve and pay online and after confirmation, you can preregister through your email. It’s easy. Discounts for seniors, vets and disabled. We have wonderful state parks here, and their budgets keep getting cut so please support them when you can. I camp at them whenever I can, eat at the lodges on weekends, try to attend activities such as cave tours, and like to shop in the gift shops. The parks are clean and well-maintained at all times, with year-round hosts.

There’s a list and descriptions of the parks here also. http://parks.ky.gov/

The Daniel Boone National Forest – run by the US Park Service – is also a lovely place to camp. Different reservation system, different rules, and the campground sites are generally more primitive than state sites. Cave Run Lake near Morehead offers Twin Knobs Campground, which is beautiful, friendly, and fun but only a few spots have electric/water or both. Nice and clean bath houses, though.  Zilpo Campground is a little farther down the road and is more primitive, more isolated, and virtually impossible to access with longer trailers. It’s very good for launching a boat and fishing. http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/dbnf/recarea/?recid=39320

Also part of DBNF is Red River Gorge, a wildly popular hiking, rappelling, bicycling, and canoeing spot for people closer to Lexington. It’s gorgeous; I’ve  done primitive overnight backpacking – with advance approval – and several years ago stayed in Koomer Ridge Campground, which is fun and nearby, but not as developed as most state park campgrounds. There’s lots to do at the Gorge but it is not a good place to wander around without some planning; it’s rough and has lots of cliff drop-offs and terrain that floods during quick summer storms. Some hunting is allowed at some times in some places. Bears. Lots more. Fees for some activities, know the rules and dangers before you set foot in this place.


Get out and enjoy our beautiful state, even if it’s just a simple picnic and look-about.

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Where I’ve been

I had some more medical procedures done last week then I headed out to camp at the Fraley Mountain Music Fest at Carter Caves State Park. After a summer of medical concerns – should know the results soon – I needed just to have fun and enjoy being with some family & friends in beautiful late summer Eastern Kentucky. Here’s a poster of the annual festival now in its 42nd year. And yes, I was there at the very first one. Looks like the new name is Fraley Festival of Traditional Music, I hadn’t noticed.

Here’s the website http://www.fraleyfestival.com

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I’ve perused the new free area newspaper The Greater Ashland Beacon a few times. It comes out weekly; so far it doesn’t appear to be owned by a liberal Canadian media conglomerate and hasn’t called anyone a stupid racist hick for opposing Obama and that puts the newspaper ahead of the ball game for me. Lots of ads, which is okay.

They had a recent article about a mining collectors meeting at Carter Caves State Park on Saturday, March 24, 2012 that sounds interesting. The sponsoring organization, Eastern Mining Collectors Association, states this is only one of two such shows held east of the Rockies, and features memorabilia for both display and  sale. Items from coal, gold, copper and other mining ventures will be shown. The show is free.  Here’s the article http://www.ashlandbeacon.com/index.php?option=com_flippingbook&view=book&id=38%3Athe-greater-ashland-beacon-february-29th-2012&catid=2%3Aabarchive&Itemid=6

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The daughter and son-in-law sent these pics from their recent weekend in the southeast part of the state at Pine Mountain State Park, Pineville, Kentucky. Pine Mountain was designated the first Kentucky state park in 1924.  A newly renovated 30-room lodge sits atop a mountain with ever-changing nature views and boasts private patios, a swimming pool, restaurant, and convention center with nearby 18-hole golf course, miniature golf, gift shop, and trails. This may be the best birding site of our state parks.

Pine Mountain hosts a March Writers Workshop, a September dulcimer festival, and the  May Mountain Laurel Festival;  mountain laurel is the native rhododendron. The park also has a large natural outdoor amphitheater, a nature interpretive center, and copies of the entire print collection of naturalist Ray Harm. I own a couple of his prints and they are lovely.

This is also the area of the beautiful Cumberland Gap Mountains which border both Tennessee and Virginia. It’s also an area of rugged trails, which my husband and I hiked many years ago on a 26- mile overnight jaunt inside the Cumberland Gap National Park. The state and federal parks  are a mere 12 miles apart.       http://www.nps.gov/cuga/index.htm

Sunset views of the Appalachian Mountains  over the lodge and behind it.

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