Kentucky Tourism


Question: What is the difference between a resort park and a regular state park?

Resort parks include a lodge with overnight accommodations. We have 17 State Resort Parks in all. We have an additional 35 regular state parks: 11 State Historic Sites and 23 State "Recreation" Parks. The distinction is not clear cut, however. Many of our recreation parks and resort parks have historical significance. One of our resort parks, Blue Licks Battlefield, sits on the site of a Revolutionary War Battle.

Question: How much is the admission charge to a Kentucky State Park?

We charge no general admission fee.

Question: Do your golf courses have a dress code?

All players are asked to wear a shirt with a collar or a "mock neck." Guests are asked to refrain from wearing cutoffs.

Question: Can you tell me about park improvements?

Gov. Bevin and the General Assembly approved $18 million for the “Refreshing the Finest” campaign to make park improvements in 2016. More than 100 projects are underway at many parks and include painting lodges and cottages, repairing concrete, refurbishing conference centers, add campground improvements and much more. Work will continue through 2017.

Question: Who is in charge of Kentucky State Parks?

Our parks are managed by the Kentucky Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The head of the department is Commissioner Donnie Holland.

Question: Are pets permitted at Kentucky State Parks?

Kentucky State Parks are now pet friendly. Pet owners will pay a $30 fee plus applicable tax for each lodge room reservation and $50 for each cottage reservation. Guests that bring a pet into an accommodation without prior notification and paying the fee will be charged a fee of $50 plus applicable tax per stay and a $100 extra cleaning fee. No more than two pets are allowed per room/cottage. Pets may be brought into state park campgrounds as long as they are on a leash. Pets are not allowed on any park trails that share land with State Nature Preserves or are in protected archaeological areas. This includes Wickliffe Mounds SHS and all but one trail at Natural Bridge SRP and John James Audubon SP. Also, a few trails at Cumberland Falls, Carter Caves, Pine Mountain, and Blue Licks Battlefield State Parks are part of nature preserves.  These trails will be posted as such. Click here to view our Pet Friendly policy.

Question: Do you have discounts for senior citizens?

Yes. We offer a 10 percent discount on lodging and camping fees. A driver’s license or birth certificate can be shown for proof of age for those 62 and older.

Question: Do your parks have internet access?

Yes, our 17 resort parks have wireless internet services in the lodges.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park and Rough River State Resort Park now offer wireless internet in cabins.

Question: Can I fly a drone over a Kentucky State Park?

Below are permit applications for using a drone at a Kentucky State Park and for commercial photography. Completed forms should go to the park manager. (Please note: Some Kentucky State Parks are on property controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At this time, the corps also must approve drone use and that process is separate from the state park permit process. Please plan in advance.) 
Commercial Photography: CLICK HERE
Drone Application: CLICK HERE

Question: How far in advance may I make a reservation for a lodge room or cottage?

If you call a park, an individual may make a reservation up to 3 years to the month in advance. As an example, on July 1, 2006 we began taking reservations for arrival for the month of July in 2009. Reservations made online ( may be made for the period for which we have established accommodation rates. This is usually between 1 and 2 years in advance and can easily be determined by looking at the maximum depart date on the first page of the web reservation process.

Question: How far in advance may I make a campground reservation?

Campground reservations may be made for arrival up to one year to the day in advance. Camping reservations can be made online at or by calling 1-888-4KY-PARK (1-888-459-7275).

Question: Do I have to make a reservation to stay overnight at a Kentucky State Park?

It’s always best to make a reservation to ensure that you will be able to stay. But most parks will have a lodge room or cottage of some type available to walk-in guests on most days of the year. Most parks also will have a campsite of some type available for walk-ins on most nights. You must be 21 or older to reserve accommodations or campsites. Our parks are busiest on holiday weekends during good weather.

Question: Do I have to stay at the park to eat in the restaurant or play the golf course?

No. Most of our facilities, including our restaurants, golf courses, mini-golf courses and community swimming pools are available to the general public.

Question: Is metal detecting allowed on state park property?

No. State regulations prohibit the use of metal detectors on state park property.

Question: Which parks have equestrian trails?

Carter Caves, Dale Hollow, Greenbo Lake, Green River Lake, and Taylorsville Lake state parks. There are also equestrian trails located immediately adjacent to Yatesville Lake State Park and Pennyrile Forest. There is horseback camping at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Taylorsville Lake State Park, Carter Caves State Resort Park and Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

Question: Which parks have riding stables with guided horseback rides?

Barren River, Carter Caves, Cumberland Falls, Lake Barkley, Lake Cumberland, and Kentucky Dam Village. Rides are $18 per person for a 45 minute ride.

Question: How old do you have to be to reserve a lodge or cottage at a Kentucky State Park?

You must be 21 years of age to rent an accommodation.

Question: Do I have to pay a sales tax at state parks?
In most cases, yes. The sales tax enacted in 2018 applies to camping, golf, mini golf, swimming pools, tennis, museum admission, boat rentals, and several other categories. Tax-exempt groups, with the exception of camping fees, must pay this tax.
In some cases involving parks that are on the National Register of Historic Places, admission may not be taxed. 
Please check with the park you plan to visit in advance if you have a question about the sales tax.