Kentucky Tourism

Monarch Butterfly Waystations

The Garden Club of Kentucky has partnered with Kentucky State Parks and other groups to design and install Monarch waystations at several Kentucky State Parks. Monarch butterflies need specific resources for their migration to and from Mexico. Those include nectar producing flowers, shelter and milkweed, the only plant that Monarch caterpillars will eat. These Kentucky waystations serve millions of migrating Monarch butterflies. 
For more information about the Monarch waystation program CLICK HERE

Monarch waystations can be found at the following Kentucky State Parks:

Barren River Lake
 Location: The Butterfly Garden at Barren River Lake State Resort Park is  located near on the lodge hillside by the patio and pool; where you can experience a beautiful view of the lake peeking past the woods.

Description: The garden is a mix of native plants and pollinator attractors. Visitors can find young redbuds, butterfly bushes in full bloom, all contrasting with bright yellow Black-eyed Susan. There are also lovely bunches of celosia near fall and blooming sedum. We have identified Monarchs, red-spotted purple (Limenitis arthemis), and have seen other butterflies fluttering through, although they don’t pause long enough for identification. We have not found many caterpillars, stay on the lookout, as the garden is always buzzing with insect life!

Blue Licks Battlefield
(Photo coming soon!)

Carter Caves
Location: In front of the Lewis Caveland Lodge.

Description: Flowers planted-- Dwarf Lilac, Common Milkweed, Ozark Milkweed, Orange Butterfly Weed, possibly Swamp Milkweed, Pink Yarrow, Bee Balm, Lamb's Ear, Ajuga, Cleome, Purple Coneflower, Rudbeckia, Day Lilies, Oregano, Hosta, Marigolds, Salvia, Columbine, Sedum, Missouri Primrose, Evening Primrose, Stock, Wild Geranium, Wild Ageratum, New England Aster, Bearded Iris, Siberean Iris, Knockout Roses, and Fairy Lilies. Butterflies seen-- Swallowtails and maybe Variegated Fritillary.

Cumberland Falls
(Photo coming soon!)

Fort Boonesborough
Location: In front of the fort at Fort Boonesborough State Park.

Description: Butterfly Milkweed, Common Milkweed, Green Antelopehorn, Swamp Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed, Blanket Flower, Cleome, Lantana, Zinnia, Bee Balm, Black-Eyed Susan, Coreopsis, Goldenrod, Ironweed, Joe-Pye Weed, Phlox, Sedum

General Butler 
(Photo coming soon!)

Jenny Wiley
(Photo coming soon!)

Kentucky Dam Village 
(Photo coming soon!)

Lake Barkley

Old Fort Harrod

Location: Northern stockade wall, inside of Old Fort Harrod.

Description: Common Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Sawmp Milkweed, Purple Coneflower, Gray-headed Coneflower, New England Aster, Rattlesnake Master, Jerusalem Artichoke, Joe-pye Weed, Foxglove Beardedtongue, Columbine.

Perryville Battlefield
Location: Outside the Perryville Battlefield Museum

Description: Native flowers include milkweed and cone flowers. Monarch caterpillars spotted in July feeding on milkweed. 


Pennyrile Forest

Location: The butterfly waystation at Pennyrile is located in front of the pool to the right of the lodge.

Description:  Park naturalists have seen butterflies using the waystation including Black Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails, and Tiger Swallowtails. The attractors planted in the surrounding gardens are Butterfly bush, Cleome, Garden Pholx,Cosmos, Zinnias, Monarda, Joe-Pye weed, a whole garden of native plants and a lot of Lantana. The host plants include Bronze Fennel, Rue, Spicebush, Orange Milkweed, Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, and Mexican Booldflower milkweed.

(Photo coming soon!)
Location: Left of the Slaves Quarters 

Description: The herb garden has about eight butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) in bloom along two walls (it's flowers are orange). There is also several swamp milkweed (A incarnata) growing next to the tansy, not far from some of the butterfly weed. Sometimes rabbits or other critters feed on the milkweed before it achieves maturity. asks that people plant at least 10 milkweed plants and most desirably several varieties, so we attempt to meet that criteria at Waveland State Historic Site. They also have a list of nectar plants on which the butterflies feed and we more than meet that requirement on the park grounds. Sometimes it is hard to get milkweed established. There is not common milkweed (A syriaca) in the herb garden because can takeover. A purpurascens (purple milkweed) was planted in the herb garden without success so far, along with a tropical variety (annual). In the perennial garden, there are several nectar plants - Black-eyed Susans and echinacea, etc.  

William Whitley
Location: The Whitley Monarch Waystation is a colossal waystation with over 40 acres across the road from the Whitley House and a 20X20 area adjacent to the right of the Gift Shop at the home.

Description: Flowers include:  Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Black Eyed Susan, Sunflower, Coneflowers both white and purple, Blanket Flower, Coreopsis, Aster, Marigolds, Clover, Alfalfa Bloom