Kentucky State Parks Foundation
The mission of the Kentucky State Parks Foundation is simple, creating a lifelong relationship between school children and the need to preserve Kentucky State Parks. Did you know one of the greatest barriers preventing youth from experiencing our state parks is transportation? The Inside Out Education initiative provides transportation and program support to schools, bringing a world of learning experiences to K-12 students, to experience and learn about the environment.
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For more information on the Kentucky State Parks Foundation, click here to visit their website.
Field Trips and R.E.A.C.H. camp
Here is a listing of Kentucky State Parks and the field trip opportunities they offer. In addition to this list, several state resort parks offer the Recreation, Environment and Cultural History education camps – called REACH. These overnight camps provide students a learning experience by participating in hands-on nature conservancy, history and outdoor recreation activities. Each of the resort parks have park interpreters who can serve as resource people to develop activities and events that meet your learning guidelines within the Program of Studies and core content, making this program perfect for field trips in Kentucky. These trained professionals have extensive knowledge of the natural, cultural and historical significance of their parks and region. For more information, contact Carey Ruff at 502-564-8110. Most REACH programs occur during the school year and we require 20 or more participants. Homeschool groups are welcome to participate. CLICK HERE to download the Teacher's Planning Guide for R.E.A.C.H Education Camp!
Information about all state parks is available HERE.
Barren River Lake State Resort Park
1149 State Park Road
Lucas, Ky. 42156
Barren River Lake State Resort Park offers history programs about the prairies once located in “The Barrens”, nature hikes, environmental education programs that meet the Kentucky Core Content requirements, and recreational field days for grades K-12. We also offer: canoeing for grades 6-12, orienteering classes for grades 4-12 along with two beginner orienteering courses, geocaching and GPS technology, and archery for ages 8 and up and Explore bowhunting activities. The park is open year-round and classes can visit any weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Program fees per student vary per activity. Call 502-564-8110 for more information.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
3380 Beaver Road
Union, Ky. 41091
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site offers a variety of programs for schools, homeschools, scout groups, and others, featuring Ice Age Kentucky, Ordovician fossils, Pioneer and Native American cultures, the natural environment and of course our live bison herd. Custom programs tailored to your specific needs may also be available upon consultation. The standard program fee is $3 per student, however fees may vary on a situational basis. Many programs are also available off-site (we come to you). For more information call (859) 384-3522.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park
10299 Maysville Rd.
Carlisle, Ky. 40311
Blue Licks Battlefield offers nature hikes, history programs about pioneer life in Kentucky, and tours of Kentucky’s only Revolutionary War battlefield for grades K-12. We also offer geology programs and canoeing for grades 6-12. Tours of a reconstructed pioneer fort are available. We provide tent camping in our overflow area for children's groups (schools, scouts, etc.) at a cost of $2 per person. The park is open any day of the week by appointment. Program fees per student vary per activity. For booking information contact the park at 800-443-7008.
Carter Caves State Resort Park
344 Caveland Drive
Olive Hill Ky., 41164
Carter Caves State Resort Park offers commercial cave tours, nature hikes, living history programs and various nature programs for grades K-12. We also offer archery and orienteering programs for grades 5-12. You can book a canoe trip for grades 7-12. Program fees per student vary per activity. The park is open year-round and classes can visit any weekday from Labor Day to Memorial Day. For those wanting an extended stay we offer overnight Reach Camps at our park that packages program, meals and lodging into one reasonable price. Contact park interpreter Coy Ainsley at 1-800-325-0059 for information.
Columbus-Belmont State Park
350 Park Road
Columbus, Ky. 42032
Columbus-Belmont State Park is a 156-acre site that played a fascinating role in the War Between the States. This is the site of a fortification build by the Confederates and later occupied by Union forces. The 1861 Battle of Belmont, fought to overtake the Confederate stronghold here, marked the opening of the Union's Western Campaign. It was also Union General Ulysses S. Grant's first active engagement in the Civil War. Some of the artillery, which shelled the Union troops, and the six-ton anchor that held the great chain stretching across the river, are on display in the park. There is a 2.5-mile self-guided hiking trail in the Park. Dramatic images of the Civil War come to mind when walking on the bluffs and massive earthen works that formed the Confederate trenches. Students of all ages can learn about the area and the Civil War in the Civil War Museum. The park has a snack bar, gift shop, miniature golf, a picnic area and playground with shelters that are available for rental up to one year in advance. The museum is open daily May through Labor Day and on weekends through mid October. It is open by appointment throughout the year. Program fees per student vary per activity. The gift shop, snack bar, and mini golf are open daily May through Labor Day and weekends in September. Don’t forget that the second weekend in October is the 150th Anniversary “Civil War Days” event.. We have education day on Friday with special rate and activities for students. Call 270-677-2327 for information.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
7351 Hwy 90
Corbin, Ky. 40701
Cumberland Falls is the "Niagara of the South" and home to a unique natural phenomenon called a Moonbow. Most education programs focus on geology, native plants and wildlife. Programs on outdoors skills such as canoeing, archery, astronomy, Leave no Trace and others are available for smaller groups. Programs can be tailored to meet classroom needs. Park is open year around. Program fees per student vary per activity. Overnight programs are available. Contact our Group Sales Department regarding our REACH Program. To schedule a day trip, call park interpreters Steve Gilbert or Bret Smitley at 1-800-325-0063.
Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site
4929 KY 459
Barbourville, KY 40906-9603
The Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site offers picnic tables, mini-golf, playground, basketball courts, horseshoe pits and shelters. The shelters can be reserved which will guarantee the use of it, but they also can be used free of charge if they are not reserved by someone else. The Mini-Golf does have a fee of $2 per round with the exception of kids 6 years of age and under get to play for free. Everything else on the park can be used free of charge. The park is 5 miles out of town in a country setting and we have a total of 12 acres. The park is open year-round and classes can visit any weekday between 9 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. This park offers the history of Kentucky's first house, which the replica is on site. Dr. Thomas Walker arrived here in the year 1750, seventeen years before Daniel Boone. Gift Shop and Mini-Golf open April 1 through October 31. Park is open to visitors year-round. Call Park Manager Andy Teasley at 606-546-4400 for information.
E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
3000 Freys Hill Road
Louisville, KY 40241
Are you looking for something different? We have special programming for school groups, corporate/ civic/ and private associations, and scouts. Let us help tailor nature hikes, hands-on science programs, archery parties, gym activities, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and teambuilding programs to meet the needs of your group.
Teachers, this is not your ordinary field trip! We can offer activities focused on what you are learning in class, so that each trip is a fun lesson learned! Need to learn about water quality? Take a Stream Stroll or a Pond Prowl with our Park Naturalist. Learning about habitats? Let’s walk through our beautifully, natural park to discover the variety of habitats that are found here and what critters call them home. What about a local history lesson? We’ll venture into the woods looking for clues of the parkland’s past uses. Get the kids out of the classroom and let us take over the teaching. We have created programs that consist of science, history, and math for all age groups. Let our Recreation staff, trained in Project WILD and Project Learning Tree, amuse and educate your students through a variety of curriculum aligned activities. Program fees per student vary per activity. Contact the park’s interpretive staff for more information. Call Nick at (502) 429-7270.
Fort Boonesborough State Park
4375 Boonesborough Road
Richmond, KY 40475-9316
At Fort Boonesborough, we seek to engage students in the daily lives of early settlers on the Kentucky frontier. Through presentations of the daily chores and life skills necessary for survival, interpreters in 18th century clothing assist students in learning about and understanding frontier life. The park also hosts special “school days” throughout the year at the Fort. In November of each year, we present a week of intense, hands-on Living History programs, involving students physically as well as mentally in six stations where they are engaged for 20 minutes at each. The smell of wood smoke or a fresh split of cedar wood, the sounds of a spinning wheel, a loom, or the blacksmith’s hammer, the texture of different tree barks, wool, linen, or leather, all help to bring the history to life today.
An online Teacher Resource is available at fortboonesboroughlivinghistory.org for teachers to access prior to their field trip to the Fort. This includes a map and directions to the Fort, a guide for touring, pre- and post-visit suggestions, and a short list of Social Studies and other links to KDE Core Content For Assessment. There are also photos, video clips, and audio to present more detailed information about a field trip to Fort Boonesborough. Field trips may be scheduled for April 1 through October 31 by calling 859-527-3131. Group rates for 10 or more are $3 for students, with one teacher or chaperone free for every 20 10 students. Bus drivers are admitted free, and any additional adults in the group are $4 6 each. For more information call Fort Boonesborough at 859-527-3131 ext. 216 or email Bill Farmer at [email protected]
General Butler State Resort Park
1608 Highway 227
Carrollton, Ky. 41008-0325
A fitting tribute to one of Kentucky’s foremost military families; named in honor of General William Orlando Butler, the family’s military fame spans from colonial time through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War. General Butler State Resort Park is a full-service resort, that’s ready to meet your educational and recreational needs. We accomplish this by clearly establishing a personal classroom activity schedule based on your school’s core content needs.
A visit to General Butler could be either day, or an overnight stay. An example of a day visit may include activities such as: nature based arts & crafts, nature hikes, archery, touring Butler-Turpin State Historic House, educational performers presenting programs on wildlife, Kentucky history & people, playing a round of mini golf, or learning how to become a team player by participating in teambuilding activities. Your overnight stay would center on the concept of LEAVE NO TRACE.
Activities are educationally based and dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors, and one’s personal impact. Many other outdoor programming opportunities can play suit to the theme of LEAVE NO TRACE; such as: astrology, astronomy, teaching outdoor sportsman skills- make a request we’ll accommodate by providing quality programming that meets your needs. To plan your visit, call Tanya Supplee, Parks Program Service Supervisor, to book a visit call General Butler State Resort Park's direct line #1-502-732-4384.
Butler-Turpin State Historic House at General Butler State Resort Park
1608 Highway 227
Carrollton, Ky. 41008-0325
The Butler-Turpin State Historic House located at General Butler State Resort Park is steeped in military heritage from Colonial times through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War. The field trip experience will also give students an understanding of the contributions of the Butler slaves and their connection to the Underground Railroad. Along with the historic house and summer kitchen built in 1859, is the archaeology display from the first generation log house and Butler-Turpin slave quarters, the Butler Family Cemetery and the farm known as Butler Hill.
Jefferson Davis State Historic Site
258 Pembroke Fairview Road
Fairview, Ky. 42221
Jefferson Davis State Historic Site marks the birthplace of this famous Kentuckian, a West Point graduate, U.S. Senator, Secretary of War and President of the Confederate States of America. A 351-foot tall obelisk marks this spot in Fairview. An interpretive museum outlines Davis' prominent career and tells the story of the Kentucky Orphan's Brigade. The museum is self-guided with a short DVD presentation on the park and monument. Guided elevator tours of the monument are available daily. A picnic area, two shelters and a playground are available for use. Cost for the elevator ride and museum tour is $5 for adults, $3.00 for children 12 and under and $4.00 for Seniors/Military. Contact the park for special field trip rates. Call 270-889-6100.
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park
75 Theatre Court
Prestonsburg, Ky. 41640
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park offers a variety of activities for young and the young at heart. We have many nature activities that will allow you to learn about snakes, birds of prey, elk, mammals, salamanders, and frogs. We provide many recreational activities and arts and crafts. Jenny Wiley State Resort Park offers 13.5 miles of trails with different levels of difficulty that would allow for a bird walk, wildflower walk, or tree identification walk. Elk viewing tours, that allow students to learn about the elk restoration project and get up close to these wonderful animals, provide a unique field trip opportunity. All activities offered are for K-12. Program fees per student vary per activity. If you would like more information on all the activities we have to offer, please contact the Park Interpreter Trinity Shepherd at 606-889-1790 or 1-800-325-0142 or email at [email protected]
John James Audubon State Park
3100 U.S. Highway 41 North
Henderson, Ky. 42419
John James Audubon State Park offers a wide variety of programs designed to meet the core curriculum requirements for your classroom. We offer a unique variety of art and nature programs for schools and groups. Our classroom extends to the surrounding woodlands as we interpret nature and art using the background theme of America’s premier artist and naturalist, John James Audubon. Special programs may include art reviews, teacher workshops, outreach programs and a low-ropes challenge course (contact staff for challenge course fee). Special museum tours are geared to the interest and age of the group. Picnic shelters and playgrounds are available for lunch breaks. The museum is open daily from March through November. Program fees per student vary per activity. Contact park interpreter at 270-826-4424.
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park
166 Upper Village Drive
Gilbertsville, Ky. 42044
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park offers Field Day Packages that provide core curriculum based activities for multiple age groups. We offer historical walking tours of KY Dam, amphibian pond investigations, tree identification strolls, physics/teambuilding through archery, science and history themed “amazing races”, biology through fishing and much more. Program fees per student vary per activity. Call 270-362-4276 to create an adventure to suit your group’s individual needs.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park
3500 State Park Road
Cadiz, Ky. 42211
Lake Barkley offers year-round programs for school groups, through REACH packages (Labor Day to Memorial Day) or individually arranged visits. Our park naturalist and recreation staff can provide interdisciplinary, core content-based activities for multiple learning styles and across the curriculum! Stream strolls, owl prowling, teambuilding, archery, fishing, orienteering, nature hikes, scavenger hunts, historical tours, environmental education activities...the list is exhaustive! - call us; we'll suit your educational needs! Program fees per student vary per activity. Call park interpreter Nick Edmonds at 800-325-1708 for information.
Lincoln Homestead State Park
5079 Lincoln Park Rd.
Springfield, Ky. 40069
The same spirit of adventure that brought other pioneers to Kentucky led Abraham Lincoln’s grandparents to the knolls of Kentucky near the Beech Fork River. Lincoln Homestead State Park features the original home of Lincoln’s mother, as well as replicas of the 1782 cabin and blacksmith shop where his father was reared and learned his trade. The president’s parents were married here. You'll also find the home of Mordecai Lincoln, the favorite uncle of the President, along with split-rail fences and pioneer furniture that portray the rugged pioneer life. Price is $1.50 per student. Lincoln Homestead also has a shelter house and playground within walking distance of the cabins.
The Mordecai Lincoln House was renovated in 2008. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Museum area is closed from Nov 1st thru April 30th. Tours can also be arranged anytime. Contact Bobby Bartholomai at 859-336-7461 to arrange a time to bring your class out.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
501 E. Stephen Foster Ave.
Bardstown, Ky. 40004
My Old Kentucky Home State Park offers guided tours of the most famous historic home in Kentucky, known around the world as "My Old Kentucky Home." Students love the experience of learning about life in the 1850's when Stephen Foster wrote the abolitionist inspired ballad, "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight!" Tour guides dressed in antebellum clothing give guided tours of the mansion, singing the song "My Old Kentucky Home," and tell the illustrious stories of the family that lived there, and about America's first famous music artist and composer, Stephen Foster. Special educational tours are available, including our "Forest to Furniture," "Farm to Table," and "Architecture Tour." Learn more about out specialty tours at visitmyoldkyhome.com/school-tours. The park also has a gift shop, picnic area, and playground. An outdoor drama based on Stephen Foster’s life is performed June-August. School tours are $5 for students with one free adult for every 15 students. Additional adults are $5 and the bus driver is free. Tour times are seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum is closed Monday and Tuesday during the winter season (January-February); open for groups with appointments. Please call (502) 348-3502.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park
2135 Natural Bridge Road
Slade, Ky. 40376
Natural Bridge State Resort Park offers a variety of guided group hikes that will certainly capture the interest of students and teachers alike. Our most popular hike is the Guided Hike to Kentucky’s Natural Bridge, which covers many topics such as history, geology, plants, and animals. Other popular programs include: Reptiles and Amphibians, Kentucky Creatures, the Beginner’s Cave Walk, and Paddling on Mill Creek Lake. The rugged sandstone cliffs and the plant and animal diversity at the park will leave lasting memories and a valuable natural experience for students. Program fees per student vary per activity. Call Park Interpreter Brian Gasdorf at 606-663-2214 for more information, or email [email protected]
Old Fort Harrod State Park
100 South College St.
Harrodsburg, Ky. 40330
The year 1774 comes to life as you enjoy a living history experience presented in historic Harrodsburg - Kentucky’s first permanent settlement. Interact and get hands-on experience with costumed interpreters in period dress performing frontier tasks such as blacksmithing, weaving, broom making, woodworking, tin smithing, spinning, and doll making. Enjoy the animal corral and visit Kentucky’s first schoolhouse, where students sat on wooden benches and used hornbooks for lessons.
Tour the oldest cemetery in the state. The Lincoln Marriage Temple is something you will not want to miss; this temple houses the log cabin in which the parents of President Abraham Lincoln were married. Visit the Mansion Museum, home to a fine collection of Civil War displays, Lincoln memorabilia, Native American artifacts, frontier paintings, historic documents, McIntosh gun collection, music collection and much more. We also have a large picnic and playground area.
Old Fort Harrod State Park schedules school field trips year-round. Interpreters dressed in period correct clothing are at the park from April 16 through October 31. The museum and gift shop are open Wednesday - Sunday from April 1 through Oct. 31. Admission to Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Mansion Museum is $3 per student and $4 for adults in groups of 20 or more - and school personnel and bus drivers are admitted free. For more information call 859/734-3314 Monday – Friday.
Old Mulkey MeetingHouse State Historic Site
38 Old Mulkey Park Road
Tompkinsville, KY 42167
Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site can provide a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages. Popular activities include the park led history of the Meetinghouse and the Observation Hike. Self-guided tours of the Meetinghouse, as well as the Activities Trail, the park quest, or cemetery search can be completed at your own pace. A variety of activities can be customized for teen retreats, corporate outings, and extended school visits. Enjoy one of the many picnic areas located throughout the park, the horseshoe pits, basketball and four-square courts and large playground. Corn toss boards can be checked out from the park office. There is also a large shelter available for use. The park is open daily April 1st-Nov. 15th with reduced hours the remainder of the year. Special programs can be scheduled by calling 270-487-8481. Fees vary dependent upon program.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
42071 Pennyrile Lodge Rd.
Dawson Springs, Ky. 42408
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park offers nature hikes, animal programs, fishing programs, pedal boat cruises, mini-golf tournaments, and arts and crafts for grades k-12. We will also work with you to create a program to fit your needs. The park is open year-round and classes can visit any weekday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Program fees per student vary per activity. The park naturalist is also available to do outreach at your school. Call park interpreter Haley Joseph at 270-797-3421 for information, or email [email protected].
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site
1825 Battlefield Road
Perryville, Ky. 40468
Perryville is the site of the bloodiest Civil War battle on Kentucky soil. More than 7,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing. The park offers an award-winning educational program called the School of the Soldier program. Elementary school students can learn what it was like to be a civil war soldier while learning about the largest Civil War Battle fought in the Commonwealth. The program is 4 hours long and can be tailored to accommodate individual groups. There must be a minimum of 20 students to do the program. The cost is $4 per student, which includes the museum. The park has Civil War monuments, picnic areas, a playground, museum and museum store. For more information, call Joni House at 859-332-8631.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park
1050 State Park Road
Pineville, Ky. 40977
Pine Mountain State Resort Park offers guided group hikes for grades 4-12 along park trails that are sure to provide many memorable personal experiences in the outdoors. Whether your interest is wilderness history, mountain geology, plant biology, forest ecosystems, wildlife/habitat, or preservation/conservation, Pine Mountain can provide the quality programs you seek. Such planned outings enhance student learning and encourage the appreciation of Kentucky's celebrated wilderness areas. Program fees per student vary per activity. Contact the park well in advance to confirm date and interpreter availability at 1-800-325-1712 or 606-337-3066. When you call, be sure to request a copy of our "Field Trip Hints" brochure that outlines useful information for planning a visit to the park.
Waveland State Historic Site
225 Waveland Museum Lane
Lexington, Ky. 40514
Waveland State Historic Site offers tours of the mansion, and programs about antebellum life on a Kentucky plantation during the 1840s and 1850s for grades K-12. Waveland is open year round, and classes may visit weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fees are $3 per student. Call park manager Charla Reed at 859-272-3611. (Note: Waveland is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays between December and March.)
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site
94 Green Street, P.O. Box 155
Wickliffe, Ky. 42087
Students, teachers and Scouts can explore the excavated mounds, exhibits of Mississippian culture and displays of artifacts dating back to 1100 A.D. Activity stations in the museum provide hands-on experiences. A Teacher's Packet with pre-visit activities, background information and scavenger hunt activity sheets can be downloaded here.
A picnic shelter and chunkey game equipment (an interactive Mississippian Native American game) are available for teachers to use while at the park with their paid admission fees. Tours are staff guided when available or teacher-led/self-guided and special guide sheets provided to group leaders. Park is open April to mid November for school and scout groups and teachers should call to schedule a time for their classes to visit. Program fees per student vary per activity ($2 to $5 range and Teachers are free admission with their students).
November is Native American Heritage Month and in recognition all school and scout group rates are $1 per person (self-guided tours only) for the month of November. Call 270-335-3681 for information or e-mail [email protected]