nature

Group Hikes

Lace up those hiking shoes and get ready to hit the trails! We've got miles of planned hiking activities at many state parks across Kentucky. Some parks host monthly hikes while others hold special hiking events where registration is required. Continue scrolling down for a look at what's coming up!

 

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

National Trails Day, June 6

Put your best foot forward on one of the park’s five hiking trails, or join the park’s staff for a hiking program.

  • 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Bison Trace & Cedar Run Trail Mosaic Hike: The outing begins with a guided walk to see the bison herd and hear of their natural history. The hiking begins as we progress along upland forest ridges through a genuinely peaceful area of Big Bone Lick. Enjoy the serenity of wooded seclusion as you ply the trails of one of Kentucky’s most unique parks. We will be walking up to 2.0 miles on moderate, uneven terrain. Meet at Museum.
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Big Bone Hydro-Hike*: Join the park’s interpretive staff for a splashing good time on a special creek bed hike. The hike begins with a visit to the park’s largest salt-sulfur spring. Afterwards, we step things up with an aquatic adventure as we explore Big Bone Creek. We will be walking 0.5 miles on moderate terrain. Bring old shoes and expect to get wet! Having a walking stick is recommended. *Subject to cancellation due to hazardous water levels. Meet at Museum.
  • 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tobacco Hiking Sticks ($): Come decorate your own piece of Kentucky heritage, the tobacco stick. These sticks were used to hang and dry tobacco on farms all over Kentucky. Today they make awesome walking sticks! You can paint, wood burn and feather your own special tobacco stick to take on the trail. $5 per walking stick. Meet at Recreation Shelter.

Please contact [email protected] for more info or call 859-384-3522.

 

Big Bone Lick State Historic Site

Lewis and Clark Exploration Series: Mock Expedition, June 27

Sometimes referred to as the ‘greatest camping trip of all time’, the westward expedition of the Corps of Discovery was critical in more than just exploring the new, American west. Along the 3,700 mile trek to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and Clark described over 300 new species, made peaceful contact with more than 50 Native American groups, developed maps and crude coordinates of the area, and emerged as American heroes after the 2 year journey. In part two of the series, visitors will be led on their own, mock-expedition west, learning about the Corps’ encounters with unknown animals and natives, winter camps, and Lewis and Clark’s influence on Big Bone Lick and its role in the birth of American Vertebrate Paleontology. Participants will have the opportunity to hike through a part of the park not typically seen by visitors including a section through the waters of Big Bone Creek. Walking in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, participants will learn about the various encounters made by the Corps of Discovery and gain a better understanding of the treacherous journey that reshaped the United State of America. Expedition times are at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. Participants must pre-register and space is limited. The program cost is $10 per person and includes a guided hike, and a souvenir walking stick. Due to the terrain, participants must be 8+ years. This hike traverses part of Big Bone Creek; participants will get wet and muddy. Part 1 of the series is on May 30 (guests can view things Lewis and Clark would’ve taken with them, studied and documented on the expedition in the park's museum). Please contact [email protected] for more info or call 859-384-3522.

 

Carter Caves State Resort Park
Wildflower Pilgrimage, April 17-18, 2020
The hills come alive every spring at Carter Caves with emerging blooms of many shapes and colors decorating the forest floor.  You will be able to experience the beauty of the area during special programming focusing on the flora, fauna, and history of the Carter Caves area.  Whether you are an experienced wildflower enthusiast, a beginner bloomer, or just enjoy being in the woods, this is the perfect event for you to get outside and experience the natural beauty of spring.  Thanks to the Friends of Carter Caves, no registration is necessary -- the event is free. For information, call the park at 606-286-4411.


E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park
Nature and Wildlife Hikes, March 13, 20, 28
The park will offer nature and wildlife hikes on various topics and at different times during the winter months. Please call the park at 502-429-7270 for more details.


John James Audubon State Park
End-of-Winter Hike, March 14, 2020
Feeling antsy for the coming of spring? Well, the new season is about to begin! Come enjoy the woods of Audubon Park with a free naturalist-led “end-of-winter” hike. We’ll take a look around to see if nature is anticipating the coming of spring as much as we are! Wear sturdy shoes for this nearly mile-long hike and meet at the Warbler Road trailhead. Starts at 10 a.m. Cancelled if raining or experiencing extremely cold conditions. Please watch our Facebook and Instagram pages for announcements. Contact: Lisa Hoffman at (270)826-2247, ext. 228 or [email protected].

 

John James Audubon State Park

Walk on the Wild Side

Help your child discover how wildlife and nature shapes our world in Walk on the Wild Side, a 60-minute interactive program for preschool children, ages 3-5. This monthly children's lesson will bring nature into focus through play, creativity, and exploration. Each program will involve a variety of activities: games, crafts, storybooks, live animal visits, hikes, songs, and more! Pre-registration is required; Cost is $5 per child. Meets monthly on Wednesdays, at 10 A.M., in the Audubon Museum.To register your child, please contact Lisa Hoffman, (270)826-2247, ext. 228 or email to: [email protected].

  • 3/11/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 4/15/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 5/20/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 6/10/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 7/8/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 8/12/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 9/9/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • 10/14/2020        10:00 AM to 11:00 AM


Lake Barkley State Resort Park
EVENT CANCELLED Birds of Barkley 2nd Saturday Hike, March 14, 2020
Join a naturalist at Lake Barkley State Resort Park on March 14 for the next hike in our monthly hiking series. The focus of March’s hike will be the birds of Lake Barkley. We will search for and learn about the many bird species that make Lake Barkley State Resort Park their home. The hike starts at 10 a.m. (CST) and will depart from the lobby of the lodge. No reservations are necessary to participate in 2nd Saturday Hikes. For more information call 1-800-325-1708 or email [email protected].

 

Lake Barkley State Resort Park
Spring Wildflowers 2nd Saturday Hike, April 11, 2020 
Join a naturalist at Lake Barkley State Resort Park on April 11 for another hike in our monthly hiking series. The focus of April’s hike will be spring wildflowers. The hike will go searching for spring wildflowers and will teach participants how to identify flower species in the wild. The hike starts at 10 a.m. (CST) and will depart from the lobby of the lodge. No reservations are necessary to participate in 2nd Saturday Hikes. For more information call 1-800-325-1708 or email [email protected].

 

Natural Bridge State Resort Park

**CANCELLED** Wildflower Weekend, April 3-4, 2020

Join us at Natural Bridge to learn about the wildflowers that grow on the park and in the area from the Kentucky Native Plant Society. There will be guided hikes to identify local flora and fauna. The keynote speaker this year is Mike Homoya. This event is open to the public and kid-friendly! Registration is on site at the Hemlock Lodge Lobby, admission is $10 for adults and $3 for ages 13-17, and free for ages 12 and under. Call 606-663-2214.

 

Natural Bridge State Resort Park

National Trails Day Hike, June 6

Join us at Natural Bridge State Resort Park to celebrate National Trails Day! There will be a guided hike starting at 9:30 a.m. The hike will end at the top of the bridge. There will also be a variety of kid friendly activities after the hike. You can call the front desk 606-663-2214, or email [email protected] to sign up! 

 

 

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

Saturday of the Month Hiking Series, March - December 2020

The park naturalist will plan a unique hike to fit the season on a Saturday of each month in 2020.  

Participants can plan to join us for all the hikes or come to just one. In the winter the group will see rock formations with ice, sunsets, and 
enjoy insect-free hiking. In the spring beautiful wildflowers will be blooming for hikers to see. Summer hikes will be in the evening to avoid the heat of the day. Fall hikers will enjoy seeing beautiful fall color.

Cost: FREE

Bring: Water and dress for the weather. Hiking stick recommended.

Length: Varies, 0.5 to 3 miles, easy to moderate terrain

Ages: 5 and up

Pets: Pet owners may bring well socialized dogs on a leash.

Meet: Lodge Lobby

Dates and Times:

  • 3/7/2020        3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
  • 4/4/2020        10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • 5/2/2020        10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • 6/13/2020        7:45 PM to 9:00 PM
  • 7/11/2020        7:45 PM to 9:00 PM
  • 8/8/2020        7:45 PM to 9:00 PM
  • 9/5/2020        7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • 10/3/2020        1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • 11/7/2020        1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • 12/5/2020        1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

 

Pine Mountain State Resort Park

Hike-A-Thon, March - September 2020

Stop by for a guided hike, taking place once a month, March - September, on Kentucky State Park, Kentucky State Nature Preserve, and National Park land. All hikes will be within 70 miles of Pine Mountain State Resort Park. Lunch option available for longer hikes. Transportation is available for first eight people registered per hike. For more info call 606-337-3066 or email [email protected]

  • March 28, Hemlock Garden and Clear Creek First the grove of hemlocks, then a cool down at clear creek. 3.5 mi. Moderate
  • April 18, Laurel Cove See the beauty of the wild flowers of Pine Mountain on this semi loop hike. ~6 miles Moderate
  • May 30, Blanton Forest At Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve.   ~5 miles Strenuous
  • June 27, Sugar Run Loop Cumberland Gap NHP departing from the Pinnacle . ~9 miles Strenuous
  • July 25, Ridge Runner and Honeymoon Falls We will begin at the top of the mountain and work our way back to the lodge. ~4 miles Moderate
  • August 29, Pinnacle Knob Fire Tower At Cumberland Falls SRP. ~2.5 miles Easy
  • September 26, Bad Branch Falls At Bad Branch State Nature Preserve. ~4.5 miles strenuous

 

Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site

Earth Day, April 25

Celebrate Earth Day and Birds with our Whooooo are the Birds of Wickliffe Mounds program - fun for the whole family! Learn about their habits and habitats. See a live bird program by naturalist from LBL Woodlands Nature Station at 11:00am. Take a guided hike around the park for bird viewing at 1:00pm and find out what birds were around when the Native People built the mounds and the Birds of Lewis and Clark. Environmental themed exhibits available all day from 9:00 to 4:30. Program is free with paid museum admission. For more info call 270-335-3681 or email [email protected].