Friday, April 18, 2014

Kentucky State Parks Foundation Awards Grants For Trail Improvements

This is an awesome thing.  The Kentucky State Park Foundation awards matching grants to two KyPARKS for trail projects.  Gil Lawson, spokesperson for the TAH Cabinet, wrote the following comments below. I get so excited when I see other parks taking ownership of their trail systems in ways to enhance or improve the conditions of the trails.  In addition, Cumberland Falls and Carter Caves State Resort Parks are and have been using AmeriCorps Volunteers to do a myriad of trail and cave projects.  The Delta 3 team is currently at Carter Caves State Resort Park.  Happy Easter Weekend to everyone.  Ron Vanover, Kentucky State Naturalist

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Parks Foundation has awarded matching grants to two Kentucky State Parks for trail projects.  The foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports state parks and various projects in the parks.

“We appreciate the support we receive from the Kentucky State Park Foundation,” Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said. “These grants will go to projects that will offer more recreational opportunities to our guests and the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

The foundation awarded a $2,500 grant to Nolin Lake State Park at Mammoth Cave for a .5-mile section of the Brier Creek Mountain Bike Trail that will be used by cyclists. This section will be designed to minimize the amount of pedaling and braking required by cyclists.

Nolin Lake has a campground along the lake, picnic area, playground and boat ramp, and is popular for boating and fishing.

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park in Gilbertsville received a grant of $1,167 to help restore two miles of hiking trails that lead from the park’s convention center to the marina and riding stables.  

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park sits near the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. The park at Gilbertsville features a lodge, cottages, marina, campground, golf course, convention center and full-service restaurant.

For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit For information about the Kentucky State Parks Foundation, contact President Molly Caldwell at or visit

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

I wanted to share some pictures I took at the Annual Natural Bridge Wildflower Weekend this past Saturday.  Great views of some beautiful wildflowers.

Left to right: rue anemone, large flowered trillium, red trillium, rue anemone, spring beauty, bloodroot, mayapple, hepatica, purple violet, bloodroot, trout lily, trout lily, rue anemone, phlox, purplse violet, and large flowered trillium.

Best regards.  Safe travels everyone.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Arches and Waterfalls Weekend at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Kentucky Department of Parks News Release

By: Gil Lawson
Feb. 14, 2014
Contact: Bret Smitley,

Arches and Waterfall Weekend at Cumberland Falls March 7-9

CORBIN, Ky. – Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is hosting its “Arches and Waterfall Weekend” March 7-9

The weekend will include hikes to area natural arches and waterfalls as well as evening programs on astronomy and history.

Moderate hiking is required on most trips.  Van space is limited. If van space fills up, guests may have to drive their own vehicles. Hikes will start in the lounge of the Dupont Lodge.

The registration fee for the weekend is $10 for an adult and children under age 12 are free.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park has a lodge, Riverview Restaurant, cottages, hiking trails, fishing, other recreational activities and a great view of Cumberland Falls. Call the park at 1-800-325-0063 for information.

Weekend Schedule

Friday, March 7             

4 p.m.        Tour of Cumberland Falls – Meet at visitor center

7 p.m.        Star Party (Astronomy Program) Moonbow Room of the Lodge

Saturday,  March 8

10 a.m.        Dog Slaughter Falls Hike – 2 mile strenuous hike

2 p.m.          Natural Arch and Yahoo Falls 2 miles total, return about 5 p.m.

8 p.m.          History of Cumberland Falls – Dupont Lodge

Sunday, March 9

10 a.m.        Hike to Princess Falls in the Big South Fork – 2 miles total 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tracking and Woods Lore Weekend

Kentucky Department of Parks News Release

Gil Lawson
Feb. 12, 2014
Contact: Coy Ainsley,

Carter Caves Hosts Tracking and Woods Lore Weekend, March 7-9

OLIVE HILL, Ky. – Step back in time to the 18th century, when American Indians and European Americans lived closer to nature. 

Carter Caves State Resort Park at Olive Hill invites you to its Tracking and Woods Lore Weekend, March 7-9. Learn some of the skills that were necessary for everyday life, and of the cultural sharing that has made our modern lives richer. Guests will enjoy nature, tracking, culture and history in outdoor and indoor settings.  

Workshops and field trips throughout the weekend will give participants hands-on experience in identifying animal signs in the forest. One field trip will focus on the environment of life in a cave. There will be indoor program options offered throughout the weekend including interpretation on the “Rise and Demise of Buffalo in Old Kentucky.”  Tracking and Woods Lore is for everyone interested in 18th-century lifestyles, culture, wildlife and our natural environment. 

To learn more about our instructors visit Overnight packages are available. 

The admission price is $25 for adults (ages 16 and older) and $15 for guests age 15 and younger. An overnight package including 2 nights and the workshop fee for two is available for two adults at $149.95 plus tax. The price for one person is $124.95 plus tax.

Registration is required. Call the park at 1-800-325-0059 for more information and to make reservations. 

Carter Caves State Resort Park is located at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill. The park has a lodge with a restaurant, cottages and campground. Besides cave tours, activities include hiking, swimming, boating and fishing.

The park is located off Interstate 64 at Exit 161. Take U.S. 60 east. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left on KY 182 north. The park entrance is 3 miles from the left turn onto KY 182 north.

Agenda for Tracking and Woods Lore Weekend

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A $1 Million Private Funding Commitment for Conservation

Date: January 8, 2014
Contacts: Jessica Kershaw (DOI), 202-208-6416
Secretary Jewell Announces $1 Million Private Funding Commitment to Advance Youth & Conservation Initiative
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. is First Company to Pledge to Newest Public-Private Partnership to Develop Next Generation of Outdoor Stewards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of an ambitious initiative to engage and employ the next generation through America’s great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a public-private partnership with American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. that will help reach Interior’s goal of providing 100,000 work and training opportunities to young people and veterans on public lands.

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) announced an historic $1 million commitment to develop the next generation of outdoor stewards. The funding commitment is the first in AEO’s philanthropic history and is also the first pledge toward Jewell’s target of raising $20 million from private partners by 2017 to support the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). 

The 21CSC, launched by the Obama Administration as part of the America’s Great Outdoors program, is a national collaborative effort to put America’s youth and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s natural and cultural resources. 

Jewell made the announcement today at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., in recognition of the Civilian Conservation Corps that President Roosevelt created over 80 years ago.

“What we’re doing today embodies the spirit of President Roosevelt’s CCC – coming together to put young people and veterans to work on our public lands which will instill a lifelong conservation ethic that not only benefits them, but our public lands and our country,” said Secretary Jewell. “American Eagle Outfitters has a long history of philanthropy, conservation and volunteerism and I applaud them for this unprecedented commitment to the youth initiative. This lays a strong foundation toward reaching our goal to provide positive experiences for young people and veterans on our public lands that offer both employment and meaningful connections to the outdoors.”

Thursday, December 19, 2013

WAW - Winter Adventure Weekend

Winter Adventure Weekend 
January 24-26 at Carter Caves State Resort Park
by: Gil Lawson

OLIVE HILL, Ky. – Carter Caves State Resort Park will present a weekend of hiking, kayaking, recreational tree climbing, cave tours, winter survival, rappelling, archaeological field trips, rock climbing, a zip line and other adventures with its fifth annual Winter Adventure Weekend, January 24-26, 2014.

Guests will be able to select from a list of trips they want to take – for beginners and advanced winter adventurers alike. All of the trips and events are led by guides.

Each trip level is based on the difficulty and skills required. The higher the level, the more skills and special equipment are needed. Guests will be responsible for appropriate dress, water, snacks and other items.

KyPARKS Commissioner Elaine N. Walker
getting ready to do the zipline
The list of the trips, along with registration information and other details for the 2014 event are available at All participants must register online at this site. The nonrefundable fee for adults (age 13 and older) is $30, and the nonrefundable fee for children ages 6-12 is $20. Some  trips have additional fees. (All participants must be at least 6 years old. Some trips have additional age requirements.)

There are many new trips at this year's event, including but not limited to slacklining, geocaching and a rope-making workshop. The park is also incorporating some wild caving trips in this year’s event, including one being led by old-style carbide cap lamps. Some past Crawlathon event field trips that are returning include Pit Plunging, Tygart’s Gorge Hike and Cave Trek, Lantern Trip into Sandy Cave. Some trips will be offered on Friday afternoon.

Participants will be able to submit photos in the Winter Photo Salon competition. Categories include winter adventure, caving and local nature-adventure photos. The images will be shown during the Saturday night program, and winners will be awarded ribbons.    

Carter Caves State Resort Park is located at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill. The park has a lodge with a restaurant, cottages and campground. Besides cave tours, activities include hiking, swimming, boating and fishing.

The park is off Interstate 64 at Exit 161. Take U.S. 60 east. Go approximately two miles and turn left on KY 182 north. The park entrance is three miles from the left turn onto KY 182 north.  The phone number for the park is 1-800-325-0059.