Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State”, a nickname based on the fact that bluegrass is present in many of the pastures throughout the state. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park. Kentucky also affers the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. It is also home to the highest per capita number of deer and turkey in the United States, the largest free-ranging elk herd east of Montana, and the nation’s most productive coalfield. Kentucky is also known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, bluegrass music, automobile manufacturing and tobacco.
Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest cave system, with more than 390 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop calle dthe cave a “grand, gloomy and pecuilar place,” but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name – Mammoth.
Red River Gorge, located within the Daniel Boone National Forest, contains examples of many geological formations, including 41 natural bridges. The site also supports an extremely diverse flora, including endemic, rare and relict species.
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
Hidden away in the scenic beauty of the Ozarks, this 100-ft. sandstone formation was millions of years in the making. The stone archway was actually used as a bridge during pioneer days. Facilities include a log cabin museum and gift shop. Open mid-March through October.
For over a century people from around the world have come to rural Central Kentucky to honor the humble beginnings of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. His early life on Kentucky’s frontier shaped his character and prepared him to lead the nation through Civil War. The country’s first memorial to Lincoln, built with donations from young and old, enshrines the symbolic birthplace cabin.