More than 100 award winners were announced Thursday at the Kentucky State Fair.
“Our parks are honored with these Best in Kentucky awards, and we appreciate the public support all of our parks and our employees receive,” said Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland in a news release. “We’re in some great company with all of the attractions, businesses and people that were recognized.”
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin was recognized with three awards: Winner of the romantic getaway location; second place in the tourist attraction category; and added to the Best in Kentucky Hall of Fame for scenic view. The Hall of Fame honor is awarded to attractions that have won the same category three consecutive years.
Cumberland Falls is the home of a beautiful waterfall, 125-feet wide and 65-feet high, that also produces a “moonbow” during a full moon. The park has a lodge, cottages, restaurant, campground, hiking trails and many other recreational activities.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown won first place for best historic site. The park features Federal Hill, a mansion completed in 1818 that was the subject of Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” The park also has an 18-hole golf course, visitor center, campground and a summertime theatrical production — “The Stephen Foster Story.”
John James Audubon State Park in Henderson picked up two third place awards for historic site and hiking trail. The park honors the famous wildlife artist who lived in Henderson in the early 1800s. John James Audubon State Park has a museum, nature center, cottages, lake, campground, hiking trails, nine-hole golf course, picnic shelters and year round programming.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Slade received a second-place honor for best hiking trail. The park is the home of a 65-foot tall sandstone arch. Natural Bridge also offers lodging, dining, cottages, campground accommodations, hiking trails and other recreational opportunities.
Two other state parks were added to the magazine’s Hall of Fame: Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site for Civil War battlefield and General Burnside Island State Park for golf course. Perryville preserves the site of the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky that resulted in more than 7,000 casualties. General Burnside has an award-winning 18-hole golf course surrounded by Lake Cumberland near Somerset.
Three lakes where there are state resort parks were also recognized. The best house boating lakes were Lake Cumberland, Kentucky Lake and Rough River. Lake Cumberland and Kentucky Lake won second and third for best family getaway and Lake Cumberland entered the Hall of Fame for best fishing spot and boating lake.