State pushes reopening of more parks, resorts

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The opening of four state parks that had been held in reserve as potential coronavirus health care facilities is good news for the communities that depend on the parks for tourism income.

The parks that will reopen June 1 are:

  • Lake Cumberland State Resort Park
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park
  • Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; and
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park.

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park will open with limited occupancy as a result of ongoing renovations.

“We are making every effort to safely reopen tourism attractions across the commonwealth and offer in-state travel opportunities for Kentuckians to enjoy,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in announcing the openings.

“The revenue generated from in-state travel will foster economic growth in local communities and help Kentucky rebound with a healthy economy.”

For instance, Lake Cumberland is a significant part of the tourism industry in an around Somerset and Pulaski County, fueling everything from convenience stores to motels and restaurants.

State legislators representing the area had pushed Beshear to reopen the park to offset the “devastating” economic impact the closure was having heading into the summer.

That park and others worked on reopening plans to help satisfy state concerns.

Even as facilities reopen, Kentucky health officials continue to stress the need for everyone to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will also reopen the Kentucky Horse Park (KHP) on June 11, in accordance with Healthy at Work guidelines. This follows the Governors announcement that the Horse Park campground will open at limited capacity on June 11 to self-contained campers and RVs.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all scheduled events at the Kentucky Horse Park were canceled through June 10. KHP will host its first competitive horse show event without spectators, the Split Rock Horse Show, from June 17-21, in accordance with the United States Equestrian Federation.

The reopening of the campground and the reintroduction of competitive horse shows are positive steps ahead in our phased approach to reopening tourism, said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry.

Kentucky Horse Park attractions will open on a limited basis Wednesday through Sunday beginning June 11 at a discounted admission rate of $12 for adults and $6 for children. Parade of Breeds and Hall of Champions shows will be available at limited capacity to ensure social distancing.

Horseback riding will be available Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., for groups of 10 or fewer. Daily schedules are subject to change. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead or visit the parks website at for updates.

Due to public health restrictions, the reopening of the Horse Park will not include Alltech Arena. Park attractions including horse drawn trolleys, access to barns, the International Museum of the Horse also will remain closed.

The Iron Works Cafe will remain closed. Grab and go food items will be available in the parks gift shop.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Park, visit

For more information about Kentucky State Park, visit

Categories: coronavirus, Coronavirus Updates, Featured, Local News, News

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