Need a quick getaway? Here are parks in Kentucky, Indiana to visit during National Parks Week

National Parks Week is the perfect way to get out and get some fresh air at some of the state parks now that warmer weather is on the horizon.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s taking a moment to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful things around you.

Since in-person gathering has been limited in some place, the great outdoors has been the place many have used as an escape from technology or as a retreat to restore inner peace.

National Park Week is the perfect way to get out and get some fresh air now that warmer weather is on the horizon. It’s also a time to explore amazing places while discovering the stories of history and culture.

Many of the parks across the country are celebrating the week with special programs, events and digital experiences.

Officials with the parks also said there will be special themed days to highlight the many ways the public can enjoy national parks.

Take a look at some of the offerings at parks in Kentucky and Indiana.

National Park Week is from April 17 through April 25. 


Mammoth Cave National Park

This historical park will celebrate its 70th birthday this year. COVID-19 has changed the way for visits and touring the cave. Officials advise that you plan before visiting so you can have a memorable experience.

The park will have several outdoor volunteer opportunities along park trails and cemeteries to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Officials said the volunteer work will give park-goers a chance to discover and enjoy the “physical” and “psychological” benefits that come with spending time outdoors while “encouraging education and stewardship of the park’s amazing natural resources.”

For more information to plan you visit, click here.  

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park

Our beloved “Honest Abe” has been celebrated in LaRue County, Kentucky (Hodgenville) for more than a century. The park marks Abraham Lincoln’s early life and how it shaped his character, preparing him to lead the nation as the 16th president.

An estimated 200,000 visit the park annually – officials said the highest visitation is in June, July and August.

The Memorial Building is open 9:00 am – 4:30 pm eastern time with a limited viewing area. The Visitor Center and grounds are open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm eastern time.

It’s important to note that his Boyhood Home Unit at Knob Creek is now closed due to the rehab project of the Knob Creek Tavern. 

To find out more about this park, click here

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

This park is in southeastern Kentucky and north central Tennessee in what officials say is some of the “most rugged terrain of the Cumberland Plateau.” It has both rugged forested gorge and adjacent forested plateau. It features a variety of habitats – plants and animals. If you love black bears, this is the place to see many of them.

The Big South Fork has numerous streams that flow into the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Officials said the “ceaseless moving water has carved the sandstones of the plateau into the impressive cliffs, arches and chimneys found throughout the park.”

Happening during the National Parks Week, the park is hosting their annual Spring Planting and Music Festival on Apr. 24. Acts from around Kentucky are scheduled to perform. For more information, click here.

To plan your visit, click here.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

This was called the first gateway to the west. Many have traveled through mountains to the wilderness of Kentucky including buffalo, Native Americans and pioneers.

The gateway offers breathtaking views and offers miles of trails, camping and guided tours.

If you like the ultimate scenic view, check out the Pinnacle Overlook to get a view of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

Click here for more information and plan your visit. 

George Rogers Clark National Historic Park

George Rogers Clark is synonymous with the history of Kentucky and Indiana.

The historical park, located in Vincennes, takes us back to the 18th century frontier life as experienced by pioneers along the western fringe of the American Revolution.

The park also gives families time for togetherness and a little recreation.

If you plan on visiting the park, officials say you may want to add about an hour into your time for the park’s movie and the Clark Memorial.

Taking a stroll on the grounds should be no problem as sidewalks are “strategically” placed throughout the park that lead to various monuments. It’s a perfect time to explore.

For more information and to plan your visit, click here

Indiana Dunes

A beautiful beach, striking views of Lake Michigan, trees and nature are some of the things this park in northern Indiana has to offer.

This year, the park is hosting their first Indiana Dunes Trash Trekkers Earth Day Cleanup. It will take place on April 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To plan your visit, click here

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.  

Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed