My kids and I discovered a hidden gem in Carrolton, KY recently - General Butler Resort State Park. We drove through the first entrance to find a picnic area, playground, tiny basketball court, and shelters (you can reserve them for parties). Then we saw that they had even more! Mini golf, a mini train ride, an ice cream stand (most under $3), a boat dock, and the entrance to a 1.6 mile hiking trail. (There is also a bathroom building that was pretty clean and spacious).
When we got there, there were a couple of private parties, but it still didn't feel crowded. The canoes and paddle boats are available to rent for $10 an hour (10am - 4pm), the 18 hole mini golf is $4 or $3 for kids under 12, and the mini train ride is $1.50 each. My kids enjoyed it all!
Then we got back in the car and drove up to the rest of the park. We came to an Observation Point which was worth the stop to get out and look (we even watched 2 fawns eat grass 10 feet from us). There was a nice looking 9 hole golf course we drove by, and at the other end was the old Butler-Turpin Home from 1859 which is open for tours (tours available May through Nov, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, $5 adult, $3 under 18, free for children 6 and under). There is a nice history on display at the house and on the website.
At the other side of the park are archery, tennis, playground, and more picnic areas.
And of course, there are overnight stays available. You can tent or RV camp (111 campsites with utility hookups and grills, showers and rest rooms are available at two central service buildings and one laundry facility is available). You can stay in one of the 24 cottages (one, two, and three-bedroom cottages with one bath and two baths, and stocked with supplies). Or stay at the lodge (each of the 53 rooms features a private balcony or patio overlooking the pool or hillside) with a restaurant at the lodge for dining.
General Butler State Park was a great place for a short stop or long visit. Especially considering pets, bikes, and other options available that aren't always allowed at other parks. We're looking forward to heading back and staying overnight next time!
By guest contributor: Caryn
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