For a Kentucky state park with a lot to offer, don't miss the Carter Caves State Resort Park! Situated on the northeastern side of the state, this puptastic 2,000-acre site is home to more than 20 twisting caverns hidden beneath its forested hills. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities both above the ground and below, from hiking and picnicking to gem mining and caving. All Kentucky state parks are dog-friendly, so bring your four-legged family members along!
Understandably, canine visitors are not allowed on the park's pawpular cave tours, but not to worry as there are still some activities that you can enjoy with your furry pal. Adventurous pooches will be pleased to know that there are almost 30 miles of trails meandering throughout the site, each with its own unique features. One of Carter Caves' most traveled paths is the Three Bridges Trail, which highlights three natural bridges. Spanning 3.5 miles, this trail will lead you and Fido to Fern Bridge, Raven Bridge, and Smoky Bridge. Don't forget to pawse at the overlooks to take in views of Smoky Valley Lake!
For an especially scenic hike with lots of birding opportunities, check out the Box Canyon Trail. This 0.8-mile trail will take you and your pooch past some unusual geologic features, including the wind tunnel, Box Canyon, and Cascade Bridge. Keep your eyes and ears open for red-tailed hawks, rose-breasted grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, and ruby-throated hummingbirds, among others. Note that any park trails that are part of nature preserves are off-limits to canine hikers, and these trails will be posted as such.
If you plan on spending the night in the park, you may take your pick from the campground, cottages, or lodge. While all overnight accommodations are Fido-friendly, the cottages and lodge charge an additional pet fee per stay and have a limit of two pups per unit. Whether you stay for an afternoon or a weekend, always keep your pooch on a leash and clean up after them.
A woofderful experience awaits you and your furry friend at the Carter Caves State Resort Park!