FRANKFORT, Ky. – It’s time to get out the pumpkins and goblin decorations at Kentucky State Parks as they prepare for one of the most popular times of the year – Halloween.
Many of the park system’s campgrounds will be having special activities for campers, including decorations, costumes, hayrides and games for the kids. Resort parks, recreation parks and historic sites will also have special events during October – a great time to be outside with family and friends.
Parents of young children should check in advance – some parks have age recommendations for their events.
Many state resort parks have inexpensive rates for lodge rooms and cottages during the fall. Resort parks also have excellent restaurants with your favorite meals. State parks have trails, playgrounds and plenty of wildlife viewing areas and fall color that make for excellent family outings. For more information about state park events or to make lodging or camping reservations, visit www.parks.ky.gov or call your favorite park.
Here is the list of Kentucky State Park Halloween events:
Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas
Trail of Scarecrows
Scarecrows will be hanging around the park starting Oct. 1. We invite everyone to visit the park and view the Trail of Scarecrows free of charge, through Oct. 31. Pick your favorite and come in to the lodge to vote for it in the Driftwood Restaurant. The scarecrows, along with laminated signs indicating the names and builders, will be placed along the paved trail throughout the park for visitors to see as they hike or bike. A section of trail is also visible along the park road, and visitors will be able to see some of them on their drive into the park. Contact Jamie Avery at 270-646-2151, ext. 2415 or at .
Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Have a spooktacular weekend at Barren River, where ghosts and goblins take over the campground. There will be costume contests, pumpkin roll contests, trick-or-treating and other activities for children. Campers: Don’t forget to bring candy for trick-or-treating. For information, call Jamie Avery at 1-800-325-0057.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Union
Oct. 5-6, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Oct. 26-27, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Join the Tri-State Shadow Chasers for a night of paranormal investigating at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site. Learn the various ins and outs of ghost hunting; get familiar with some commonly used equipment during a live investigation. While on the investigation, you will learn about the history of this famous location. Areas that will be investigated include: the general park grounds, the Big Bone Methodist Church that was built in 1888, and the Baker cemetery. Please bring a digital camera if you have one. Registration required. Cost: $20 per person.
Ghosts of Big Bone
Oct. 24, 7-8:30 p.m.
Big Bone Lick's history has been laced with death and intrigue throughout the centuries. Come to Big Bone's historic, and some say haunted, Methodist Church to hear stories of Big Bone's past and learn of the paranormal evidence recorded. Tickets are $5 and all proceeds benefit the Friends of Big Bone. Parental guidance is recommended. Please register by calling 859-689-5631.
Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill
Carter Caves Haunted Trail
Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 18-19, 7:30-10 p.m.
If you dare, come and take the walk through our ¼-mile wooded trail, and experience thrilling scenes and haunts that will have you shivering with fear! Our past trail “survivors” consider Carter Caves Haunted Trail one of the best haunted attractions in the region. Admission is $8 per person. Concessions will be available at the beginning of the trail. Not recommended for young children. Transportation to and from the trailhead will be provided by the park. Ticket sales are each event night from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Carter Caves public pool.
Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Burkesville
Games, snacks and ghost stories Friday from 3-8 p.m. On Saturday, trick-or-treating will be at 3 p.m. in the campground and hayrides will be offered from 4-10 p.m. for $3 a person. There will be a costume contest at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the lodge. Hayride and costume events are open to the public. The campsite decorating contest will be at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Call 1-270-433-7431.
Fort Boonesborough State Park, Richmond
Halloween Fest Lights Drive Through
Sept. 27-Oct. 26
Enjoy the lights, sounds and scares of over 1.5 miles of Halloween lights and displays from your car. Play pirate miniature golf with Halloween music and thousands of lights. Concessions and snacks available.
General Burnside Island State Park, Burnside
Oct. 11-12 and Oct. 25-26
The park will have games for children and adults. There will be a campsite costume contest and a
pumpkin contest. Trick or treat will be for campers only.
General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton
Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27
General Butler State Resort Park will host several Halloween events over two weekends. They include the “Haunted Tracks of Terror” on a small train and glow-in-the-dark 18-hole mini-golf from 7-11 p.m. There will be a fee for these events. Local Girl Scouts will also host several events during the day and evening. The Friends of Butler will hold a paranormal investigation by S.E.R.I.O.U.S. Investigation Team from Louisville at the Butler-Turpin State Historic House on Fridays only 9 p.m. to midnight. On Saturdays only, there will be evening tours of the historic home and cemetery 9 p.m. to midnight. Call 1-866-462-8853 for information. The park will host the Zombie Run 5K on Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. This event, sponsored by the Carroll County High School soccer program, has a registration fee of $25 if you register before Oct. 12. Call 502-297-2745 or email for information.
Grayson Lake State Park, Olive Hill
Take part in a campsite decorating contest. Judging starts at 5 p.m., and prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers. There will also be trick-or-treating for children at 6 p.m. These events are for campers.
Jefferson Davis State Historic Site, Fairview
19th Century Halloween Celebration
Look out for the Headless Horseman! Come join the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site Halloween fun at this 19th Century Halloween Celebration! Oct. 26 from 1-9 p.m. Halloween traditions, hayrides, games and crafts are among the many activities featured. A reading of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and an appearance by the Headless Horseman finishes off this fun-filled evening. Contact Ron Sydnor at 270-889-6100 or
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Oct. 18-19, 25-26, starting at dark
Specters, ghosts and ghouls await you as you take part in one of the scariest rides of your life! Come join us for this annual event and take a tractor-pulled hayride that you won't soon forget. Be very careful as scary creatures such as werewolves and vampires are on the loose! The Haunted Hay Ride will be held in the campground and will begin at dark. Cost is only $5 per person; all children must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Trinity Shepherd at 1-800-325-0142 or email at for more information.
Haunted ‘Campground’ Halloween
Oct. 25-26, 6-10 p.m.
Come join the Jenny Wiley recreation staff for an evening of ghosts and ghouls! Ever wonder if all the television shows about ghost hunting is real? Join us for a ghost hunt, as we will be joined by professionals who conduct paranormal investigations. Other activities include a costume contest, camper decoration contest, face painting and much more. Be sure to check out our Haunted Hayride.. Contact Trinity Shepherd at 1-800-325-0142 or email at for more information.
John James Audubon State Park, Henderson
Oct. 26, 1-4 p.m.
Bring your little goblins and enjoy a day of Halloween fun with reptile presentations, costume contest, hayride, cornhusk dolls, touch boxes and trick-or-treating! See the festively decorated campsite winners. Book your own campsite at ReserveAmerica, 888-459-7275. Event cost is $2 per person. Children 3 and under are free.
Old Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg
Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 1, 7-10 p.m.
A haunted house 239 years in the making: Enter the historic fort in the dark evening hours in the Halloween season. Experience a mix of pioneer scares in the fort and modern scares in the theater complex. (Not recommended for the weak of heart or the young.)
Old Mulkey State Historic Site, Tompkinsville
Halloween in the Park
Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m.
Ghosts and goblins of every description will join the fun as Halloween invades the park! Enjoy various crafts, games and even a haunted trail. Dress your pet in costume and let it join the costume parade for children (through age 12). Bring your prepared jack-o’-lantern for the pumpkin contests, with lots of prizes. The fee is $5 per person, which includes a hot dog dinner. Registration required by Oct. 9.
Ghost Hunting in the Park
Oct. 26, 6-9:30 p.m.
Interested in paranormal investigating? Then you’ll want to join Old Mulkey State Historic Site as it partners with Death Valley Paranormal Society for “Ghost Hunting in the Park.” The evening will begin with an introduction to paranormal investigating. Then we’ll share some ghost stories before performing an investigation of the park grounds. Participants must be 18 years of age. Limited to 30 participants. Preregistration is required. Cost is $20 per person. Call the park for a registration form at 270-487-8481.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs
The weekend will feature events for lodge and cottage guests as well as campers. The weekend will begin with a showing of “Hocus Pocus” in the park’s lodge meeting room at 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 with free popcorn. Other programs include a campsite decorating contest, a costume contest for children and adults, a pumpkin carving contest, and Halloween arts and crafts. Trick-or-treating at the lodge and campground will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 26. At 8 p.m. Saturday, the park will show “Hotel Transylvania” (PG) in the lodge meeting room. Free popcorn.
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Perryville
Spirit Hunters of Central Kentucky (as seen on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”) will hold an overnight investigation of the battlefield and Dye House on Saturday, Oct. 26. The cost will be $25 per person. The event will be from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. For information, visit http://www.spirithunters-ky.com/perryvilleghosttours/. Tickets will be on sale at the Perryville Battlefield Museum.
Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville
Halloween Monster Mash Ball
Oct. 26, 7 p.m.-midnight
Join us for a fun evening! Celebrate with friends in a delightful party atmosphere with deliciously creepy snacks, an experienced DJ, and all the best dance music. Enter our costume contest for a chance to win an overnight stay, dinner for two, or golf for two. Admission is $15 single or $25 per couple. Event runs from 7 p.m. to midnight. Make lodging reservations separately, if needed. Space is limited; contact the park’s guest services desk in advance to reserve your tickets at 800-325-1712.
Waveland State Historic Site, Lexington
Spirits of Waveland
Join the ghosts, ghouls and goblins at Waveland State Historic Site on Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, from 7-11 p.m. for one of Lexington’s most popular Halloween events. Tour the plantation mansion and encounter macabre and bone-chilling scenes in each room. Walk along the haunted trail if you dare, through the Carnival of Darkness and be terrified at what is around each corner. The spirits of Waveland are waiting for you. Tickets may be purchased at the cabin next to Waveland mansion. Prices are $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and $4 for students of any age.
White Hall State Historic Site, Richmond
Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 25-26, 7-9:30 p.m.
This is a must see theatrical, historically-based experience performed by Eastern Kentucky University’s Theater Department. “Spirit Guides” lead guests from room to room and introduce the spirits of the past, who come out of the dimness to tell the tender and incredible stories of the illustrious Clay family and the house. Each tour is limited to 20 people. The first performance begins at 7 p.m., with nine tours a night. Tickets are $10 a person, by a prepaid reservation only. Call 859-623-9178 for information and reservations. (Please note this is not a haunted house event.)
*The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 49 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our website at http://www.parks.ky.gov