Review of General Butler State Park
With the energy levels running high and the entertainment budget level low, Kentucky State Parks are
the perfect solution for summer vacation. I told my three kids (ages 9, 8, and almost 5) to pack an
“adventure bag” to include snacks, napkins, a water bottle, a glass jar for collecting whatever and
something to keep them occupied in the car. Then we set off, along with our dog, in the minivan to
From our home in Oldham County, we took the more scenic back route on highway 42. There was a roadside shop
that had strawberries as well as a couple mom and pop diners along that route, but with the
aforementioned dog in tow, we didn’t stop.
and miniature golf. We wove our way upward all the way to the Observation Point. There is very
limited parking at the top of the hill, but it’s worth the drive up. My kids were in awe of the view they
had of the Ohio River and the city of Carrolton below – not to mention how impressed they were with
the stone structure that made up the Observation Point.
From there we loaded back up in the van and headed down the hill to entrance of the Fossil Trail. A four
and a half mile trail with little legs didn’t seem feasible but there was a shorter trail (.6 miles) that led to
the Boy Scout trail (.25 miles) which was totally doable. We did have to cross a street at one point, but
car traffic is very light. We wound our way down to the Butler-Turpin Home and the Butler Family
Cemetery, and history always makes for a great teaching moment. I hadn’t realized that the trail was
just a trail and not a loop so we trekked back up to our van after we walked around the house grounds a
bit. The trail on the way back was steep and I had a couple complaints from my youngest, but we all
made it back up without incident.
After we emptied our water bottles, we headed to one of the two play grounds on site and to use the
facilities. For park bathrooms, they were completely acceptable and well received at that point. I also
was so happy to see that the folks who designed the park did some planning and put the swings in the
shade! There were also picnic tables in the shade and a pavilion by the restrooms.
We headed over to the lake next and found another trail that appeared to loop around it. Next time we
go back, I’ll start with that one! Since we were there on weekday, the pedal boat rental was closed but
the lake is open to non-motorized craft year round. There is another pavilion by the lake for large
gatherings and more picnic tables as well.
We thought the mini golf looked fun, but couldn’t work it out as we had our dog with us. There was also
a Hawaiian Ice stand so make sure you have cash!
dog, and he had a lot of fun too! The park itself is clean and has more to offer than the few things we
took advantage of. General Butler Resort Park has an impressive lodge, which gives you access to their
swimming pool, and an expansive campground. There are also tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course,
fishing (with a license), bird watching, and the Butler-Turpin Museum (open on the weekends). It would
definitely be worth an overnight stay to be able to check out the lodge or even a cabin as well as the
pool and other trails we missed.