Over Easter weekend, we parked our tails at the John James Audubon State Park on US Highway 41 in Henderson, KY. I believe this is the first time I have ever been to a state park … it won’t be the last.
John James Audubon, the renowned naturalist and artist, resided in Henderson from 1810 to 1819. He came with his family to operate a small mercantile business and to explore the surrounding wilderness in search of wild birds to study and sketch. The park consists of approximately 700 acres, mostly hilly forests that include a 340-acre state nature preserve. A museum on the grounds houses the world’s largest collection of Audubon artifacts and offers exhibits on his life.
Mostly, we relaxed. During the days we walked Ty and Buster on the park trails and roads. The Eagle Glenn pet trail offered a 0.9 mile loop through the woods; the park roads added another 2-3 miles, taking us through the campground area and past the museum, cottages, golf course, picnic pavilions, tennis courts, and man-made lake. There are also about 6 miles of forest hiking trails that are not pet friendly. The park ranger said the reason these trails are for people only is because of pet owners who do not clean up after their dogs. Grrrrr.
We also visited the internationally acclaimed Audubon Museum, which features many examples of Audubon’s art. The nature center included a wildlife Observation Room, a Discovery Center with hands-on exhibits, and a Learning Center, where the park naturalist and art educator conducted environmental and art programs.
One of Amy’s sisters lives nearby in Evansville, IN, and their parents just happened to be visiting that weekend. In the late afternoons, we all got together for an old-fashioned campfire – complete with burgers, dogs, and smores. Ahhh … sometimes it IS the simple things that matter most.
We stayed in the pet friendly campground, which covers almost 70 acres. The atmosphere seemed much more relaxed, a feeling of being more with nature, than some of the other more “commercial” campgrounds and RV parks we’ve visited so far. Are all state parks like this? If so, I’m sold. If you’re not camping, the park has five 1-bedroom cottages and one 2-bedroom cottage, all fully furnished – including tableware, cooking utensils, and linens.
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