May 1 through June 30, 2003
This park has separate entrances for the visitor center and historic home, for the campground and golf course, the picnic area and also for the amphitheater and tennis courts. The picture is of the main entry where the visitor center and park offices are located.
The park was named for the house and plantation which was the inspiration for Stephen Collins Foster to write the song "My Old Kentucky Home" in the summer of 1852. Stephen Foster never lived here, but was a cousin of the Rowan family and he did visit on more than one occasion and was on an extended visit when the song was written. The home, originally named Federal Hill, was the home to three generations of the Rowan family, from 1812 to 1922 when it was sold to the state for a park. Judge Rowan, the original owner was a very major figure in Kentucky's early history and also served in the US house and senate. A tour is well worth your time if you should visit the park.
Probably the second most popular part of this park is the eighteen hole golf course. If you happen to choose to stay here as a park host, free golf is one of the benefits! The first tee is about 150 feet from the host campsite. Since we are not golfers, it really doesn't matter to us, although our location just behind the pro-shop is handy for some things. Another very popular feature of the park is the musical about Stephen Foster that is put on here every summer in the amphitheater from June through August. Also, the park has a beautiful campground with 39 sites that have water & sewer and a large area that is unimproved for tenting. Tents are also allowed in the campsites.
The park also has a picnic ground located across the road from the campground. The park office is also a rather interesting building, as it is an original log home that was moved to the park to preserve it.
The host site is very nice and would be particularly attractive to anyone who loves to play golf as it is free to park staff and the host site is only about 150' from the first tee and right behind the proshop. The negative to this location is the fact that there is no sewer connection in any site of this park. Volunteers are asked to work with grounds maintenance four hours, three mornings per week. This is an unusual host position as you have no responsibilities to make contact with the visitors and you are off duty on all weekends. There is no duty expected of the host beyond the 12 hours per person. Kentucky does not solicit volunteers to any large degree so you will need to call the individual park that you are interrested in. This park had no volunteers at all for the previous year and none were scheduled to come in when we left. Volunteers work for Mr. Pyle, and 83 year old man who is truely a southern gentelman! The work is easy and the boss is not at all demanding. No cleaning or litter pick-up is asked of the volunteers.
If you have an interest in spending some time here at the park, call 502/348-3502 and ask for Hilda or drop me an e-mail and I'll try and answer your questions.