RVers who enjoy camping in a beautifully wooded atmosphere will be drawn to the historic Fort Boonesborough State Park in Winchester, Kentucky. The park, once a frontier fort, has rich historical roots tied to the famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone. Boone and his men founded the fort after crossing the Kentucky River on April 1st, 1775. The settlement, named Boonesborough, Kentucky initially, is the second oldest European settlement in Kentucky and is a popular tourist destination for people who enjoy learning about early-American life.
Today, the park honors the original memory of the fort by embracing Daniel Boone and his contributions to the area. In 1974, the park reconstructed and dedicated a replica of the fort. The reproduction, made of over 10,000 southern yellow pine logs, now serves as a museum honoring Daniel Boone’s life. The museum is a popular attraction for people who want to learn about pioneer and frontier life and is one of the main draws of the facilities.
Aside from the historical aspects of the park, people come from all over the area to camp and take part in the many different recreational activities on the park’s grounds. The park operates year-round and has activities, tours, and entertainment for visitors of all ages. The Kentucky River also borders the park, and it is a popular recreation area that offers fishing and boating opportunities, along with a swimming and baby pool that is supervised by lifeguards.
There is one RV friendly campground at Fort Boonesborough State Park that can accommodate 167 campers. All of the sites feature both electrical and water hookups, along with the option to use Wi-Fi. Because there is so much to do and see, plan to stay more than a few days to experience everything that Fort Boonesborough has to offer. Fort Boonesborough State Park is open year-round.
Accessing Fort Boonesborough State Park is very straightforward since it is located only 23 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky. There are plenty of places that you can stop in if you need to get any supplies before your journey, including at Winchester (around eight and a half miles away), Richmond (about 12 and a half miles away), and Mount Sterling (around 25 miles away). Lexington will be the best place to visit if you need to use any major supplies or amenities since it is a major city.
Since the park is located along the Kentucky River, you can only enter the park from the western side of the park, but there are two entrances (the front and the back) that you can use. The front entrance is typically used for visitors who are wanting to access the campground as this is where the campground check-in is located.
The roads in and around the park are kept in very good condition, but be wary of children playing on or riding bikes near the roads since this is a family destination park. If you are staying in the campground, you should be prepared to level your site as some of them are known to be completely flat. During the wintertime, you should still be able to access the park, but if you are worried about the weather conditions, it won't hurt to call ahead to the park office.
There are two large parking lots in the main section of the park, along with a smaller parking area at the fort itself that you are welcome to use if you are just making a day trip visit.
RV lovers have the option to call Fort Boonesborough State Park home during their stay thanks to the park's one campground, which sits along the banks of the Kentucky River. This year-round, reservable campground is pet-friendly and offers a variety of campsite options. The sites are paved, provide a fire ring, a picnic table, and both back in and pull-through spaces. The largest RV site accommodates RVs and trailers up to 81 feet, so bigger rigs will have no issues staying at the campground.
Depending on the location, campers can have full or partial hookups. Some sites have electricity, water, and sewer, but most of the spaces offer electric and water only. The central services building has flush toilets and showers, and the campground provides a dump station for campers who don’t reserve a space with sewer. Campers must observe quiet hours between 11 PM and 7 AM. During peak times, such as holidays, weekends, and special events, a minimum stay may be required. Reservations are available year-round, and they can be made as far out as a year in advance or as short as a day in advance.
If you are looking for a more luxurious camping experience near Fort Boonesborough State Park, you should check out the Renfro Valley KOA Holiday. Located around 40 miles south of the park, Renfro Valley KOA Holiday is full of great amenities and experiences for visitors to enjoy year-round.
The park has over 50 sites suitable for RVs, including sites that contain sewer, water, and electrical hookups. You also have the choice between pull-through or back-in sites, and RVs up to 75 feet in length will be able to use the campground. Other amenities within the campground include a pool during the summer months, mini-golf, dog park, jumping pillow, music barn, picnic tables, showers, restrooms, and even movie nights. You will also be able to access Wi-Fi and cable TV during your stay.
The Renfro Valley KOA Holiday is open for visitors all year round, but during the wintertime, some of the amenities may not be in use. Reservations can be made year-round, and they are recommended as this is a popular campground.
People of all ages love to mini-golf because it is a fun family activity that requires little to no golfing experience. There is an 18-hole miniature golf course open any time of the year that is perfect for people of all ages. The course operates at different times during the season, so be sure to check with the park before heading over to test your putting skills. The course is located near the campground entrance, and there is an additional fee on top of camping fees to play.
Bring your fishing tackle and boat and get ready to fish the section of the Kentucky River from Boonesborough to Frankfort. This area of the river, called Pool 9, is one of the prettiest parts of the river to float and fish. Access the water at the Fort Boonesborough State Park boat ramp and float, ending up at the Clays Ferry boat ramp. Anglers can fish for muskellunge, black bass, crappie, and bluegill. The state of Kentucky requires that all anglers over the age of 16 purchase and possess a valid fishing license. Contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.
For those who love the creatures in the sky, remember to bring your binoculars and your bird guide books so that you can spend your time quietly searching for birds. The park is home to migratory birds stopping along their journey north or south of the Kentucky River. Common species of birds sighted in the park are sandhill cranes, roosts of vultures, ruby-throated hummingbirds, dark-eyed juncos, red-tailed hawks, chimney swifts, and wild turkeys. Bird watching in the park is a year-round activity, and experienced bird watchers will find something to watch for during every season.
Be sure to bring your hiking shoes and escape to the trails during your visit to Fort Boonesborough State Park. The park has over half a mile of well-marked trails for hikers and casual walkers. Each trailhead indicates the start of a path, making it easy for any hiker to locate. The trails are all short and leisurely walks, so people of almost any skill level can enjoy meandering through the wildflowers, past the streams, and through the tree-lined sections of the footpaths. For detailed information about the park’s trails, pick up a park map and enjoy your walk!
As you could imagine, the reconstructed Fort Boonesborough is one of the most popular visitor facilities in the park. People of all ages will learn about the historical significance of Daniel Boone and what life was like for early American settlers when they visit this fascinating structure. The working fort has blockhouses and furnishings, cabins, and other functional pieces of the once-operational fort. Please visit the website or ask the park rangers for more information on the fort’s operational hours and admission costs. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop!
On hot summer days, there is no better way to spend your time at Fort Boonesborough State Park than by bringing the family to the pool. The seasonally operated junior Olympic sized swimming pool has lifeguards on-duty, a snack bar, a mister water fountain area, and a children’s area. The pool charges an admissions fee, so interested guests should check with the park for costs as well as the current operational schedule. Guests staying at the campground receive discounted pool admissions.