Levi Jackson State Park is a park situated outside of London in Laurel County, Kentucky. The park was built on a section of what was known as the Wilderness Road, the road that early American settlers used to travel into Kentucky. Daniel Boone blazed the trail through the Cumberland Gap under contract for the Transylvania Company. The trail connected many older Native American trails and also forged new ones. It came to be known as the Wilderness Road. Levi Jackson was an early settler who traveled along the road and settled in Laurel County.
Descendants of Levi Jackson donated the land for the park in 1931. New Deal-era programs helped to build the state park in 1935. Many of the original structures are still intact and in use.
Laurel County has a humid, subtropical climate, but also has continental influences. That means that summers are hot but also that the winters are cold. It rains during the summer more than it does during the winter. Snow is common, but heavy snowfall is rare.
Outdoors enthusiasts who book an RV near Laurel County can drive from the park to London, Kentucky in about ten minutes. Lexington is about an hour and a half away, while Louisville is a little over two hours away. Travelers can reach the Tennessee border in less than an hour, and Knoxville is only about 30 minutes past that.
Levi Jackson State Park offers several outdoors activities as well as purpose-built structures. McHargue’s Mill is a watermill that was built in the late 1930s. The mill is a reproduction of an 18th-century watermill; the inner workings of the mill are authentic to the time period. Laurel County campers can purchase cornmeal from the mill during certain seasons.
The park also features the Mountain Life Museum. The museum is a replica pioneer village. The village has cabins with tools and other items that would have been used in day to day life in the early 1800s. The recreated town features a blacksmith shop, a church, a loom house, and a barn. It also features artifacts and exhibits detailing the lives of Native Americans who were displaced by the settlers.
Hiking is a very popular activity at Levi Jackson State Park. The park features about eight and a half miles of hiking trails, some of which follow the original Wilderness Road. The earliest Kentucky settlers traveled the Wilderness Road on foot because it was too narrow and treacherous for wagons. Hikers choosing RV rentals in London, KY so they could walk in the footsteps of those earliest settlers.
The park also offers basketball courts, volleyball courts, a swimming pool, and a mini-golf course. There is a picnic area in the park as well.
Camping at Levi Jackson State Park
Levi Jackson State Park offers 136 different campsites. Many of the sites are tent camping sites, which would be perfect for travelers who book an RV rental near Levi Jackson State Park but want to pitch a tent. There are also RV campsites. The RV sites offer 30-amp and 50-amp electric, sewer, and water hookups. Some of the sites are pull-through and are large enough to accommodate a big rig.
The campground also offers a dump station and three different buildings to accommodate travelers. The buildings feature showers, restrooms, laundry machines, and an activities room. The park also has its own grocery store.
Exploring The Area
Camp Wildcat Battlefield in London, KY, is also located on the old Wilderness Road. The Battle of Camp Wildcat was one of the earliest battles of the American Civil War and one of the first Union victories. The battlefield in London features information about the battle and its significance. History buffs might book an RV in London as part of a trip to several battlefields across the Upper South.
Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin is the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. The restaurant was opened by Colonel Harland Sanders himself. The museum part features memorabilia, antiques, and exhibits about the life of Colonel Sanders and the founding of his restaurant. Fans of KFC or just Southern history may find this place intriguing.
Should you be seeking a day trip, the Cannonball in Elizabethtown, a little over a two-and-a-half-hour drive, could be an interesting stop on a tour of Civil War sites. During the Civil War, Confederate forces attacked a much smaller group of Union forces. The Confederates fired artillery at the United States soldiers, and one of those cannonballs became lodged in the side of a building. It’s still lodged there. Many visitors book an RV rental near Elizabethtown to see the cannonball and learn a little more about US history.
Levi Jackson State Park is situated along Interstate 75, between Lexington, KY, and Knoxville, TN. That means there are ample truck stops, rest stops, gas stations, and restaurants. With an RV, one can find everything they need for a trek through the Upper South.