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Camping At Levi Jackson State Park – Fun Activities For The Whole Family

Camp Kentucky connected with Danika at Levi Jackson State Park to chat about the best things to do in the park, the area attractions and the best places for camping at Levi Jackson State Park.

Danika’s Favorite Thing To Do In The Park
The one thing to do here that you couldn’t do anywhere else is visit the Mountain Life Museum.

Danika’s Favorite Campsites
We have a section of campsites that are equipped with sewage hookups as well as water and electric, and six of those 22 sites are pull thrus. D-1, D-3, D-5, D-8, D-10, and D-12.

Get To Know Levi Jackson State Park

When was Levi Jackson State Park founded? How did it start?
After witnessing the dedication of the Dr. Thomas Walker Memorial State Park in nearby Barbourville during the summer of 1931, Lee McHargue and Charles Chandler returned to their homes in Laurel County with an idea. Enlisting the help of Nat Sewell, Henry Poynter, and Russell Dyche, they proposed to establish a memorial at the “Defeated Camp”; the site of the worst Indian massacre in Kentucky’s history.

Imagine their surprise when they contacted Colonel Dave Jackson and his sister Ella, owners of the site, about donating land for a state park dedicated to the memory of the victims. They asked for “six or seven acres” on behalf of the state. What they received from the enthusiastic and benevolent Jacksons was a gift of 307 acres.

Colonel Jackson and his sister requested that the park be named after their father, Levi Jackson, who was the first judge of Laurel County. It was also their wish that the park “perpetuate the memory of the pioneers, whose early struggles made possible the settlement and development of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and other states to the west, by the hard men and women who traveled that way over the Wilderness Road and Boone’s Trace, which pass through the entire length of the land.” At the same time, they expressed the desire that their entire farm should eventually become part of the park.

Now known as the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, the name honors both the judge to whom the land once belonged, and the road that has been termed by some scholars to be the most significant trail in the westward spread of English colonization. The park encompasses over 800 acres and includes the Defeated Camp burial ground, McHargue’s Mill, and the Mountain Life Museum. In addition, the Wilderness Road and Boone’s Trace, both thoroughfares for many a pioneer coming from the east, pass through the park.

camping at levi jackson state park
Photo Credit: Kentucky State Parks
What are the most popular activities in the park?
Our most popular facility is definitely our campground! We have 136 campsites with electric and water hookups, as well as a section with sewage hookup. We have three bathhouses in the campground that include showers, laundry facilities, a recreation room, and a dump station. There’s also an 18 hole mini golf course at the front of the campground and a community pool just a hop and skip down the road from the campground. The pool has two waterslides, a concession area, a kiddie pool, and plenty of lounge chairs. Campers even get a discount on mini-golf and pool admission when they stay with us!

We often hear many compliments from our campers that are both local and out of state that we have one of the nicest and accommodating campgrounds they have seen. We also host several event weekends for our campers, including Camper Appreciation; Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day Celebrations; three Campers Yard Sales; and our most popular Halloween event: Camp Spook. We are striving every day to make our events and activities even better than before.

camping at Levi Jackson State Park
Photo Credit: Kentucky State Parks
Which one of the attractions is your favorite?
It’s hard for us as staff to choose a favorite attraction at the park…they all offer something new to see and do. Our campers and visitors alike do seem to enjoy the McHargue’s Mill most, because it’s an attraction you can’t find very often. The Mill is also the “symbol” of Levi Jackson State Park. You will find its likeness on the cover of our brochures, websites, flyers, etc. We have a fully functioning grist mill operated by turbine engines that grinds corn into our famous yellow or white corn meal.

You can even purchase some at the Mill or at other facilities in the park. Our enthusiastic staff at the Mill will be thrilled to explain to you the inner workings and give you a little bit of history when you visit. The scenery outside isn’t bad either…we have over 90 millstones out on display along the walkway that were given to us by several generous donors from as far back as the 1940’s. There’s a large pond and small waterfall nearby where ducks like to gather. The Mill, like most facilities at the park, is open seasonally…so be sure to call ahead for operating hours.

Where is Levi Jackson State Park located? What are some other attractions in the area worth checking out?
Levi Jackson State Park is located in London, KY. We are actually only about 5 minutes off of Interstate 75 and located directly off of a main highway, unlike most parks which are located in more secluded areas with farther drives. You can’t miss us!

London, KY hosts the annual World Chicken Festival every September that is worth checking out. There is live music and many famous attractions as well as shopping and lots of food. Not far from us is Cumberland Falls State Resort Park which has a beautiful view of waterfalls, plenty of hiking, and also is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where you will be able to see the Moonbow, which is a rainbow reflected in the water from the moonlight. This happens around a full moon on a clear night and is for sure a site to see that attracts tourists from all over the globe.

Near us is also Laurel Lake where visitors can fish, rent a boat, swim, and picnic.

camping at levi jackson state park
Photo Credit: Kentucky State Park
What are the campsites like within the park? Are they more open or secluded?
While some sites are secluded, you will find that most of our campsites are open, as we focus mostly on accommodating our RV campers and providing larger and more level sites with easy access. Although the sites are more open, each site still has plenty of yard space to spread out. If tent camping is more your style, we offer 31 tent sites that have electric and water hook-ups that are both more open and secluded, whichever you prefer. There’s something for every type of camper here.

If you could only spend one hour in the park, what would you do?
While it would vary from person to person based on their interests whether they liked hiking or bird watching or a game of mini-golf, the one thing to do here that you couldn’t do anywhere else is visit the Mountain Life Museum. You could easily see it all in one hour if that was all the time you had to spend with us. The Mountain Life Museum is a seven building pioneer village reproduction with real antiques and artifacts from Appalachian pioneer life in the 1800’s. All of our artifacts have been given to us to display by generous donors throughout the years and each tell a story. Like most of our facilities, the Museum is open seasonally so be sure to call ahead for operating hours because they are subject to change.

camping at levi jackson state park
Photo Credit: Kentucky State Parks
If you could spend just 1 night in Levi Jackson State Park, which campsite would you choose – and why?
Like mentioned earlier, we offer camping accommodations to all types of campers and their preferences, so it is hard to say which one we would pick as we all prefer something different. What we can tell you is what our most in demand sites are based on what our campers tell us! We have a section of campsites that are equipped with sewage hookups as well as water and electric, and six of those 22 sites are pull thrus. D-1, D-3, D-5, D-8, D-10, and D-12. This also means they are larger and more spaced out than the surrounding campsites and located close to two different bathhouses, a playground, and one of the walking trails. This is probably why they are so popular! But we are confident campers will be pleased with any of our campsites. Give us a call (606-330-2130) and we will be happy to find one suited just for you.

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