On October 3, 1934, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicated the John James Audubon State Park. Some of the most jubilant members of the crowd attending the dedication included members of the Henderson Audubon Society. Founded in 1898 to preserve the legacy of the great American artist and naturalist, John James Audubon (1785-1851), the Society had worked for over three decades to establish a fitting memorial. In 1910, Susan Towles, the town librarian, became president of the Society. She envisioned a museum housed in the old Audubon gristmill located on the banks of the Ohio River. Unfortunately, fire destroyed the mill in 1913. After the destruction of the old mill, citizens dedicated the site as Audubon Mill Park.
Work began on the John James Audubon State Park on October 3, 1938. The Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) Number 1540 constructed cabins, gardens, shelter houses, picnic areas, a lake, trails, and a museum. The Audubon Memorial Museum is an impressive structure designed as a replica of a Norman-French inn to honor Audubon’s French heritage. Architects Donald Corley representing the WPA and Barnard Stebbins of Kentucky designed the museum building. The structure has a round tower that has nesting places for birds. A cobbled courtyard with French garden graces the immediate grounds of the museum.
See the world’s largest displayed collection of Audubon art and artifacts. The museum interprets Audubon’s life through his art and personal memorabilia, framed within a timeline of world events. The museum also houses the magnificent double-elephant folio (27 by 40 inches) of the Birds of North America. The Nature Center comprises three areas: a wildlife Observation Room; the Audubon Theater; and the Learning Center, where the park naturalist and art educator conduct environmental and art programs. Before venturing out or visiting the museum gallery, take in a short introductory park film in the 47-seat Audubon Theater. Closed on Monday Jan 1 – March 15th.
Cast away your cares at Audubon! The fishermen in your family can cast for largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish from the banks of the 28-acre lake. Ask the recreation staff where you can check out free fishing gear. A Kentucky Fishing License is required.
Surround yourself with unspoiled, natural beauty in the 69-site campground. A central service building has showers and rest rooms. Picnic tables, grills and a playground are also available in the camping area. Pets are allowed if restrained. Wifi available. Call for winter closing information. Closed December 1 – March 15.
The park has 5 1-bedroom cottages and one ADA-accessible 2-bedroom cottage with double beds a living room, fully-equipped kitchen and a bath. Each of the 1-bedroom cottages has a hide-a-bed and a fireplace. Tableware, cooking utensils and linens are provided, with fresh linens available daily. Cottages are available by late afternoon. Check out by 11AM, Central Time. Contact park for cottage reservations. Price ranges are seasonal from $80.00 – $160.00 per night. Cottages open year round. Please call the park at 270-826-2247 for cottage reservations.
PARK CONTACT INFORMATION:
John James Audubon State Park
3100 US Hwy 41 North
Henderson, KY 42419
Phone: (270) 826-2247
For more information click HERE.
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