Background: Louisville Kentucky Waterfront Park
Author Angry Aspie

Living in Kentucky

Kentucky - Unbridled Spirit

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Kentucky

Kentucky USA Map
Kentucky USA Map

There are community activities of all types along with desirable housing in the Kentucky Commonwealth plus the Kentucky government provides online relocation assistance.

The 2000 census showed a population of a little more than 4 million in he Kentucky Commonwealth's 120 counties. The eastern Kentucky mountains are situated near the Virginia and also West Virginia borders which have streaming water flowing through rock-covered gorges. Forests comprise more than 40% of Kentucky, while a good part of the land is located at the spot the Appalachian Mountains sit on the state's border. Due to this natural terrain, economic growth has been arrested. Likewise, there is not plentiful housing there as in other areas of the state. Cities located in this region are Ashland, Harlan, Hazard, and Richmond .

Northern Kentucky communities belong to the Cincinnati metropolitan region and are subsequently more closely linked to Ohio than are other Kentucky regions. The International Airport of Cincinnati is located within northern Kentucky, which helped this region to rapidly expand. Covington, Newport and Florence, are the cities in this area.

Kentucky was the first region west of the Allegheny Mountains to be settled by American pioneers. James Harrod established the first permanent settlement at Harrodsburg in 1774; the following year Daniel Boone, who had explored the area in 1767, blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap and founded Boonesboro.

Politically, the Kentucky region was originally part of Virginia, but statehood was gained in 1792. Gen. Anthony Wayne's victory in 1794 at Fallen Timbers in Ohio marked the end of Native American resistance in the area and secured the Kentucky frontier.

As a slaveholding state with a considerable abolitionist population, Kentucky was caught in the middle during the Civil War, supplying both Union and Confederate forces with thousands of troops.

Climate

Because of Kentucky's location, the state has a moderate humid subtropical climate, with plenty of rainfall. It has four distinct seasons, but rarely has the extreme cold as far northern states, nor the high heat of the states in the Deep South. Temperatures seldom drop below 0 degrees or rise over 100 degrees.

Demography

  • Kentucky Geography, Facts and History
  • Kentucky Facts & Trivia
  • Kentucky Flags
  • Famous People from Kentucky
  • Kentucky Timeline
  • Kentucky Official Song
  • Education

    Kentucky Colleges. Kentucky provides eight public four-year universities. There are two general levels: major research institutions (the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville) and regional universities comprising the remaining 6 schools. The regional schools have specific target districts that host many of their programs (such as Forestry at Eastern Kentucky University or Cave Management at Western Kentucky University), but most of their curricula are very similar to other public universities

    Economy

    Kentucky's economy is based upon manufacturing, trade, mining, agriculture, and tourism and other services It varies by region. ... Although manufacturing is the greatest income producer for the state, eastern Kentucky has little manufacturing activity, and a few other areas have no manufacturing activity at all.

    Flora and Fauna

    Kentucky State Flower - Goldenrod
    Kentucky State Flower - Goldenrod

    Kentucky State Tree - Tulip Tree
    Kentucky State Tree - Tulip Tree

    Kentucky's forests are primarily oak/hickory variety, with some beech/maple stands. Four species of magnolia are found, and the tulip poplar, eastern hemlock, and eastern white pine are also common; the distinctive "knees" of the cypress may be seen along riverbanks. Kentucky's famed bluegrass is said to be actually blue only in May when dwarf iris and wild columbine are in bloom. Rare plants include the swamp loosestrife and showy gentian.

    Game mammals include the raccoon, muskrat, opossum, mink, gray and red foxes, and beaver; the eastern chipmunk and flying squirrel are common small mammals.

    At least 300 bird species have been recorded, of which 200 are common. Blackbirds are a serious pest, with some roosts numbering 5–6 million; more desirable avian natives include the cardinal (the state bird), robin, and brown thrasher, while eagles are winter visitors. More than 100 types of fish have been identified.

    Rare animal species include the swamp rabbit, black bear, raven (Corvus corax), and mud darter. Among the 38 animal species listed as threatened or endangered in Kentucky as of 2003 are three species of bat (Indiana, Virginia big-eared, and gray), bald eagle, puma, piping plover, Kentucky cave shrimp, and three species of pearlymussel.

  • Kentucky Official State Flower (Goldenrod)
  • Kentucky Official State Tree (Tulip-tree)
  • Government

    Kentucky State Capitol
    Kentucky State Capitol
    The Kentucky State Capitol is located in Frankfort and is the house of the three branches (executive, legislative, judicial) of the state government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1904, the Kentucky General Assembly chose Frankfort (rather than Lexington or Louisville) as the location for the state capital and appropriated $1 million for the construction of a permanent state capitol building, to be located in southern Frankfort. The official ground-breaking was August 14, 1905 and construction was completed in 1909  The building was dedicated on June 2, 1910.

    The elected executive officers of Kentucky are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor of public accounts, and commissioner of agriculture. All serve four-year terms, and a recent constitutional amendment allows a second term for those offices. The governor and lieutenant governor must be at least 30 years old, US citizens, and citizens and residents of Kentucky for six years. To vote in Kentucky, one must be a US citizen, be at least 18 years old, have been a resident in the county for at least 28 days prior to election day, and not able to claim the right to vote elsewhere. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incompetent by the court.

  • State of Kentucky Official Website
  • Attractions

    Kentucky, also known as the Bluegrass state, has a diverse geography and cultural history, offering a wide variety of attractions for couples, families, and everyone else. It is most widely known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, which is held in May near Louisville, the state's largest city, also famous as the birthplace of the Louisville Slugger. Another popular destination for equine enthusiasts is Lexington, home to the Kentucky Horse Park. If you are looking for free things to do in Kentucky, the state's numerous parks are home to countless natural springs, impressive caves, and other unique natural attractions thanks to the state's karst geology. Kentucky is also a wonderful place to take a weekend getaway, perhaps in a romantic cabin along the Appalachians or one of the state's other popular vacation spots. Kentucky Department of Tourism

    Amusement Parks

    Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green
      Beech Bend Park is an amusement park, campground and automobile race track located in Warren County, in the U.S. state of Kentucky, just outside the limits of the city of Bowling Green. In 2015, the park added 5 new rides. The Tornado and Sizzler rides were replaced with new versions. Power Surge was replaced by Air Race, as well as the park added a children's monster truck ride, and Bluegrass Breeze a Flying Carousel make their way to Beech Bend for the 2015 season. For the 2016 year, Beech Bend invested in a multimillion-dollar expansion to the water park, involving four new slides manufactured by ProSlide. One slide, the Cyclone Saucers, is the first of its kind in North America. Because of the expansion, several rides had to be relocated. Also, the Dragon coaster was removed to make way for Spinning Out, a new family coaster that was a hit at the IAAPA Attractions Expo.
    Kentucky Kingdom, Louisville
      Kentucky Kingdom (formerly named Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom) is an amusement park in Louisville, Kentucky. The 63-acre park includes a collection of amusement rides and a water park named Hurricane Bay The park reopened to the public on May 24, 2014. In 2016, the park added their fifth roller coaster, Storm Chaser. For the 2017 season Kentucky Kingdom announced Eye of the Storm, a high-speed flat ride with a seven-story loop, continuous rotations and inversions, and forward and backward motions. Thunder Run, meanwhile, received a new train as well as modifications to its track at a cost of about $500,000.

      The train replaced the original Thunder Run train first put into service in 1990 and provided a smoother and faster ride. Other planned upgrades to the park included the installation of more shade at Hurricane Bay water park and ride waiting lines throughout the park, additional locker room space and upgraded air conditioning in the park's restroom and dining areas. Additional improvements consisted of more ticket windows, a new entrance to Hurricane Bay and more children's rides The park had a record 2017 season drawing more than 9,000 visitors a day during the summer peak. For the 2018 season, Scream Xtreme (a Zamperla Endeavour) replaced Enterprise. Rock'n'Roller, a small Himalaya-style family ride was also added. A double feature for 5D Cinema (The Ultimate Roller Coaster & Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) was added, along with more cabanas for the wave pool, improved infrastructure such as new shade and additional seating installation.

    National Parks

    Trail of Tears
    The American Legacy of the Cherokee Trail of Tears Image by Paul Andrews
    Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, Hodgenville, KY
      For over a century people from around the world have come to rural Central Kentucky to honor the humble beginnings of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. His early life on Kentucky's frontier shaped his character and prepared him to lead the nation through Civil War. The country's first memorial to Lincoln, built with donations from young and old, enshrines the symbolic birthplace cabin.
    Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Oneida, KY, TN
      Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
    Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, KY, TN, VA
      At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer... all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.
    Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Dover, KY,TN
      Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant was becoming quite famous as he wrote these words following the surrender of Confederate Fort Donelson on Sunday, February 16, 1862. The Union victory at Fort Donelson elated the North, and stunned the South. Within days of the surrender, Clarksville and Nashville would fall into Union hands. Grant and his troops had created a pathway to victory for the Union.
    Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KY
      Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles (643 km) explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name - Mammoth.
    Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail, AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN
      Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.

    National Forests

    Land Between The Lakes National Forest - 171,251 acres
      Land Between The Lakes National Recreation area is located in Western Kentucky and Tennessee, and encompasses over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands on the largest inland peninsula in the United States. It is located between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.
    Daniel Boone National Forest - 564,168 acres
      Encompassing part of the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachian Mountains, Daniel Boone National Forest has two wilderness areas and several reservoirs. Scenic areas include Cumberland Falls, Red River Gorge, Yahoo Arch and many caves.

    Sports

    Kentucky is the home of several sports teams such as Minor League Baseball's Triple-A Louisville Bats and Class A Lexington Legends and the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods. They are also home to the Frontier Leagues Florence Freedom and several teams in the MCFL. The Lexington Horsemen and Louisville Fire of the now-defunct af2 had been interested in making a move up to the "major league" Arena Football League, but nothing has come of those plans.

    The northern part of the state lies across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, which is home to a National Football League team, the Bengals, and a Major League Baseball team, the Reds. It is not uncommon for fans to park in the city of Newport and use the Newport Southbank Pedestrian Bridge, locally known as the "Purple People Bridge", to walk to these games in Cincinnati. Also, Georgetown College in Georgetown was the location for the Bengals' summer training camp, until it was announced in 2012 that the Bengals would no longer use the facilities. As in many states, especially those without major league professional sport teams, college athletics are prominent.

  • Kentucky Sports
  • Taxes

    There are six income tax brackets, which range from 2% to 6% of personal income. The Kentucky sales tax rate is 6%. In addition, Kentucky has a broadly based classified property tax system. All classes of property, unless exempted by the Constitution, are taxed by the state, although at widely varying rates. Many of these classes are exempted from taxation by local government.

    Quick Tax Facts

    • State income tax: 5%
    • Local income taxes: 0.015% - 3.55%
    • Sales tax: 6%
    • Property tax: 0.85% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 26 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 23 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Kentucky Airports. Kentucky has 62 public airports. Kentucky airports are well connected to the rest of the country and to many international destinations. Kentucky airports use the latest technology to help travelers make their journey comfortable.

    Louisville International Airport
    Louisville International Airport Photo by Alfred Miller, Louisville Courier Journal
    There are two international airports in Kentucky. They are the Louisville International Airport and the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. There are also important regional airports.

    The Louisville International Airport receives nearly 4 million passengers annually. The airport connects to 28 cities in the US. It has private hangars and a four-level car park to accommodate the heavy traffic that flows into the airport. The airlines operating from this airport are AA, Continental Airlines, Delta, Midwest Airlines, Northwest Airlink, United Express, Southwest Airlines and US Airways Express.

    Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Kentucky. Its annual traffic exceeds 2 million passengers. The terminals have subway shuttles that connect one hall to another. The airlines of this airport fly daily in more than 120 cities. The airlines serving this airport are Air France, American, Continental, Northwest, United, US Airways and USA 3000.

    Ports

    The state is bordered by two of the largest rivers in North America, and water transportation has historically played an important role in the Kentucky economy. Louisville was a major port for steamships in the nineteenth century. Today, most barge traffic on Kentucky waterways consists of coal that is shipped from both the Eastern and Western Coalfields, about half of which is used locally to power many power plants located directly off the Ohio River, with the rest being exported to other countries, most notably Japan.

    Many of the largest ports in the United States are located in or adjacent to Kentucky, including:

  • Huntington-Tristate (includes Ashland, Kentucky), largest inland port and 7th largest overall
  • Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, 5th largest inland port and 43rd overall
  • Louisville-Southern Indiana, 7th largest inland port and 55th overall
  • As a state, Kentucky ranks 10th overall in port tonnage.[138][139]

    The only natural obstacle along the entire length of the Ohio River is the Falls of the Ohio, located just west of Downtown Louisville.

    Rail

    Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Ashland, South Portsmouth, Maysville and Fulton. The Cardinal (trains 50 and 51) is the line that offers Amtrak service to Ashland, South Shore, Maysville and South Portsmouth. The City of New Orleans (trains 58 and 59) serve Fulton. The Northern Kentucky area is served by the Cardinal at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. The Museum Center is just across the Ohio River in Cincinnati.

    Norfolk Southern Railway passes through the Central and Southern parts of the Commonwealth, via its Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific (CNO&TP) subsidiary. The line originates in Cincinnati and terminates 338 miles south in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    There are approximately 2,640 miles of railways in Kentucky, with about 65% of those being operated by CSX Transportation. Coal is by far the most common cargo, accounting for 76% of cargo loaded and 61% of cargo delivered.

    Bardstown features a tourist attraction known as My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. Run along a 20-mile (30 km) stretch of rail purchased from CSX in 1987, guests are served a four-course meal as they make a two-and-a-half hour round-trip between Bardstown and Limestone Springs. The Kentucky Railway Museum is located in nearby New Haven.

    Other areas in Kentucky are reclaiming old railways in rail trail projects. One such project is Louisville's Big Four Bridge. When the bridge's Indiana approach ramps opened in 2014, completing the pedestrian connection across the Ohio River, the Big Four Bridge rail trail became the second-longest pedestrian-only bridge in the world.] The longest pedestrian-only bridge is also found in Kentucky—the Newport Southbank Bridge, popularly known as the "Purple People Bridge", connecting Newport to Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Roads

    Kentucky is served by six major interstate highways (I-24, I-64, I-65, I-69, I-71, and I-75), nine parkways, and four bypasses and spurs (I-264, I-265, I-275, and I-471).  In June 2007, the speed limit on rural portions of Kentucky Interstates was raised from 65 to 70 miles per hour.

    Kentucky Cities, & Towns

    Kentucky has 120 counties along with 419 active cities and 102 census-designated places. Louisville is the largest city with a population of 597,337 while Tolu us the smallest with a population of 88.
  • Kentucky Cities and Towns
  • Kentucky Housing

    The median home value in Kentucky is $141,600. Kentucky home values have gone up 6.2% over the past year and  predictions are they will rise 3.6% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Kentucky is $113. The median price of homes currently listed in Kentucky is $183,700 while the median price of homes that sold is $152,600. The median rent price in Kentucky is $1,095.
  • Kentucky Association of Realtors
  • Kentucky Real Estate Commission
  • Kentucky Real Estate Listings
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