Cherokee State Park (located within Kenlake State Resort Park)

Cherokee State Park (located within Kenlake State Resort Park) Photo


542 Kenlake Rd
Hardin KY

Built by the Tennessee Valley Authority and opened in 1951, Cherokee State Park was the only segregated state park in the south United States, and one of only three such parks in the entire country. It was located in Marshall County, near Hardin, as a complement to Kentucky Lake State Park (now Kenlake State Resort Park), nearby. The park covered approximately 300 acres, and included a 200-seat dining hall (which still stands), picnic areas, a bathhouse, docks for fishing and boating, a restaurant and 12 cottages for lodging. At the time it was considered the finest vacation site for African Americans in the south, and drew visitors from surrounding states. Upon the desegregation of travel and lodging facilities, the park closed and the cottages were moved to Kenlake. Today, the area is a part of Kenlake State Resort Park, the dining hall has undergone renovations, and in 2009 it was  listed on the National Register of Historic Places.