Cottages and campsites, above, are available near the lake at General Butler State Park. The historic Butler-Turpin House, below, and nearby Butler Cemetery are set along the foot of a hill at the park. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Cottages and campsites, above, are available near the lake at General Butler State Park. The historic Butler-Turpin House, below, and nearby Butler Cemetery are set along the foot of a hill at the park. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Outdoors adventurers begin to migrate back to their favorite hiking trails and lakes as temperatures begin to warm up through the Courierarea.

General Butler State Resort Park, located at 1608 KY 227 in Carrollton, offers several outdoor adventures for the day or for a weekend getaway.

From trails and camping to an annual music series and special events, the park offers options for almost anyone throughout the year, the park's manager Misty Wheeler said.

"There are so many different choices," she said.

Visitors may rent paddle boats, canoes or rowboats for a day on the 30-acre Butler Lake. While the lake is open year-round for non-motorized boats, the rentals are only available from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Wheeler said.

But water recreation isn't the only outdoor activity offered at General Butler.

Visitors may also choose to take in a game of golf on the 9-hole course or the 18-hole miniature golf course, both of which open seasonally as well. Prices for the miniature golf course are $4 for adults and $3 for children, the park's website said, and pull carts, golf carts and clubs are available to rent at the pro shop.

As winter turns to spring, the park becomes aflutter with species of birds, including the ruby-throated hummingbird, whip-poor-will and the tufted titmouse, the park's website said. Other bird species that make the park home year-round include the turkey vulture, Cooper's hawk, owls, woodpeckers, wild turkey and American goldfinch, which often can be found during nature walks on one of the park's nature trails.

The longest of the three trails at General Butler - the Fossil Trail - also opens as a biking trail during the year from April to November. The 4.5-mile loop crosses open fields while also taking walkers and riders to a stone overlook and highest point in Carroll County.

The trail is rated for skilled bike riders, and riders must wear helmets at all times while on the Fossil Trail, the park's website said.

Three other trails take walkers throughout different locations in the park. The quarter-mile Boy Scout Trail provides access to the Fossil Trail, the stone entrance gate and the park's lodge, while the 1.5-mile Woodland Trail allows nature enthusiasts to view several different species of trees, including tulip, beech and hickory trees, as well as other wildflowers along the trail.

The 1.2-mile Butler Lake Trail takes visitors around the outer edge of the park's 30-acre stocked lake where visitors are welcome to fish.

"That's our newest trail," Wheeler said.

The park also offers a historical learning experience with the Butler-Turpin Historic House. The home opens seasonally for visitors and during special tours for groups hoping to experience what life was like in the 1800s.

The historic house is the only one of two Butler homes built on the family's property still standing. The former home of Major Thomas Langford Butler, who was known for his service to the United States before and during the War of 1812, contains several pieces of furniture, objects and documents to help visitors learn more about the family's role in the nation and state history.

Area visitors might also chose to spend a weekend at the park staying at the park's lodge, camping in one of the park's campground spaces or at one of the 24 cottages. Open year-round, the lodge and campground offers special events throughout the spring and summer seasons such as the special holiday events and the Camper Appreciation Weekend held today and Sunday, Wheeler said.