Upper Cumberland watershed

Dr. Thomas Walker State Park

State Park


4929 KY 459, Barbourville, KY 40906


(606) 546-4400

This gorgeous site stemming from the Upper Cumberland watershed offers both beautiful scenery and great historical significance as it celebrates Kentucky’s rich culture and past. With family-friendly activities included in the park, the bridge between the past, present and future is forged at Dr. Thomas Walker State Park to result in a fun and educational place to visit.

Historical trivia – the park received its moniker to honor medical doctor Thomas Walker. In addition to practicing medicine, Walker traversed the land and pioneered the first group of expeditioners to adventure through the gap in the Appalachian mountain range in 1750. Now named the Cumberland Gap which is adjacent to the Cumberland river, it is one of many uncharted territories of Kentucky Walker led groups from the Loyal Land Company to discover and claim before Lewis and Clark traversed the area.

With a diverse range of activities for people of all ages and open 5 days a week with a bonus day on the first Saturday of every month, Dr. Thomas Walker State Park offers a great range of activities to consider when planning a trip to the Cumberland basin. Listed below are but just a few.

Visit Dr. Thomas Walker’s Log Cabin Replica

Experience true Kentucky history as you visit a replica of Kentucky’s first home. Dr. Walker built his cabin during his expeditions and the replica is a nostalgic acknowledgment to the doctor’s contribution to mapping the Cumberland basin.

Free Tours

In the spirit of exploration, tours of the park are free of charge. The tours include the cabin replica as well as the other areas of the park. With knowledgeable tour guides to educate guests about the historical park, you are sure to see beautiful scenery and learn a great deal about Kentucky’s past.


There are two picnic sites, each adjacent to playgrounds. The sites are equipped with over 100 picnic tables, free of charge grills and one location has nearby restroom facilities. The venue could not be more perfect for a family reunion or outdoor birthday party but be sure to plan ahead. The picnic sites can be booked a year in advance (especially the one with the restrooms).

Miniature Golf

A favorite for the kids will be the miniature golf course on the grounds of Dr. Thomas Walker State Park. With a reasonable price of $3 per game, the affordable price becomes even more attractive to families looking for a day excursion due to children 6 years old and younger playing for free. Open from the first day of April until the last day of October, miniature golf at this state park is a great place for a family outing or a fun casual date.

These are but a few of the attractions included at Dr. Thomas Walker State Park. The incredible history and beautiful scenery create a fun yet sentimental and nostalgic environment. It is a great park to not only enjoy the nature Kentucky has to offer, but to learn more about Kentucky and gain appreciation for the Cumberland basin.