If you love hiking or just exploring nature and the great outdoors, Kentucky has so much to offer in that department. I have set a goal for myself to visit all (or as many, realistically) state parks in the Commonwealth before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Hiking Opportunities in Kentucky

Kentucky never disappoints in that regard. I'm so thankful we've had a relatively mild winter, and even more so that the nicest days this winter have seemed to occur on weekends. It can be tough for a big college hoops fan like myself since Saturdays and Sundays are wall-to-wall basketball in the winter. But the great outdoors on a beautiful day will always win.

Recently we've found ourselves wandering through parts of Nolin River State Park that I've never before seen. Discovering new areas of Barren River State Park or Land Between the Lakes is always cause for excitement.

And then you have the magnificent Daniel Boone National Forest with all it has to offer. I wish it was closer to where I live, but I don't mind the drive so that concern is canceled out. But I'm not "canceling out" an eventual visit to gorgeous Dog Slaughter Falls and its accompanying hiking trail, one of the most popular in Kentucky.

Dog Slaughter Falls in Daniel Boone National Forest

That 15-foot waterfall near Cumberland Falls State Resort Park looks like I'd need to pack a camp chair with me and just veg out by the water. I mean, we could ALL use a little of that kind of serenity in our lives, right?

The Origin of the Name 'Dog Slaughter Falls'

But what's up with that name? It's TERRIBLE. And the reason it exists is ALSO terrible. Multiple sources can only confirm that a RUMOR is why it's called "Dog Slaughter Falls." So I'll cite Wikipedia:

The falls is rumored to be named for the drowning of unwanted pets, or the loss of hunting dogs to predatory wildlife.

That's it. That's the only reason I could find. And it's just awful. How could something so beautiful have such a horrible name that evokes the most horrible images.

Tell you what...just don't think about it. I certainly won't. I'll just call it the Trail 414 Falls and enjoy a wonderful time within the extraordinary Daniel Boone National Forest.

(They still have plenty of time to change the name. Just sayin'.)

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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