Kentucky is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered to the south by Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to the East, Ohio and Indiana to the north, and Illinois and Missouri to the west. A common geographic boundary to its north is the Ohio River and the Appalachian mountains to the east.
The state’s 2014 population was estimated to be 4.413 million individuals, whose governor was Republican Matt Bevin, governing from the capital of Frankfurt. The state’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Kentucky is one of only four states to be constituted as a commonwealth entity. The other three are Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Virginia, of which Kentucky was originally a part of before joining the Union in 1792 as the fifteenth state.
The state might be most famous for an annual horse race held in the biggest city, Louisville. The Kentucky Derby happens the first Saturday of each May, preceded by two weeks of festival. There is a virtual year-round celebration of the event at Churchill Downs thanks to the Kentucky Derby Museum.
Kentucky is known to many as the “Bluegrass State.” This nickname comes from the bluegrass that grows abundantly in many pastures thanks to very fertile soil. Central Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region, where two of the state’s prominent cities are found, Louisville as well as Lexington. The world’s longest-known cave system, the Mammoth Cave National Park, sits in Kentucky soil and terrain. You can also find both of the biggest artificially made lakes that lay east of the Mississippi River.
Kentucky’s average elevation is 750 feet above sea level, but it interestingly features the longest length of navigable water pathways within the lower 48 contiguous states. The lowest point in the state is only 257 feet above sea level, which happens at the Mississippi River at a place called Kentucky Bend, a peninsula of land that is not contiguous with the rest of the state, instead linked physically to Tennessee and bordering Missouri.
The highest point is in the Appalachian end of the state, where Black Mountain stands 4,145 feet above sea level. It also stands 500 feet higher than any other point in the state. While privately owned by a coal company, public access is permitted when a waiver is filled out. Several radar and communication towers sit atop the peak, but on a clear day, views go as far as the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.