Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Kentucky is one of four U. S. states constituted as a commonwealth, originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States, Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State, a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky. In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, the precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning the meadow or the prairie. Kentucky is situated in the Upland South, a significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia. Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest and the Southeast, West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west, Illinois and Indiana to the northwest, and Ohio to the north and northeast. Only Missouri and Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more, Kentuckys northern border is formed by the Ohio River and its western border by the Mississippi River. The official state borders are based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792, for instance, northbound travelers on U. S.41 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about two miles. Ellis Park, a racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the land border between Indiana and Kentucky. Kentucky has a part known as Kentucky Bend, at the far west corner of the state. It exists as an exclave surrounded completely by Missouri and Tennessee, Road access to this small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River requires a trip through Tennessee. The epicenter of the powerful 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area, much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short, steep, and very narrow hills. The Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald cypress/tupelo swamps, located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid subtropical climate. Temperatures in Kentucky usually range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F to the low of 23 °F. The average precipitation is 46 inches a year, Kentucky experiences four distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of summer and winter. The highest recorded temperature was 114 °F at Greensburg on July 28,1930 while the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F at Shelbyville on January 19,1994, due to its location, Kentucky has a moderate humid subtropical climate, with abundant rainfall
Narrow country roads bounded by stone and wood plank fences are a feature in the Kentucky Bluegrass region.
Kentucky's regions (click on image for color-coding information.)