Kentucky : Safety by City
- Bowling Green
- Cave City
- Cumberland Falls
- Harlan Tri-Cities
- La Grange
- St. Matthews
Perryville, Kentucky, doesn’t stand out on the map.
You could almost miss it, as it’s a town with barely 800 people just 15 minutes west of the larger Danville.
Perryville does stand out in history, however, and the entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Perryville is also known for its Civil War battlefield, the most important in Kentucky and one of the bloodiest battles of the whole war.
It’s impressive how much history fits into this small town in central Kentucky.
Everything about this historic city will take you back in time.
There aren’t fancy hotels, but you can stay in a historic home surrounded by antiques or rent an apartment just above the local cafe and wake up to the smell of fresh coffee each day.
The Chaplin River flows through the city’s center, giving even more charm to the recently renovated Merchant’s Row.
From charm to chilling, you can hear or possibly experience one of the dozens of ghost sightings Perryville is known for.
The city might have more than 800 people, but there are plenty of other “souls” living among them, as the stories go.
Warnings & Dangers in Perryville
OVERALL RISK : LOW
In what might be the lowest crime rate I'll ever see, just ONE crime was reported in 2020 in Perryville. One, and it was a simple assault. At the risk of incomplete data provided to the Kentucky State Police, the crime rate is very low in surrounding Boyle County as well.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The city is too small for public transportation, and it's very walkable anyway. You'll need a car to get to the battlefield, but you can call a taxi or rideshare from Danville. It just might take a while. There's low risk with any option, but ideally, you'll have a car here.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's very low risk with no pickpockets reported for several years in the city or the county. You should still protect your valuables. Never let a safe small town make you forget common sense and safety.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Kentucky as a whole gets a medium risk, and a small town like Perryville doesn't have a lot of resources when big storms hit. You should be prepared for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in the warm months and potential winter storms from November through March.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
You're safe here from muggings, but that doesn't mean waving a wad of cash around like a fan to cool yourself off.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The biggest attack in Perryville will remain in 1862. This is a small town, hardly findable on a map unless you're looking for it, and nothing here is a hard target.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The phone scams are by and large the biggest threat here, but those are targeted at locals. A tourist has a low risk.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women are more likely to run into a ghost than a crook here. You should still follow good safety steps and avoid walking around at night alone. If you get easily creeped out by ghost stories, you should come with a buddy.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The Danville water supplier covers Perryville, and there were no violations in 2021. All water meets or exceeds standards. There might be times a boil order is issued due to maintenance, and in the past, the Perryville Fire Department has posted this information on Twitter (@PerryvilleFire).
Safest Places to Visit in Perryville
Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is the big draw in this community.
The site is less than three miles northwest of the city.
How’s this for a selling point from the Kentucky Parks Department?
“This Kentucky battlefield is one of the most unaltered Civil War sites in the nation; vistas visible today are virtually those soldiers saw on that fateful day in 1862.
The total acreage of the battlefield is 1,200 acres.”
The site has nearly 20 miles of trails to explore.
You can go it alone or take a guided tour.
In October, the ghost walks are very popular, and every year on October 8, a re-enactment of the battle is held.
More than 7,600 soldiers died on this field, and there’s a searchable database to see if you are possibly related to one of the deceased soldiers.
The Dye House is one of the most gruesome sights from the battle.
The Dye family lived here on their farm when the confederates commandeered the home and used it as a hospital.
Can you imagine if the military took over your home and brought in the bodies of mortally wounded men while you still tried to do your daily tasks?
Blood stains still mark spots on the home’s second floor.
Back in Perryville, Merchant’s Row is still standing as it was in the 1840s.
With just eight buildings, you’ll get a feel for small-town rural life from an era gone by.
You can also grab a Historic Homes Walking Tour map leading you to 35 preserved buildings and homes.
Request a guided tour in advance if you’d prefer.
Along a portion of the Chaplin River is a walking path with a wheelchair-accessible ramp that goes over the water.
The river is literally within arm’s reach, and the city tells me there are ducks that float on these waters looking for snacks from visitors.
Perryville might not have a bunch of big box stores, but you can do some incredible antique shopping here.
Some stores also sell Civil War mementos and artifacts.
Places to Avoid in Perryville
I’m not even sure you could avoid a section of Perryville because it is just that small.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry much about crime here.
Even nearby Danville is relatively safe.
The roads to and around the battlefield are two lanes and can be winding in certain parts.
It’s easy to get distracted while visiting such a historic site, but keep your eyes on the road until you get to a parking lot or spot to pull over if you want to take it all in.
The aforementioned Dye House is reportedly one of the most haunted spaces in the region.
Stories go as far as to discuss body parts being removed from injured soldiers and tossed out windows.
Everyone has their own belief system regarding ghosts and hauntings, so if someone in your party or in another group is scared, don’t mock them or try to scare them.
Never force a child or teenager to go somewhere they might be too scared to explore.
I will forever be haunted (pun intended) by a trip to Hannibal, Missouri, when I was 10, and my parents forced me to go through a haunted house.
I cried and actually gripped at the walls to get out, but they told me to “suck it up.”
Guess how I feel about haunted houses to this day?
Safety Tips for Traveling to Perryville
- You can only get information from the Perryville Police Department on Facebook. The handle is @Perryville-Police-Department. There are several Perryville’s in the U.S., so make sure you’re at the one in Kentucky. The main phone line to the police department is (859) 332-8361.
- The Chaplin River in Perryville is within arm’s reach at most points. If there is any risk of flooding, stay away from the area. It won’t take much rain for the river to rise from its banks.
- Sign up for emergency alerts, like a flood watch, through Civic Ready. There’s a link on the Boyle County website. You can choose if you want alerts via text message, email, or phone call.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are several different permits for various fish, so look at the full list of options before you purchase. You can get the license online, so that’s one less thing to worry about once you arrive.
- When visiting the battlefield, don’t take anything or bring a metal detector to search for hidden treasures. Avoid sitting on or even touching the equipment there. You also can’t take any of the wildflowers, plants, or rocks at the park. Leave no trace behind, but take all the (non-commercial) photos you’d like.
- If you are trying to ghost hunt on your trip to the battlefield, you must get prior permission from the park. Recording devices for any commercial purposes, including YouTube videos, is prohibited without permission.
- Kentucky is in the part of the country that gets a mixed bag of winter weather. That means a snowstorm could bring sleet or freezing rain. When these types of storms hit, road travel is nearly impossible and strongly discouraged. You might need to re-schedule or re-arrange your trip if there’s a winter storm bearing down during your visit.
- Perryville is one of the cities that will go dark on April 8, 2024. This is due to the solar eclipse. Perryville is in the “path of totality.” If this is why you are visiting this area, plan ahead as rooms and campsites are going to fill up quickly.
- The city’s website is pretty much just a tourism site, so you can follow @CityofPerryville on Facebook to get more day-to-day city news. You can learn about local events, road closures, or upcoming projects that could impact travel.
- In the spirit of “things you shouldn’t have to say out loud,” you can’t drive a car over the pedestrian footbridge. The bridge is fairly new and apparently some people got confused about it with one car trying to cross it but only leaving its bumper and some damage behind.
So... How Safe Is Perryville Really?
Perryville is rather safe, with the crimes that do happen to be either odd or minor.
Even Boyle County had just 43 crimes total in 2020.
The largest crime categories in the county were computer hacking and drug crimes.
No violent crimes were reported in 2020.
The biggest danger you’ll face here is the weather, especially if you are unprepared.
You should research the Boyle County Emergency Management Plan so you know what to expect when any kind of weather develops.
There are tornado sirens in the county, but those aren’t always heard by everyone.
You still need a weather app or a weather radio to let you know what the emergency is and what time the storms should be over.
How Does Perryville Compare?
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- Visas - Anyone visiting from outside the U.S. will need a travel or work visa. The processing time for that can take a few months, and you have several steps to complete. This includes an interview and a review of all your social media accounts for the past five years.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only form of currency you can use here, and there will be some places that only accept cash. You should exchange currency before you get to Perryville.
- Weather - Bring layers of clothing and rain gear. The temperatures can fluctuate greatly throughout the week or sometimes, even during the day. You'll need outerwear in the winter, but there's a chance you won't need it because of the changing temperatures. Bring good walking shoes. During summer, you'll also need bug spray.
- Airports - To fly out of Lexington, you'll be on the road for about an hour. Louisville is going to be a 90-minute drive.
- Travel Insurance - You'll need travel insurance to make sure you are protected from injuries, accidents, delays, or things like the massive floods of Summer 2022. Unfortunately, there isn't a policy that will protect you from Civil War ghosts.
Perryville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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