Lake Barkley State Park | Outdoorsy

Lake Barkley State Park


RV and recreational enthusiasts come from Kentucky and the surrounding states to stay in one of the most beautiful and fully-developed state parks in the area. Lake Barkley State Park is often called Lake Barkley State Resort Park because of its size and resort-like facilities. Whether you stay in the campground in your RV and enjoy nature, or you take advantage of the water and activities like golfing and whirlpool soaking, your time here will be unforgettable.

Lake Barkley State Park is located in an area of Kentucky called The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. This area spans across Kentucky and parts of Tennessee and is the space between two giant reservoirs, Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. A canal runs between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake, so recreationists have access to both lakes. The two large lakes together are sometimes considered the largest human-made body of water in the world.

The park, named for United States congressman, senator, and vice president, Alben Barkley, is one of Kentucky’s premier attractions. The lakes together have more than 1,004 miles of shoreline making recreation accessible and abundant. Bring your RV and stay for a few days or longer. With all of the park’s activities, you won’t want to leave this lakeside paradise.

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Lake Barkley State Resort Park is located approximately 58 miles northwest from the city of Clarksville, Tennessee, and 176 miles southwest of Louisville, Kentucky. The park is eight miles west of Cadiz, Kentucky, on US Highway 68.

When entering the park from US Highway 68 head straight until you come to a fork in the road. You can turn left toward the marina or right toward the camping area. Turn right, pass the cemetery keep right to enter the campground. Some of the roads near the campground are one-way, so follow the signs toward the campground to avoid a one-way turnaround.


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Campgrounds and parking in Lake Barkley State Park

Campsites in Lake Barkley State Park

Reservations camping

Lake Barkley Campground

This seasonally-operated, pet-friendly campground provides campers with amenities that make every level camper feel at home. All of the campsites have paved driveways, a picnic table, and a fire ring and vary from 30 amp hookups with water to sites with just water as well as sites with no utilities.

The back in and pull through spaces accommodate RVs and trailers between 28 feet and 71 feet in length. Some areas have more level driveways than others. The campground has two central service buildings with showers and restrooms as well as a dump station on site. Please respect the park’s posted quiet hours which begin at 11:00 pm nightly. Please check the website when planning your trip as some weekends and peak visiting times may require a minimum night stay.

Seasonal activities in Lake Barkley State Park



The park’s restaurant, Windows on the Water, has earned the reputation as one of the area’s best places to eat a restaurant-styled home cooked meal. Aside from the cooking, people come to eat at Windows on the Water because of the panoramic views of the lake. Because of the glass walls, almost every seat in the house can see the water. The restaurant is part of the Kentucky Proud Program, an initiative to support local farmers, and whenever possible, the meals are made with locally grown and raised foods. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and see why people come from near and far to eat here.


The Lake Barkley Marina is the one stop shop for boaters. If you don’t have a boat, ask about renting a boat or jet ski from the seasonally operated marina. If you don’t have the supplies you need, stop by the Ship Store to purchase diesel or ethanol-free gasoline, tackle, marine supplies, or a fishing license. The store also stocks snacks and drinks and helps to outfit any boater with the information he or she needs for a fun and safe day out on the lake.


Come and golf at the beautiful 18-hole golf course, the Lake Barkley Boots Randolph Golf Course. Golfers of all abilities will enjoy a day outside on the tree-lined greens. Play from one of the four-leveled tee boxes while enjoying the meandering stream and picturesque views of the facility. The course, created to challenge almost every level of golfer, has many golfing options available for guests. For information on tee times or pricing, contact the pro shop. The Boots Randolph Golf Course has a strictly enforced dress code for both men and women, so be sure to understand the policies before heading to the greens.



In late winter and early spring, Lake Barkley is one of the best places in the state to fish for trophy largemouth bass. In the wintertime, it is not unheard of for people to catch crappie upwards of 12 inches long in the lake. Other species of fish found in Lake Barkley are bluegill, redear sunfish, and muskellunge. For those people who catch fish, clean your catch at the fish-cleaning area, located near the boat slips. The state of Kentucky requires that all anglers over the age of 16 purchase and possess a valid fishing license. Contact the marina for information on bait, tackle, and fishing licenses.

Fitness Center

The Lake Barkley State Park is more than a camping facility. Stay in the campground and then make your way to the fitness center. The fitness center is an indoor facility open year-round that offers fitness machines, free weights, aerobic classes, and racquetball. Patrons can also take advantage of the heated pool, whirlpool, sauna, wet steam room, and adequately outfitted locker rooms. Stop by the center for more information. The walk-in facility offers discounted daily fees for Lake Barkley Resort and campground guests.


Spend your day on one of the park’s five hiking trails. Each trail ranges from .3 miles to two and a half miles in length, and each path offers a different view of the park. While hiking, keep your eyes open for wildlife or search for some of the scenic lake views and a swinging bridge. On the Lena Madesin Phillips Self Guided Interpretive Trail, locate the numbered stations to learn about the park’s resources. The marked trail corresponds with a park booklet that visitors can pick up from the ranger station. Whatever your agenda for the day is, you will be sure to find something interesting while walking the trails at Lake Barkley State Park.