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 want to relax in nature, cruise out on the water, or enjoy 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 man-made body of water in the world.
The park, named for United States 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. There are so many outdoor adventures to be had from hiking and biking to racquetball and tennis. With so many park’s activities, you won’t want to leave this lakeside paradise. Luckily, with so many accommodation options, you won't have to. Choose from the campground with water and electrical hookups, rustic cottages, or the luxurious Lake Barkley lodge.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park is within two hours of both Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN. The park is located off of US Highway 68, which is relatively flat and wide, so it shouldn't be a problem for most RVs and campers. Cadiz is the closest small town where you can grab some groceries and fill up on gas.
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. Some of the roads near the campground are one-way, so follow the signs toward the campground to avoid a one-way turnaround.
Parking is available at most major attractions, including the lodge, marina, and campground.
Your camping experience will be unlike anything else on this intracoastal waterway serving as the Kentucky Lakes/Prizer Point KOA’s private marina. If you want a change of scenery, swim in the summer pool on-site. Explore the grounds of the camp from a golf cart or a rental boat. Outdoor activities include hiking trails, water recreation of all sorts, and a playground for the kids. Lakeside cabins, lodge, tent, and RV sites all offer gorgeous views. Hook up the cable TV and Wi-Fi, and take the dog to the K-9 park. Sites can accommodate rigs up to 100 feet, and 50-amp service is available.
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 connections to sites with just water or no utilities. Some sites are very close to the glistening waters of Lake Barley.
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. If the family wants to have a little fun outside of the travel trailer, head to the playground or horseshoe pit just steps away from your campsite. The Wilderness Trail and Wagon Wheel Trail both start close to the campground if you're up for a hike. Please respect the park’s posted quiet hours, which begin at 11:00 PM nightly.
They don't call it Lake Barkley State Resort Park for nothing! If you want to get out of the RV for a few nights, you won't want to miss out in staying in the park's premier lodge or cottages. Constructed from hardy fir and cedar, the lodge offers that rustic charm with luxurious appeal. You'll get access to all the hotel's amazing amenities, including the fitness center, wellness pool, and sauna. There are over 100 rooms and four suites to choose from with lakefront views and private balconies. If you're looking for something with even more natural charm, you can rent one of the park's 13 cabins as well. There is a nature trail that connects the cottages with the lodge.
Spend your day on one of the park’s five hiking trails. The trails range from .3 miles to 2.5 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. If you want to get some extra exercise, the Wilderness Trail is the longest at 2.4 miles. The trail starts at the lodge and will wind you through the majestic woods to another scenic point of the lake.
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. On warmer days, you can enjoy a game of tennis or horseshoes at the courts that are nearby as well. The kids will also love to hang out at the game room on the lower level of the lodge.
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 include 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.
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 green. 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. 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 green.
Lake Barkley is one of the premier spots for boating in all of Kentucky, with almost 58,000 acres of water to explore. The Lake Barkley Marina is the one-stop shop for boaters. You'll find the boat ramp, as well as rentable boat slips at the marina. 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 snacks, diesel or ethanol-free gasoline, tackle, marine supplies, or a fishing license. The store also helps to outfit any boater with the information he or she needs for a fun and safe day out on the lake.
The park’s restaurant, Windows on the Water, has earned the reputation as one of the area’s best places to eat a restaurant-style, 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.