RVers who are searching for lush scenery and outdoor recreation should travel to some of Kentucky’s most scenic areas along the shoreline of Lake Malone. Lake Malone State Park, located in Western Kentucky, is a small facility surrounded by sandstone cliffs and dense forest. The park, situated on Lake Malone, is known for its winding hikes, dark and starry skies, and water activities.
Lake Malone is often referred to as one of the most beautiful lakes in the Commonwealth. The lake, built initially as a way to give locals a place to fish and find solace in nature, was created by building a dam in Rocky Creek. In 1968, with the lake’s formation completed, the 826-acre body of water became an area hotspot. Soon after the lake was open for recreation, the local citizens began their push to build a state park. Many people, including retired lumberman W.C. Malone, donated land to support the wishes of the citizens, and soon after that, the development of what is now known as Lake Malone State Park began.
The park continues to be a desirable location for locals and guests. The park has campgrounds, a beach, a boat dock, and plenty of other facilities that help visitors of all ages find a place to escape, even if only for a day, into the stunning Kentucky landscape.
Lake Malone State Park is located 50 miles east of Bowling Green and 142 miles southwest of Louisville, Kentucky. The park is also close to neighboring states. The park is a short drive, 51 miles north, from Clarksville, Tennessee.
There are no daily entrance fees to enter the park, which is open seasonally. Guests who wish to fish in the off-season can access the boat ramp year-round.
Visitors to the park who are not staying in the campground must exit the facility after 11:00 pm, the start of the park’s quiet hours.
The Lake Malone Campground is a pet-friendly facility that operates seasonally. Each RV site has a 30 amp electrical service and a water hookup. All of the sites have gravel driveways, a fire pit, and a picnic table. The largest space will accommodate an RV or trailer up to 70 feet in length. The campground offers guests a bathhouse with showers and flushing toilets and a dump station. Please silence your generators and other noisy equipment during the park’s quiet hours, starting at 11:00 pm. This park may require a minimum night stay during the peak season and other high-traffic dates.
Lake Malone has a beautiful beach where guests of all ages can enjoy time outdoors in the sun and the sand. The swimming area and beach are located near the boat ramp, next to the old marina. During the summer hours, the beach is open for both swimming and playing. A bathhouse with restrooms, showers, and a changing area as well as a vending machine is close to the beach, so guests don’t have to travel far to find the comforts they need. Contact the park for information regarding the beach’s operating hours and season.
Lake Malone State Park has two scenic trails rated as easy-difficulty hikes. The trails, open to foot traffic only, take guests along the rock walls that were once used as shelters for Native Americans living in the area. After passing by the rocks, guests get to spend time looking at the greenery that makes the vicinity so rich and lush. The dogwoods, laurel, holly, and even the wildflowers give every hiker the feeling that he or she is one with nature. For a short hike, .25 miles, take the Wildflower Trail. For a longer walk, take the Laurel Trail, which is a one and a half-mile hike.
The boat dock is open year-round for people to access the water of Lake Malone. The lake doesn’t have horsepower restrictions, so boats of many kinds cruise the waterways of the lake. Bring your fishing boat or even your pontoon boat, and explore the channels of the lake. The park does not have boat rentals or an operating marina, but it does have a gas pump located near the boat dock for guests who require fuel. For guests who would like to rent a boat or kayak, contact one of the neighboring equipment outfitters.
The park provides guests who crave fishing a boat ramp where boats are permitted to launch year-round, even when the other park facilities are closed for the season. Lake Malone, the 788-acre lake, gives anglers plenty of opportunities to try and catch a redear sunfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, or crappie. During the offseason, anglers will need their own fishing equipment, but during the operating season, people who don’t have poles can check out free fishing gear through the park’s fishing loaner program. The state of Kentucky requires that all anglers over the age of 16 purchase and possess a valid fishing license. Contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.
For guests who don’t mind a little adventure, drive south to Bell Witch Cave, located in Adams, Tennessee. The drive is less than an hour away, and the tour and the facilities bring together history and tales of the supernatural. The Historic Bell Witch Cave, Inc. is a historic area that is part of the National Historical Registry of the United States Department of Interior. Legend says that the property, once owned by John Bell, is haunted. In the early 1800s, a witch reportedly spent years haunting and torturing John Bell’s daughter, Betsy. The witch, the spirit of a mean neighbor, promised the Bells that she would haunt the family and their descendants because John cheated her out of a land purchase. Whether you believe in paranormal tales or not, the legend of Betsy Bell remains as one of the United State’s most terrorizing haunted tales. Andrew Jackson, the former president of the United States, after staying on the property with his troops overnight said, “I’d rather face the entire British Army than to spend another night with the Bell Witch.” For information on operating hours and tours of the facility, contact the Bell Witch Cave.
On days where you don’t feel like sitting outside in nature, take the family on a short trip to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. The museum is reasonably priced and has plenty of exhibits that will entertain people of all ages. Even if you don’t always find cars interesting, seeing generations of Corvettes on display is nothing short of spectacular. The museum provides guests with an appreciation of the beauty and the craftsmanship of the Corvette. The museum gives tours daily. Contact the museum for hours of operation, tour times, and more information.