Barren River Lake is a fine example of the excellent Kentucky State Parks system. It is well-developed, well-maintained, and offers plenty to do, especially if you like water activities. What we like most is the peaceful family atmosphere unlike many vacation destinations. Highlights include the site of the Scottish Highland Games which are usually in early June; a nice hilly 18 hole golf course with a modest clubhouse, a 2.5 mile paved bike trail through the woods with moderate elevation changes (watch out for bumps and hairpin turns), plus the expected beach and marina. The lodge looks nice, but dated. The park has about 20 large modern cabins ("villas") for rent as well.
We stayed at the campground which is excellent with spacious paved sites and plenty of tree cover. People often wonder why I criticize dense commercial campgrounds. I will refer them to Barren River Lake campground for a great example of spaciousness. Negatively, most sites have significant grades so bring extra blocks to level a camper.
We saw one long camper with about 2 feet of blocks stacked under the tongue! The bath houses were reasonably modern and clean. Our site had only 20 and 30 amp service. Check ahead if you need 50 amp service. Every site had a picnic table and fire pit. A few of the perimeter sites had wooden decks. Some campers set their tents up there for a flat dry surface. There is a boat ramp at the back of the campground. Campers do not have access to the Lodge pool, but can take advantage the beach and other State Park amenities. The road layout is a bit strange with one-way roads forcing extra turns, some of which are rather tight for a larger RV or trailer.
Bowling Green and Mammoth Caves are less than an hour away, making Barren River Lake State Park a great base of operations for a regional vacation.
One final note - Barren River Lake is much larger than the State park with multiple boat ramps and marinas administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The also operate 3 separate campgrounds that appeared very nice. We may try one of them if our travels bring us back to Southern Kentucky.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This resort park is rolling hills,bordered by a 10,000 acre lake. Accomodation choices includes lodge room, cottage or villa. The lodge rooms are spacious and includes hair dryer, ironing board/iron and coffeemaker. The outstanding feature of this accomodation is the private balcony that offers peace and relaxtion. The Villas are two bedrooms with two beds per, two full baths, living room, dining/kitchen, screened room and deck w/grill. Vaulted ceiling and a gas fireplace add to the ambiance of this accomodation. The cottages are more rustic than the villas. Similar to the villas, they have two bedrooms, two full baths, living room, kitchen/dining room. Both the cottages and villas, are fully furnished including, bedding, terry, pots/pans, glassware, plates, flatware, coffeemaker,mircowave and full-sized refridgerator. Onsite hiking/walking/bike trail(s),golf, tennis, volleyball,shuffle board, campground, seasonal horseback riding and marina with boat rentals available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barren River Lake Resort Lodge And Cottages Hotel Bowling Green
- Barren River State Park
- Barren River Lake Hotel