Pros Mini golf on site Nice knob showers - not the push button facets Really nice white sand beach Clean campground and bathrooms
Cons Beach is a public beach so really crowded Sites are tight and most are not level Most are not easy to get into. Only one pull thru
Pennyrile Forest State Park was a pleasant surprise, especially compared to the many state parks I visited in my earlier years in North Carolina. However, when you reserve your site make sure you ask about the specific site’s terrain. Site 48, where I was, was sloped with no grass and had just been repaired. There were a lot of grassy sites, and they were much better. When I talked to the campground host, he was very pleasant and explained that you do not have to have a horse to camp in the equestrian sites. Those sites are level pull-through sites. There is a camp store, although it is small and limited, but they do sell firewood. Not only does this state park have a putt putt course, but it also has an 18-hole golf course complete with pro shop. The thing I enjoyed best about his state park is the waterfront. There is a large sandy beach and a place to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats. Also at the beach are picnic tables, grills, a playground, and concessions. From the beach area, you can hike the lake trail, but it is moderate. There is a good view of the lake from the trail, and if you walk to the left before crossing the wooden bridge, you can see a very small waterfall. Even though you have to drive a little from the campground to get to it, there is a swimming pool and a lodge. Other activities include tennis courts and basketball. Staying at the campground, other than the sloping site, was a pleasant experience. It was not crowded and the bathrooms have hot showers, but I would suggest paying the extra$15.00 to get one of the equestrian sites.
First of all, the drive to Dawson Springs is GORGEOUS. Rolling hills, farmland, trees, really gets you in the mood! Upon arrival, the camp store worker was very friendly, gave us a campground map and hiking map and answered all of our questions. We stayed in the regular campground but they also have a campground for people with horses/horse trailers, as the park has horse trails to go on as well! We didn’t swim in the lake, but it did look beautiful and looked to be a nice place to swim and kayak and paddle boat (which they have for rental as well). The hiking trails are gorgeous and vary in length and intensity. The spot that we were at had plenty of room to spread out and relax. One side had the picnic table and fire pit, and the other side was a grassy area with trees where we hung our hammock. It was stunning! We will definitely be back!
We stayed at sight #58. We were on the very corner and even though it was close to the road it was beautiful and not super traffic heavy. There was however a streetlight at the corner and it was extremely bright. We were prepared enough though so we put a dark tarp up on the outside of our tent to block it. I do wish we could have seen a better picture of the site before hand it would have made choosing easier. This wasn’t the best spot for a tent, but we made it work :)
Pennyrile Forest State Park off Ky69 outside Dawson Springs, Ky. A newer trail Pennyrile Nature Trail is 13.5 mile long hiking trail, from Dawson Springs to the park. There is also a site for the Pennyrile Trail which is a 75 mile driving loop connecting several Kentucky parks.
The park is multi-leveled with the views and some cool rock formations. The beach has some confusing parking signs, but we figured it off. It was busy and had some loud visitors with loud vehicles and loud vehicles. Not surprising considering the neighborhood it is located in.
The campground has some interesting sites all along the roadway. The campground and horse campground are connected. Several of the sites can be challenging due to not being level or being shallow, but they are workable.
I'm not sure if biking would be great due to the hills but it would be challenging. Hiking and backpacking definitely and of course swimming and horseback riding( on your own horse)
I love this park! Camping, cabins, hiking, horseback, swimming, and even mini golf. There are numerous trails, and a plethora of wildlife. We even saw a bald eagle within 15 minutes drive from the park.