Barkley Lake, KENTUCKY
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Most Recent Barkley Lake Camping Reviews
Quiet Peaceful Campground by Cheatam Lake & Dam

We loved our site 32 which was fully shaded all day long which was great in August given the heat and humidity. We hiked the Bicentennial Trail (13.3 miles long from start to finish) which was also shaded and with geocaches. We went with our 2 dogs and 2 kids. The boys loved the playground and the dogs appreciated the cool breeze and shade of our site. We were close to the boat ramp which made access to the water easy. There is a nearby lock and dam with another playground in walking distance. We had a fire ring, a wooden picnic table, a concrete picnic table and chairs as well as a grill. Folks were quiet and friendly. I would highly recommend it and would visit again.

Isolated and Quiet

I loved the absolute isolation and quiet atmosphere that this campsite offers. I saw a few people but they mostly kept to themselves, which was fine with me. I was solo camping and came out to enjoy the solitude. I had a site on the lower side near the lake, I knew there was some rain forecast, but there was a ditch next to my site that I assumed would handle any runoff from the hill above. I was wrong. It rained rather heavily for about 4.5 hours and that little ditch couldn't handle it all. Water flooded under my tent, but the floor held up and the interior stayed dry, but the exterior became caked in mud. The rain also created rather large gouges in the roadways within the campsite, but this seems to be a common occurrence in the gravel roads within the LBL. The gouges in the road leading to the camp were filled in a day or so, so I had no problem driving out.

On the up side, the camp offers views of a myriad of wildlife and great fishing access to the lake. I stayed four days and three nights from Sunday to Wednesday. I imagine that the weekends may draw more of a crowd, but I don't know for sure. But the early part of the week that I was there offered a great chance to truly get away from it all. I was there in late July and other than all the mayflies on the bank, there were hardly any bugs to speak of. Other than the flies attracted to my trash. 

Speaking of trash, there is a dumpster on site so there is no need to pack out your litter. The portapot was spotless, so that was another plus.

I would recommend this site and would definitely come back.


Very peaceful and gorgeous view with boat ramp. The drive in is pretty rough even with us being in a jeep though.

Nice quiet campground

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


We’ve stayed in a cabin twice at this campground. The second time we booked a one room cabin. They had us in their system for a 2 bedroom cabin (which we had the first time we stayed there.) I proved to them I booked a 1 bedroom cabin & it was their mistake to assign us to a higher priced 2 bedroom cabin. Since all the cabins were booked for the night we couldn’t switch to a one bedroom. They would not refund the difference. I called KOA corporate office and the person I talked to was able to see in their computer system what I was talking about. However each campground is an independent business and it was up to each campground to decide how to conduct their business. To me the proper thing to do was to let me have the two bedroom cabin for the one room cabin price. Convenient location.

Wonderful Friendly Campground

Love this campground, very friendly and accommodating. Lots of fun activities on Holiday weekends throughout the summer season

LBL: Boswell Landing

This site is amazing! We were able to spread out our tents for a group site and we had the perfect set up! We were 100ft. From the lake and had so many trees to use for our hammocks. One of the best camping sites I’ve had in a long time! It has a dumpster located by the boat ramp. Far enough to not smell it but close enough that it was still super convenient. There is single toilet facility for all of the sites, this toilet was the cleanest public camping toilet I’ve ever seen.There was constant traffic in and out due to the boat ramp but we were able to get far enough from the actual ramp that the traffic didn’t bother us. We had two dogs out there with us and they had so much space to roam. When we ran out of ice, it was a 20 minute trip there and back to get more ice. We showed up with wood for a fire, and thought we would need more but people are constantly in and out, so we inherited a ton of wood which is nice, you can also buy wood bundles at the ranger station at Paris Landing. Each site has a concrete picnic table and fire ring as well.

Great place

This place was very nice and well kept. My only problem with it was that people fly in and out of the cove on their boats.

What’s up with the KKK name?

Lovely campground but shocked it’s named after NBF. He was the first grand wizard of the KKK and responsible for the massacre of hundreds of black union troops who had surrendered at Fort Pillow. 😱 Doesn’t Tennessee have some respectable people for whom they could name the park?

Small campsite

The sites are hard to back in with a camper, we had to buy longer extension cables and a longer water hose, sites are very close together, the activities were good had to pay for them not very much. The miniature golf course was good but a little expensive. The beach was amazing but it’s first come first serve regardless if u camped there. It opens up at 10am. The lodge restaurant was amazing buffet and the banana pudding was amazing as well. They do serve a sandwich called Hot Brown I guess it known in Kentucky was good.

Beautiful Location

This KOA is situated on a beautiful lake. We went over Memorial Day Weekend so it was a packed house. In my opinion this particular KOA was not up to par as far as grounds keeping, as the other’s I’ve stayed at. But we still had a great time. Our waterfront site was beautiful, and all the kids loved the zero entry children’s pool.

Good campground on the water

We got the last site. #7. It is across the rd from the lake/bay and a short walk from the bathroom and showers. The campground was clean. The bath house was clean, as well. There were a lot of golf carts making the loop for some reason. Maybe 10/ hour until about 8 pm. It didn’t bother us, but it is worth mentioning. The people who booked the site next to ours came in about 7, and unloaded about 12 teen boys. We thought it was going to be another noisy night, but not so. It was a group of Boy Scouts returning home from camp in GA and they arrived, did bedtime routine, slept, got up and did morning routine, broke camp and left by 9 am. From site 7, you can see the water if whoever is in 6 isn’t using a trailer or RV. You can see water, but through trees. There is a little poison oat or Ivy near 7. There is a dumpster on your way out of the campground. No other trash receptacles. I’m including the campground rules and map. Site 7 was a good site, but the lights from the bathroom interior are blinding from this site at night. We hung a bath towel over the tent to help block that when people opened the door. If we return, we want site 6! our maps app sent us 15 miles for groceries. You don’t need to go that far. There is a nice market and cafe, as well as a dairy bar in the little town about 2 miles before the campground off of Cosby Rd. There is also a bakery just down the rd. on Cosby Rd. Enjoy!

First come first served NOT TRUE

Having watched this campground for days as we traveled west from WV, we saw empty sites daily that said first come, first served. We couldn’t book them because they are booked as campers arrive at the last minute. We could see that 3, then 2, then 1 campsites were left as we approached. The attendant, Susanne, told me that she couldn’t let me have the site because someone else was “on the way”. I told her that it is a gov’t campground, and it is supposed to be booked to whomever arrives to claim it first. I had followed the regulations to book the site and she was supposed to rent the site to me. It didn’t happen. She went on to chuckle snuggly when I said there were other campgrounds in the area and that I might yet find something. It is days before July 4. She said NOTHING is available, I should have booked ahead. As we left, I checked another federal site, just 11 miles away. They had vacancies. Rather than lose the vacancy, we drove 2 miles back to Eureka and had Susanne check to see if the site was, in fact, available, and to “hold” it for us, as she had done for the site we came to claim. This woman just told me there was NOTHING available, without even checking the closest campground!!!

Great Campground with lots of extras!

We’ve only been once but can say it’s a great campground, with 2 boat ramps, store, regular patrols, a beach, activities for kids and pretty good views of Kentucky Lake. Very large and easy access to sites with larger rigs. Ticks were very bad, but this is no fault of theirs. We’ll be back soon!

Great Campground but a little noisy late at night.

5 Star camp ground and activities, but noisy after 10pm with kids on golf carts and partying at their beach location late at night. If they get them off the cart they walk the roads being loud and obnoxious. I camp to relax not to party or babysit.

Great camp ground with great amnesties.

Great easy drive from middle Tennessee with tons of great amenities and staff.

A lovely campsite

We have visited several times in the last couple of years. This last visit we stayed at one of the non electric tent sites. It was very nice and close to the lake. (PLEASE don’t wash in our lake! We don’t need more chemicals in our local lakes, use the designated wash rooms!!) The sites are clean and reasonably spaced. The kids love the playground and you can get decently priced firewood at the shop or check in area. The staff have always been nice and patient. There is a beach to swim in the lake which is nice especially if you have kids.

Great campground

My family loves to camp here. It is a big campground with lots of trees. My family like playing in the creek, riding bikes, swimming in the lake, & hiking on the trails. They have a camp small store, basketball courts, 2 playgrounds, a beach area and 2 boat ramps. It’s a great family friendly campground!

Love it

Best horse campground in ky

A Campground for Almost Everyone

When I stayed at Prizer Point, I felt as if I were in a small coastal town. It is the first campground I have been to that has condominiums. It doesn’t matter what kind of camping or glamping you do, this campground has it, except for yurts. However, they do have tree houses. There are also choices of cabins,“chalets”(although it didn’t look like a chalet when I looked at one), bungalows, floating cabins, etc. Of course, being a tent camper, that’s my choice. Some of the tent sites are on top of each other, but if you are lucky enough, you can stay at a site beside the woods. You still don’t get complete privacy, but it is better than being on the other side of the path where the tent sites are on top of each other. The tent sites are grassy, which I like. I prefer a grassy site over a concrete pad. Some people love the large campgrounds with lots of activities, especially when there are children with you. Since I am mainly a tent camper, I prefer the solitude of being in the woods. Fortunately, I was there at the beginning of the week, and it wasn’t as crowded as it normally would be. Personally, and subjectively, I would rate this campground one star; but objectively, I have to rate it five stars because it offers so much. While I was there, I toured the campground and was amazed at how much they have. They have go carts, oversized chess, swimming pools, a soccer field, a marina, a restaurant, and a section called Prizer Lagoon. You can also rent golf carts to get around, and you will want to do that unless you want to walk for miles. There, you can play in the inflatable obstacle course or ride in a paddle boat. There is also a zip line that crosses the water. For RVers, you have quite a few options. One section has formal concrete pads with hookups. Another section is not as“sanitized” but offers everything you need for your RV. I was surprised by the size of the marina, which was huge according to my limited knowledge of marinas at campgrounds. There is also a boat ramp for when you want to launch your own boat. If I wanted to RV, I would choose the little peninsula beside the boat ramp. Great view! If I wanted to stay in a cabin, there are some cabins next to the lake that also have great views. Overall, this campground has everything you want in a resort campground.

Campground with a Lot of Activities but Doesn't Feel like a Gated Community

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.

Can be nice

Basic campground. No water or electric. One vault toilet. Probably 15 true sites but several grassy areas that tents and hammocks can use.

Great for kids!

We ended up at this campsite by accident. We were looking for dispersed camping sites, but right as we were pulling into one of the only good tent sites at the campground, someone snagged it from us. We ended up in area D right by the restrooms. Hubby and I would’ve never camped there on our own because we prefer to be more secluded but it was perfect for our daughter! Our site was tucked in the trees across from the restroom. Bathroom was clean and convenient. We woke up the next morning and rented kayaks and got out on the lake! Good experience! Probably better for RVs and Campers than tents, though.

Not as secluded as we like... but still super quiet!

If you drive all the way to the back of this campground, there’s a little bluff overlooking the lake where you can camp. We were disappointed that those spots were all taken. We were also disappointed with how close together the rest of the open sites were! The few that were hidden and private were taken. We chose the first site in the woods as you enter the campground. Couldn’t see much of the lake from the site but we loved being tucked in the woods. The only noise we heard from other people was when people drove past hauling boats. The bathroom was very clean. We will probably go back during a time of year that is not so busy so we can get a site we like better!

Great camping other than biting flies

It was my 3rd time camping at LBL never had any issues at any of the other campgrounds at LBL. But this time was different it’s a beautiful campsite on the lake so it’s everything you should want for camping even close to a bathroom. But there was so many biting flies. Literally drawing blood so my kids and family hated it my niece literally went home with bite marks all over her legs. I made sure to spray the bug spray although even that barely stopped them great at night though lol.

Best for Boating & Fishing

This was a great location b/c it was quiet, waterfront and has great amenities (fire ring with grill, electricity, water, dump station, trash dumpster, dry firewood for purchase). The only thing missing was hiking trails. We rented site #27 and it was perfect. We hung out hammock between 2 trees over the water and relaxed by the waters edge. There was a playground for the kids to play at and we drove to nearby Land between the Lakes, Cadiz and Lake Barkley surroundings for geocaching. I recommend visiting the nearby Elk & Bison Prairie for $5/vehicle. We didn’t see elk that day but we saw a group of bison which was really cool.

Convenient stop

We stayed in the primative loop for $18 with electric and water. The primative sites can be difficult to park in, but, if you are lucky enough to find one that your camper can fit into what a deal.

Old Boy Scout Campsite

I discovered this little gem of a campground in college. This is a primitive site, and is considered back country camping, meaning you will have to obtain a back country pass from the Golden Pond Visitor Center. This place used to be used for Boy Scout Summer camps. It’s a nice little finger of land that has water all around. There is space for several tents and you could find spots for hammocks in the nearby tree line. This place has no amenities. However the road is very close with energy lake campground nearby if you need firewood or anything else that you may run out of.