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Barkley Lake, KENTUCKY
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CCA campground. Spacious, mature trees, and cool waterfront breezes

We frequent this campground because it is close to home. Mostly suitable for RV camping with a few tent sites. All campsites have a fire ring, grill, and a trash can. 1/2 of the sites are direct waterfront, but the other half is close enough to benefit from the cool breezes of the Cumberland River. Fun to watch the river barges go by and fish. One boat ramp directly in the campground. A sandy beach area in the area, but there is no way I would go in that nasty river! The mature trees offer shaded canopy, but high enough your camper will more than likely not get snagged. There are pecans and walnut trees so be sure to wash your canopy when you get home to prevent stains. They do allow dogs, which is not a plus for me. People are allowing their dogs to become a barking nuisance. Large sandy children's playground. Adequate bathhouse. Extra parking for boats and jet skis. Well lit at night. The hosts are there but not overly friendly or intrusive. The county sheriff drives through twice a day. Corp of Engineer area so supposedly no drinking but most people do with no problem. Deer, Blue Herons, and Squirrels are abundant. Book at Books fast in the fall.

Trees of fun

Clean bathrooms easy spots for my rig to park. Well maintained camping quiet and away from it all.


Quiet basic campground. Has camping spots with fire rings, a toilet and a boat ramp. Beautiful view of the lake and bay.

Good basecamp for surrounding activity, not the best for camping with kids


Secluded campground

Beautiful area


You're camping basically in a ravine.

No fire pit

We had site 15 and my in-laws had site 16 over Labor Day weekend 2018.

It took us over an hour to try and level our pop-up camper because the site was so steep. Our neighbors had the same problem. We took the advice of a fellow camper on here and brought an extension cord and we were so glad we did, I think my in-laws ended up needing it.

When we arrived I was disappointed to find that we didn't have a firepit, only an old grill that had a hole in the bottom, rendering it useless. Luckily my in-laws had a firepit so we had our fires over there. We do most of our cooking in cast iron over the fire, so a fire pit is a huge requirement for us. Our site was so steep it was hard for our two young children to walk and play on our site (4yo and 1.5yo) so we spent most of the time at their site anyway. The campsite we were on just wasn't that great for small children, but wouldn't be bad if you were in a tent without small children. Site 16 was great though.

Saturday night, we could hear a drunken group of about 20 with their speakers blasting music across the campground, so loud we couldn't hear each other talking around the campfire. I'm not normally one to complain about music at a campground, but this was overkill and was well into after quiet hours. Every so often you could tell that they were told to turn it down, but it only lasted a few minutes before it was cranked up again. It shut down probably around mid-night, but with two small kids it made for a long night.

The bathrooms were decent, one toilet would shoot water out of the top when you flushed. I didn't use the showers but they looked clean for a campground shower.

The LBL area is what made the trip worth it. We basically used the campground as a base camp to explore the area, which is a beautiful. We saw several deer within the park. The bison and elk prarie is a must see, the kids loved it. We drove to the Golden Pond visitors center and spent several hours at the Homeplace Living history village. Since it was Labor Day weekend they had a lot of events going on. We're now planning another trip back to the LBL area, just not at the same campground.

Full hookups available. Horses welcome.

This is one of 5 organized campgrounds with full hookups that accept reservations. There are many other smaller campgrounds with toilets and the entire recreational area allows dispersed camping with a permit.

Lake nearby!

Being close to water is always nice, and our family always looks for this when we are traveling away from home to camp. Kentucky Lake is nearby, and we spent most of our day here. We towed our small boat from home because we wanted to be able to enjoy being on the water (and my dad wanted to fish). There is running water and showers available on site, although I just jumped in the lake and shampooed my hair in their :) Very large campground, which was nice. Lots of room between campsites. Always a plus for us. The campground itself was really nice, we were actually very impressed. The campsites were well marked and had a picnic table, fire ring and a hanging rack which was super nice! We hung our wet suits from being in the lake all day. Great hiking nearby too. We would hike in the morning, and play in the water the rest of the day. The attendants/rangers were awesome, and directed us in the right place for hiking. You can see from my pictures attached that we hiked almost everyday. We would definitely stay here again next time we are in the area.

Liked our stay

One great thing about this place is that there is a river nearby. This river/creek was super busy, probably because it was a hot weekend. The campground was definitely full, and was "closed" because all campsites were taken. Thankfully we reserved our spot ahead of time. This place was full of activities- everyone doing something! The one downside I would say about this campground was how close each spot was to each other. Kind of felt like we were sharing a spot with our neighbors. The people next to us were super friendly, and quite which was nice. It was definitely loud most of the early evening with people by their camp fires. The rangers/people working here are super nice and friendly. They gave us great recommendations on where to hike. The hiking was great, and we saw some amazing views. Bathrooms were a little dirty- not sure when the last time they were cleaned, but definitely wasn't when we were there. There was also people that you could tell have been staying there for quite some time, not just a weekend trip. They were super friendly, and helpful. Overall, loved our stay here and would probably come back again. If their campsites were bigger we would definitely be back! Its like a small community here!

Beautiful lakeside view

We enjoyed our visit and the wonderful view, but if we return, we will get a site further from the boat access ramp. There are 2 ramps, but everyone wants to use the one right in the middle of the site at zero dark thirty.

Needs some maintenance

Stopped at Hillman Ferry campground in May on a trip to Illinois. We camped here several times in the 1990s and it was very nice. But it is showing some age now. The roads were rough and the sites were not very level. But the shower house was clean and there was lots of hot water. Plenty of wildlife and hiking

Five miles off paved roads and no electricity or running water.

Located at Land Between the Lakes at the south end. This campground has about 18 sites. You can can camp near the water or back in the woods. The sites have concrete picnic tables, fire rings and gravel for parking and to set up your site. As m motioned, no electricity or running water. Nearest water point is about five miles away at the South welcome center. Vault toilet (one seat). Sites are close but not crowded. There is a small no wake lake next to the site and lake Barkley is 50 yards away. There is also a boat ramp into Lake Barkley a quarter mile away. This is a great site for relaxing and fishing.

Nice friendly place with everything you need

Great place with everything you need. Friendly staff and owner. Has boat ramp with marina and boat slips you can use for a small fee. Also has a pool and some of the best views you could want of KY lakes Jonathan creek. Only negative is the sites were fairly tight together but we had no problems at all.

Awesome place to stay with beautiful views and nearby activities

Lots of spaces to camp with many right on the water, staff is friendly and everything you could need is nearby. Boat ramps in camp ground as well as a beach plenty of hiking/biking trails and beautiful places to kayak!

Lakeside Paradise

We spent seven nights at site 41 and it was spectacular. The lakeside sites have electrical hookups but no water but there are potable water sites throughout the park. We simply filled up our water tanks before setting up and everything was great. The staff was so friendly and helpful and knowledgeable about Land Between the Lakes which is HUGE. The showers need to be updated - clean but old with chipped tile and corroded metal fixtures. The toilets and showers are on separate sides of the building so it is a little inconvenient but such a minor one compared to all the positives. We laundry facilities are in perfect working condition. We were glad to see the many safe areas for children - swimming, bike riding, baseball, playgrounds, etc. Every site was clean and beautiful. There is truly something for everyone. I was able to kayak every morning practically right from our doorstep.

Don't even get me started on Land Between the Lakes. Seven days was not enough time to do and see everything - the Homeplace, planetarium, wildlife refuge, visitors center, Fort Donelson & much more. This is a magical place and I can't wait to return.

Really enjoyed our stay

My family and I really enjoyed staying at the Piney Campground. Here are some things we really liked about camping here:

  1. Easy to locate- nothing is worse than printing off direction or using your phone to navigate and you still cant find the campground. This campground was easy to find, right of the road, and great signage.
  2. Big spaces- My family and I love when the campsite spaces are big enough for 2 tents, the table, fire ring and car. I loved that the spaces were big, and each campsite was separated by large bushes and trees.
  3. Hikes nearby- this is something we always look forward to doing when we camp. We do our research ahead of time to find the best hikes for us. The hikes were great, and so much greenery and flowers! See pictures attached. Great views as well.
  4. The park attendants were super helpful and nice. They directed us to our spot, and helped us with the hikes and where to go.

There was only 1 thing we didn't like, and that was there was only 1 bathroom and it was a porta-poty ty . It didn't smell very good, but what porta potties do?

Overall we loved our stay, and would definitely come back!

Great for overnight.

Stopped just for the night as we passed through. Easy access to interstate. Pull through sites were long enough for our truck & camper so we didn’t have to unhitch for one night. Sites were not all jammed together. Bathrooms were clean. Grounds were well maintained. Staff was friendly.

Looks like it would be really good for multiple night stay as well.

Wildflowers Galore!

Paducah is a cute little city in Kentucky that my family and I love to visit whenever we get the chance. The town is really cool, and has that "old" town vibe. The buildings are beautiful. There are actually a few campgrounds in this town, one of them "I-24." This campground has a country feel, and it more so for people who are traveling and making a pit stop to rest. There are a lot of RV's. There are quite a few beautiful rivers close by, and there are also 2 lakes nearby. We spent a whole day at the lake when we stayed. It was busy, but nice to be on the water. We saw people enjoying fishing, water tubing, water skiing and jet skiing. We also saw people on kayaks, which looked like a blast! There is a golf course nearby too, although we didn't enjoy this close amenity. One thing we did enjoy was hiking some of the trails nearby. We went late spring and the wildflowers were out in full effect. The colors of the flowers were gorgeous, and I couldn't help but take hundreds of pictures of these beautiful flowers. One of the hikes brought us to a point where we could see one of the lakes. It was magical. Also-side note, there is the "National Quilt Store" in the town, and of course we had to stop because my mom requested this. It was incredible how much fabric there was. If you are in to this, I would highly recommend stopping! The campground itself was "okay." It was a little run down, but since we were in our RV we didn't really notice it much. It was also pretty busy when we went, so I'm glad we made reservations ahead of time.

Decent camoground

Took the kids, had fun. Lots of stuff to do in LBL. Campground was almost full, but we were able to switch our reservation to a walk up only, ie no reservations, site right on the water when we arrived. Gravel site was for the most part clean. No large trash, but various cig butts and small food wrappers buried in the gravel. Kids had fun. Water was warm and calm being off the main lake. Piney cove is pretty shallow and we could walk out into the water a good 30-40ft before getting too deep. Bottom is soft mud. Fishing was OK from the shore. There is a fishing pier people were talking about but we didnt try it. For the most part it was quite. One group got loud kinda late, but we were far enough away that it wasnt too much of a bother. Check in/out times are good 430pm in 330pm out. Bathrooms and showers were reasonably clean. Centrally located n several spots And cleaned daily. Staff was friendly, helpful, and did a good job. General store on site for forgoten item, but as usual you pay a premium.

Very nice campground.

Great security. Roomy shaded sites. Nice store on site.

Only downside was the nightly visit by skunks.

Tent and Small Camper Camping, Basic Sites

Well kept campground offering a more basic camping experience as compared to the larger campgrounds at LBL. Gravel pads with concrete picnic tables and fire rings. Be mindful when picking a site that some of the fire rings are damaged, some are the older short (12" tall tops) style and still others are brand new and have the adjustable cooking grate.

The actual gravel pads that we saw were for the most part in good shape. One or two sites suffered a bit from heavy wash running across them and rutting or washing gravel off the pads.

About half the sites are on the left hand side when you drive in and you can pick from sites tucked back in the woods a bit or sites nearer the water. Farther into the campground the road passes the vault toilet and boat ramp and goes uphill to higher up sites still. Sites in the woods with a longer walk to the lake but potentially better views and breezes.

We found that campers here did not limit themselves to staying on the defined tent pads. They would park on the pads and set up tents around the true camp site. Not a super big deal but it made getting down to the water a little awkward because you had to walk a little too close to someone else's tent for my liking.

The Forest Service could stand to go in and add some of the timber framing or bigger rip-rap bordering around the sites and maybe a splash of the smaller sized gravel to help level out the pads. You do need watch to make sure you get a level site.

If there are say 30 sites here, only about 15 were occupied over Labor Day weekend. Way less than what we expected for a holiday but it was exactly what we were hoping for, avoid the crowds at the larger, more amenity-filled campgrounds.

Last thing regarding the lake. The back end of Redd Hollow is shallow. Nice place to wade for kids. However, when they start pulling the lake down what were water access sites become gravel and mud bar access sites. In the dead middle of the summer the back end of the cove is probably full of water. Early spring and late summer early fall it is not. I suspect you can use the boat ramp year round though.

Beautiful place

The campsites that are close to the lake are pretty unlevel (we were told they will be fixed this upcoming winter). Some sites have decks which is pretty cool. You can see the lake, but have to drive to a nearby ramp to put your boat in the water. The campground was clean. The bath house is older, but fairly clean.

Private beach, amazing views

We reserved campground 6 which was one of the only available. We scored! We arrived and our neighbors were away, campers set up and left, kayaks sitting near the edge of the private beach. We were in tents which was great except for the weather that blew in, 50 mph wind with rain and thunder. We had to run out before it hit the second night, the folk that watch over the camping area were awesome! We got super lost on a really bad dirt road and the gentleman came out to look for us! The kids staked their intertubes to the bank and floated all day once we got there. We will be back, with a camper! We stayed on the B loop which allowed us to be right on the water. These sites are built for campers really, but site 6 and 7 had the most usable space for tents and privacy. Great location, great folk.

great site

sites along the water are great. full hook ups don’t offer the view but plenty to do and very well priced

Gorgeous place, great hikes

My family and I came here in the summer and enjoyed the warm weather, great hikes and family time. This campground was really nice, clean, and loved that it was easy to find and in a great location. The campsites had a table and a small fire ring that we used for making delicious s’mores. We spent hours in the evening around the campfire enjoying each other and making lots of s’mores. During the morning and day we ventured outside of the campground and did some hiking. There are some awesome hikes that have the best views! The only downside I would say about the campground was that we were only able to find 1 bathroom and it was a little walk away from our campsite. My mom hated this because she has to get up in the middle of the night and use the restroom, and didn’t want to walk alone at night. Also there was no water available in the campground so definitely bring your own! Overall, we enjoyed our time here and would definitely come back. There is also a lake about 30mins away that we went to one of the mornings. It was beautiful and a great little getaway.

Beautiful Lake

You can't beat having a lake next to you while you are camping. This is something my family and I always look for when we are camping. Water is always a great place to entertain the kids and family. The lake here is great, although it was pretty busy when we went. It was in the summer, so I understand and expected it to be busy. We saw people fishing, swimming, boating, tubing, and kayaking. I really wish there was a place nearby to rent kayaks because that looked like a blast. Next time we will definitely bring our own. The campground was good, pretty generic, but clean. Each campsite had its own table and fire pit. Although when we were there, the fire ban was on so we couldn't build a fire- which is understandable. It would have been too hot for a fire, anyways. We stopped at the first grocery store we found before heading to the campground to buy snacks and water. Thankfully we bought water because they didn't have water at the campground. We also really enjoyed some hikes nearby that had the best views. We did a few hikes in the morning that were only a few miles long, and didn't take us long to get there. Within driving distance of the campground. The bugs were out in full effect, so definitely bring spray if you plan to hike. There was some waterfalls and standing water on the hikes and the mosquitos were around this area. The weather was great while we were here, but we applied sunscreen like crazy especially when we were by the lake. The cost was fairly cheap, $12 a night.

standard state park campground, fine place to camp

We arrived late at this campsite and left early, so I didn't get a chance to see much of the state park (although the hiking trails looked good), but the campsite itself and amenities were great. We were going to camp at site 9, but ended up camped at Site 14, which was on a loop trail, so a little farther from the toilets/ shower block but with more privacy. The campsite had a picnic table and fire ring, and a paved spot to park the car on.

There are also cabins available to rent in one section of the campground, but we chose to just put up our tent. Everything was clean, lots of spots and a mix of RVs and cars- it's definitely a good campground if you are exploring around the area or need a good place to camp while traveling somewhere else.

Note: Site 9 is close to the toilet block and the light was shining into the site late, so we switched to site 14. Site 14 is slightly sloped, so be aware if you are putting up a tent there.

Great for RVs

This campground is great for RVs, however the road leading up to the campground is a bit narrow and hard to maneuver a big RV. Once in the park, though, the spots for your RV in your campsite are big and can fit your RV. There was enough room for us to back in our RV as well. There is a campfire pit and table in each campsite. We only stayed here 1 night because we were driving through and needed a place to stay before we went hiking in the morning. There is a great hike about 15 miles away from the campground, so we wanted to stay here instead of getting up super early in the morning and driving 2hrs to hike. There was hook ups for the RV which was really nice too. The weather was perfect when we came in the middle of August. I did notice there were some mosquitos out, but luckily we were in the RV most of the night. Easy access to get back on the highway as well. The wildflowers were amazing on our hike! So many beautiful colors and varieties of flowers. Couldn't stop taking pictures of all of them!

Gorgeous hikes and beautiful lake

One great thing about here is the beautiful lake nearby! My family and I spent our entire day here and had an absolute blast. The lake front views are incredible. You have the option to camp right next to the lake and have the best view ever. They also have spots for RVs for electrical hookups. The sites are amazing because they are orettt big. We fit my dads big truck and all our tents in the campsite we had. There is a small beach area, bike trail which was a lot of fun, an archery range, theater, and great hiking trails. The campfire theater was amazing! You honestly can’t beat that. Some other things we enjoyed were:

  • boat ramp
  • cabins available- although we didn’t stay here
  • fishing
  • area to play basketball, and big grass areas for other activities.
  • Everything was in walking distance

I would definitely call and make reservations beforehand. It wasn’t very busy. The cost is pretty cheap too. For a basic, tent campsite it was $12. More expensive if you use the electrical hookup areas. When we went it was pretty Smokey. There were some fires nearby and the smoke just settled in. That was the only downside of our trip.

Beautiful and Spacious

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!