Best Tent Camping: Kentucky: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

Best Tent Camping: Kentucky: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization

by Johnny Molloy

Paperback(Second Edition)

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Best Tent Camping: Kentucky by author Johnny Molloy leads you to the best tent camping destinations within the Bluegrass State, describing not only of the campgrounds themselves, but also the fun outdoorsy activities nearby. The book uses a rating system, which includes campground privacy, security, beauty, quiet, and cleanliness, and gives inside tips on how to be enjoy each particular destination from your chosen campground. It also details prices, opening and closing dates, websites, and other information that will help you utilize your precious time to the fullest, enjoying your Kentucky tent camping experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634040044
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Series: Best Tent Camping
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 903,551
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Johnny Molloy has written over 50 books including guidebooks on camping, paddling, and true outdoor adventure books throughout the Eastern United States. Molloy writes for varied magazines, websites, and for his local paper, the Johnson City Press. He is based in Johnson City, TN.

Read an Excerpt

Lake Barkley State Park Campground
You will be surprised at the beauty of this hilly park adjacent to Lake Barkley.
Beauty: 4 stars
Privacy: 3 stars
Spaciousness: 2 stars
Quiet: 4 stars
Security: 3 stars
Cleanliness: 4 stars

P.O. Box 790, Cadiz, KY 42211
OPERATED BY: Kentucky State Parks
CONTACT: 270-924-1131,; reservations: 877-444-6777,
OPEN: April–October
SITE AMENITIES: Picnic table, fire ring; most sites have water and electricity
ASSIGNMENT: First come, first served; no reservations
REGISTRATION: Ranger will come by and register you
FACILITIES: Hot showers, flush toilets, laundry, phone
PARKING: At campsites only
FEE: $12–$16 nonelectric, $15–$21 electric and water
ELEVATION: 450 feet
On leash at all times
FIRES: In fire rings only
ALCOHOL: Prohibited
VEHICLES: Must display a car pass or visitor pass on vehicle
OTHER: 14-day stay limit

I remember the first time I saw this state park. The beauty was surprising. The richly forested wooded hills enveloped me as I rolled off the highway into the park. Sun dappled through the trees. Birds were chirping, and there was a slight hint of cool in the early-summer air. Being a campground aficionado, I checked it out first. The park people had utilized the natural beauty and placed the campground amid this hilly forest on a steep bluff well above Lake Barkley. I vowed I would return one day to overnight. I then checked out the rest of the park, pronounced it a future must-see, and went on my way.

Lake Barkley State Park is a few miles east of the heart of Land Between the Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area, on the Little River Arm of Lake Barkley. The park’s facilities are situated in a mix of high ridges, steep hollows, and lakeside flats. And there are many facilities—a lodge, cottages, a fitness center, a golf course, even an airport! To the park’s credit, most of the facilities are tastefully integrated into the attractive landscape. The lake is the star of the show. So campers can better enjoy it, the park offers a marina, a large boat ramp, and a swim beach. Before you imagine an overdeveloped state park, be aware that the park has a trail system that allows you to explore the hills and hollows of a nature preserve in the park’s interior. The park is more oriented toward developed recreation, however. Still, if you’re looking for a developed resort state park to go along with your tent site, this is a good one.

The setting for the campground is unarguably pretty, but it has some drawbacks. While each campsite has a paved pull-in for your car, there are no designated tent spots. Therefore, the hilly terrain is sometimes so uneven that you will have a hard time pitching your tent and getting a good night’s sleep. Many sites are also a bit close to one another. Some sites are level, but be prepared to look hard for a good site.

The campground loop cruises along the top of the bluffline at first, with some sites overlooking Lake Barkley. The loop road then passes a bathhouse and playground before diving steeply into a hollow where shade is so thick that moss carpets the ground in places. There are some level sites down in the hollow. All campsites back up against the woods because the center of the loop is thickly forested. The loop climbs again past sloped sites before returning to the campground beginning. There is a second bathhouse along the loop.

Campers will find the facilities here first-rate. A foot trail, the Wagon Wheel Trail, leads down to the park’s fine swim beach on Lake Barkley. A basketball court and picnic area are also lakeside. The park lodge, where you can eat well, is located farther down the shoreline, as are a fitness center and spa, a tennis court, and the park marina. If you’re boatless, you can rent anything from a johnboat to a ski boat to a pontoon boat to a Jet Ski. Other pursuits include golfing and trap shooting. In addition to the Wagon Wheel Trail, other hiking paths include the Wilderness Trail, which traverses the heart of the wilderness preserve. The park has 9 miles of trails in all, 7 of which are open to mountain bikes. Park programs are held on summer weekends for adults and children.

After my return visit and spending some time in the park, I was surprised at how this place appealed to such a wide range of visitors, from those who want to stay in the lodge and go to the spa to those who want to pitch their tents in the woods and hike some trails. So instead of attracting just one type of visitor, the park can appeal to those who like a little bit of both worlds.

From Exit 65 on I-24, take US 68/KY 80 west beyond Cadiz to reach KY 1489. Turn right on KY 1489, and follow it 2 miles to the park. Keep forward past the right turn to the golf course to reach the balance of the facilities.

N36° 51.261' W87° 54.931'

Table of Contents

Kentucky Overview Map

Kentucky Map Key i

Best Campgrounds vii

Acknowledgments viii

Preface ix

Introduction 1

West Of 1-65 9

1 Birmingham Ferry-Smith Bay Campground 10

2 Cave Creek Park Campground 14

3 Columbus-Belmont State Park Campground 17

4 Cravens Bay Campground 20

5 Dog Creek Campground 23

6 Energy Lake Campground 26

7 Headquarters Campground 29

8 Hillman Ferry Campground 32

9 Houchins Ferry Campground 36

10 Hurricane Creek Campground 39

11 Lake Barkley State Park Campground 42

12 Lake Malone State Park Campground 45

13 Laurel Branch Park Campground 48

14 Penny rile Forest State Park Campground 51

15 Wax Campground 54

Between the Interstates 57

16 Alum Ford Campground 58

17 Bailey's Point Campground 61

18 Beaver Creek Campground 64

19 Bee Rock Campground 67

20 Blue Heron Campground 70

21 Cumberland Falls State Park Campground 73

22 Dale Hollow Lake State Park Campground 76

23 Fishing Creek Campground 79

24 General Burnside Island State Park Campground 82

25 Great Meadow Campground 85

26 Grove Campground 88

27 Holly Bay Campground 91

28 Holmes Bend Campground 94

29 Kendall Campground 97

30 Pike Ridge Campground 100

31 Rockcastle Campground 103

32 Tailwater Campground 106

33 Waitsboro Campground 109

East of 1-75 113

34 Breaks Interstate Park Campground 114

35 Buckhom Campground 117

38 Carter Caves State Park Campground 120

37 Clear Creek Campground 123

38 Fort Boonesborough State Park Campground 126

39 Grapevine Creek Campground 129

40 Kingdom Come State Park Campground 132

41 Koomer Ridge Campground 135

42 Littcarr Campground 138

43 Natural Bridge State Park Campground 141

44 Paintsville Lake State Park Campground 145

45 Trace Branch Campground 148

46 Turkey Foot Campground 151

47 Twin Knobs Campground 154

48 Wilderness Road Campground 157

49 Yatesville Lake State Park Campground 160

50 Zilpo Campground 163

Appendixes and Index 167

Appendix A Camping Equipment Checklist 167

Appendix B Sources of Information 168

Index 169

About the Author 173

Map Legend

Customer Reviews