BARREN RIVER LAKE STATE RESORT PARK
A movement by the people of Barren County to establish a park next to the lake became a reality on January 1, 1965. The state purchased adjoining farms to extend the park site and the Louisville Corps of Engineers donated acreage to round out the parks boundaries. In 1966 the park constructed a boat dock with a marina. The Department of the Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, approved a total development project of $3,469,000. A federal grant of $1,734,500 funded 50 percent of the estimated cost.
In 1971 the Louie B. Nunn State Lodge opened. The lodge overlooks the beautiful 10,000-acre lake. Barren River Lake is located in some of Kentuckys most scenic countryside. On the first weekend in June the park hosts Glasgow Highland Games, a festival celebrating Scottish heritage. Thousands of people attend this popular event each year.
Vast forests did not cover all of Kentucky. In the south-central portion of the state an area of open grasslands known as the Barrens made a stark contrast to the heavily forested terrain surrounding it. Native Americans had repeatedly burned the forests that once covered the region as a means to stampede and kill big game. These fires created an open savannah that in turn drew all types of wild game to feed off its lush grasses. Buffalo herds migrated eastward across the Mississippi to Illinois, and then to Kentucky. These herds came to the Barrens and multiplied, providing food and clothing for the Indians.
The open lands of the Barrens also drew settlers who found the treeless areas easy to cultivate. Originally the pioneers thought the treeless grasslands infertile because of the lack of forestation. They soon found the soil to be some of the best that they had encountered. Farms and communities soon began to cover the area. In 1798 Barren County became the 37th county of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Taken from parts of Green and Warren counties, Barren consisted of 1,500 square miles. Beginning in 1815, the county had 1,000 square miles taken away to create portions of Allen, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, and Monroe Counties.
Although Barren County had a railroad, most of south-central Kentucky remained isolated. The need for development became a topic for most civic and government organizations. A dam on Barren River had economic potential in the promotion of tourism. By 1960, construction of a 146 foot-high dam began on the river. When completed the dam had created Barren River Lake. The lake covers 10,000 acres and has a shoreline of 141 miles. The Louisville division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed and built the dam. They continue to maintain the lake.
Looking to sleep closer to nature Let the sounds of the outdoors lull you to sleep in the 99-site campground. Utility hookups are available. For your convenience, a dump station and two central service buildings with showers and rest rooms are offered. Closed Nov 1 - Mar 31. Pets are allowed if restrained. Electric service at all sites 100V/30A. Laundry facilities available $1.75 wash / $1.25 dry. Please call for rates
Surrounded by rolling, tree-covered hills, the lodge overlooks the beautiful 10,000-acre lake. The lodge has 51 rooms and offers full amenities. Open year-round. Rooms are available by late afternoon. Lodge room check-out by 1100am, local time. A limited number of lodge rooms and cottages will be available for pets.
High speed wireless internet service available at the lodge.
Enjoy the contemporary styling of the park's 22 cottages. Each cottage has two bedrooms and two baths. Several of our cottages provide charming lake views while other cottages are nestled in the woods providing a cozy getaway. Tableware, cooking utensils, and linens are provided, with fresh linen available daily. Open year-round. Cottages are available by late afternoon. Check out by 1000am, local time. A limited number of cottages will be available for pets, please contact the park to inquire about availability.
Outdoor pool available seasonally, 1000 a.m. to 900 p.m. for exclusive use of lodge and cottage guests. Restroom facilities are available. Pool towels provided, cover-ups required in lodge areas. Ext. 2615.
The marina has 100 open slips, 40 covered slips, a launching ramp, jet skis and boat fishing, pontoon, ski boats, and kayaks rentals available. Marina telephone 1-800-699-2628.
Barren River Lake also is unsurpassed for fishing pleasure. With an abundance of hybrid bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish, you are sure to get a bite
A Kentucky Fishing License is required.
Don't have fishing equipment No problem Ask at the park front desk or recreation office about their fishing loaner program where you can check out FREE equipment.