Information on:

Barren River Lake State Resort Park

1149 State Park Road

Established January 1, 1965

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.

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 park's 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 Kentucky's 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.


BJ Ward

Friday, Aug. 3, 2018
Just spoke to Lisa, who I think is a supervisor. Unfortunately, something came up and we had to cancel our room reservation for tomorrow. Their cancellation policy is 48 hours. The email states that you “may” be subject to a cancellation fee. I would guess that means there is wiggle room? Like showing some grace and not charging a full nights stay as a fee? Not with Lisa though. Zero grace. Thanks a lot Lisa for setting us back in my family’s saving for Disney. I understand, but at the same time you have the power to waive or charge a partial fee. When I made the reservation, the lodge was booked. Something tells me you’ll be able to book that room in a short amount of time. And you’ll charge those people the same amount. And in doing so you will have taken advantage of our family to the tune of $107. I’ve come to this lake all my life. Probably find a new one to visit now.

Regina dela Cerna

Friday, Aug. 3, 2018
The hotel is definitely old and well worn, but the staff seems to keep it pretty clean. I think every hotel room has a balcony with a lake view. The hiking trails and the lake recreation were fabulous. The have shuffle board, swimming pool, and BEARs den with some animals and nature education for the kids. It felt old school, but my young kids and I had fun. The main lodge smells like a nursing home cafeteria from the restaurant, but all of the food we had was surprisingly good.

Sam Beachy

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
This is a very nice state park. We really enjoyed the campground with the exception of one of the camp hosts, who was entirely too strict with how kids sat on rented golf carts. I think enjoyed being bossy. Aside from the that the park is great. Nice beach, 2 boat ramps, a nice lodge with daily kids activities, and some nice cottages and villas. People were friendly and the gate attendants were always helpful and very much appreciated.

B Darlene Spurlock

Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018
Beautiful location and gorgeous view of lake from room. Friendly staff at both check in and pub. I had to give 3 stars due to marginal cleanliness both inside and out. Exterior lighting was beautiful but covered with mold. The room was dated, dim, and overwhelmingly smelled like mildew. The tub needed a good bleaching. A little more attention to maintenance and cleanliness would have made this a 5 star review.

Jackie A

Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018
Lots to do at Barren River Lake Resort. We had a great day eating the Saturday buffet at the Lodge, swimming at the beach, and riding horses at the stable. The buffet had a large selection of good choices. My favorite was the ice cream cake for dessert. The beach is pretty rocky I would recommend water shoes. Our whole family rode horses and had a great time.

Barren River Lake State Resort Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media

Upcoming Events at Barren River Lake State Resort Park

Summer Concert - The Hiding

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Lucas, KY
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