Information on:

Lucas - 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.


Nicole McKinney

Thursday, March 29, 2018
One of our favorite state parks. Great campground-although very busy. We usually book well ahead. Hotel area is comfortable with a relaxed lodge type feel. Driftwood Restaurant is excellent at breakfast ( don't miss the buffet) and slightly better than average other times. We enjoyed some local live music on the patio; nice experience. Alcohol is a recent addition but the crowd & dancing couples seemed well behaved. Often see wedding parties & business meetings here. Banquet areas are well separated from other guests but pretty accessible to the amenities.

Shahrzad Abbasi-Hare

Saturday, March 24, 2018
Very outdated when it comes to the rooms and the decor, but still very cozy. The lodge room was nice and clean and we had a little coffeemaker and iron/ironing board. The cottage was a nice 2 bedroom with pretty much what you need in the kitchen to prepare your own meals. Also a little outdated in the look and decor. Beautiful surrounding and very charming woodsy look. Very family friendly. Extremely friendly and helpful staff, both in the lodge restaurant and reception.

shirl Whitescarver

Sunday, April 22, 2018
We went to barren river lake lodge state park for a car show. While we were there we ate at the driftwood restaurant .it was very good. We had the 2 piece catfish dinner. The catfish fillets were big fillets and very good. The service was very good also.

Danielle Chilvere

Thursday, April 5, 2018
We rented a two bedroom, two bathroom cabin. With a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and balcony, it provided everything we needed for a comfortable vacation with three kids and three adults. The park itself is beautiful and within driving distance of Mammoth Caves.

Susan Ankrom

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Absolutely love this place! So peaceful and tranquil. We come back year after year. Such a beautiful place to stay, the restaurant is really good, and the staff is SPECTACULAR.

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