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“Park Is Nice, Campground Needs Improvement”

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Pennyrile Forest State Resort Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dawson Springs
Reviewed 31 July 2011

I just came home from a trip to Pennyrile State Park in Dawson Springs, and overall, a nice time was had. We brought our 3 kids, ages 12, 8, and 6 and stayed at the campground, site #10 in a pop-up camper.

Here are the CONS we experienced:
The site was not level for placing lawn chairs around it. The fire pit wasn't even level and sitting around it in the evening was somewhat of a challenge. The site was paved, however, my husband still had quite a hard time getting the pop-up level at this site. There was a very rocky, dirt patch (no grass) off the pavement for our chairs. Luckily, it did not rain while we camped or it would have been a muddy nightmare. Cigarrette butts were everywhere from previous campers - which I felt was either poor ground maintenance/management or lack of funding for such. Weeds were growing all around the campfire ring. The bathrooms were clean, but there was no air conditioning -- there were approximately 5 small box-size windows that were cracked open. It was like an oven in there on a 90 degree afternoon. The showers were nearly unacceptable. The shower heads in the women's bath didn't appear to have been changed in many years. Keep in mind, this state park opened in 1954 and doesn't appear to have changed much -- AT ALL -- since that time. Firewood was pretty expensive (in my opinion) at $5 per small bundle.

Here are the PROS:
Staff was friendly. The lake is lovely and we really enjoyed the paddle boat we rented. At $6.50 per hour, I thought that was very reasonable. The beach was OK. Park rangers patrolled the area regularly, and it felt safe. I did see other sites that I thought I would like better. I just don't recommend site #10. The kids enjoyed the mini golf on site at the campground.

HIKING is wonderful here. My family and I enjoyed a 2.25 mile hike around the lake and through the forrest. The path was easy to follow, except for a few downed trees and some up hill climbs. I felt somewhat challenged, which is good! There are also other shorter trails in th park, but I did not get a chance to experience them. The lodge isn't anything fancy but it was nice. The kids enjoyed some of the old-school stand up arcade games from the 80's in the game room and I picked out some helpful brochures. We got lucky because they held Camper Appreciation on Sunday afternoon, and welcomed the campers to come and swim at the pool. My daughters loved that part. It was very refreshing on a hot summer day. The pool area was very clean, but the patio furniture could certainly use some updating. No shade, and only one table with an umbrella that was broken. From the pool area, you can enjoy an amazing view of the lake below.

We probably won't be back, but that's only because I know there are several other campgrounds we still want to experience and enjoy. Maybe someday down the road...many years from now. A trip in late October to see the dazzling colors of the forrest might be worth the trip. It you want a very clean, well maintained campground to visit, especially if you have a pop-up or a large RV, you will love Columbus-Belmont State Park. The views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding grounds are amazing.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kristin78Kentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 57 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2011

We stayed in cottage #508, which is the 1 bedroom cottage with a loft. It was really cute, rustic, and felt like a retreat. It has a fully equipped kitchen with plates, glasses, pots, pans, etc ... also has a stove, fridge, and kitchen table for 4. Living room has 2 entrances from outside. There is the main door and then a deck on the side that overlooks the lake from a wooded view. The open loft is a small space, but has a queen bed tucked away up there. Watch your head because the ceiling slants and I woke up and had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and about took my head off my shoulders. LOL.

There are alot of stairs. Climbing will be on your agenda. None of the cabins/cottages are wheelchair accessible (from what I could tell), I know ours wasn't. There is a fishing dock down on the lakeshore, but it is very hard to get to. The path is not people friendly and not created by man, but by nature. Be prepared to use roots as stairs. But once your down there, it is very peaceful.

The Lodge offer a great dining cuisine either from the buffet or the menu. I've had both and they are very delicious. There is a pool at the Lodge for overnight guests, but their is also a public beach set aside on a small cove on the lake. The lodge has a gameroom if you get bored, and all rooms and cabins have WIFI. Yay!!!

The only negative thing I have to say is that cell reception is not available, which bothered me at first, but I ended up really appreciating it and relaxing. Oh, and get gas before you get to the park. There aren't any gas stations near there and the closest town is Dawson Springs which is 10 miles away.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Urbs2Huds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2011

The lake, trails, wildlife, flora, forest, lodge and cabin settings make an awesome place for photographers to spend a weekend. Rustic, secluded, no crowds, peaceful, serene, beautiful. Also great for hiking, canoeing and golf. Live close by but still love to go for a weekend so I can get up at sunrise to take photos. Beautiful view of lake from dining room. The weekend I was there the "continental breakfast" included bisquits and gravy and cheese omelets.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AngelaNorfleet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2011

We wanted to just get away for the night and this was absolutley perfect. Our room was great,,,loved the balacony overlooking the lake and little dam. We went on some of the hiking trails and it was just so nice. If your looking for a beautiful, peaceful get away you couldn't find a nicer place. We ate in the dining room there and the food was delicious and the staff was great. We will definitely go back and would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank holly42071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2010

My wife and I enjoy more quiet and subdued getaways as opposed to fast-paced trips to bigger cities and urban areas. If you happen to be the same way, I highly recommend Pennyrile Forest State Resort. Quiet and seclusion are the key words here. The park and lodge are located a few miles south of the small town of Dawson Springs in the middle of a state forest. And when I say seclusion, I mean seclusion. It can even be kind of hard to find if it's your first visit. There isn't a whole lot around. With the exception of fishing, hiking trails, and a pool (only seasonal), there's not a whole heck of a lot to do (unless you're a golfer). And that's fine with me, but because of the lack of activities, I would not recommend a family with children to visit this particular park. For me however, the quiet isolation makes this resort park well worth it.

The lodge is similar to a typical motel. It could use a few updates, but the rooms are comfortable and clean. Every room has either a private balcony or patio over-looking the lake, with outstanding views. There are a few walking trails that are easily accessible near the lodge and offer visitors the option to experience the lake a little closer and the forest. The overall service was well above average and the gentleman who was working the front desk both at our arrival and check-out was very friendly and helpful.

My only complaint however, was the restaurant. Like other state resorts we have stayed at, the restaurant at Pennyrile was somewhat disappointing. The dinner we had the night of our stay was not worth the price we paid. I got the all you can eat buffet, and while the salad bar was decent, the entrees were very sub-par. My wife, who I will admit is a picky eater, ordered a sandwich off the menu and said it was average at best. The service wasn't all that great either. The waitress acted as if she wanted to be anywhere but there, and the young lady running the register also seemed to be very disinterested. This experience was very disappointing especially considering that there are no other dining establishments for miles around. However, breakfast the next morning was much better (especially in quality) and the service was much improved as well.

Other than the mediocre dinner, our stay at Pennyrile was worth the trip and price. Like I said, if you like a quiet destination, enjoy nature, and don't mind a location off the beaten path, I'm confident you'll enjoy Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TheLakelander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2008

We stayed at one of Pennyrile State Resort's cottages. It was very clean and accomodating. Pennyrile SRP is likely the most picturesque natural local in this part of the country. Quite beautiful and inspiring. I recommend for anyone interested in hiking, fishing, golfing, or just relaxing in the peaceful environs.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank missusg2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2008

Located about 20 minutes north of Hopkinsville. As its namesake suggest, this SP is abundant with lush forest. It’s a really peaceful; just like Buckhorn Lake SRP in Eastern Kentucky this lodge has an ‘at the end of the road’ feel. The rustic lodge sits close to a cliff overlooking the lake. We had nice views of the lake from our room. We woke up with ground hogs outside our room; most places its raccoons or opossums. The rooms were clean, no complaints. The food was typical for a state park. I’m never disappointed. The lunch prices are generally competitive with fast food joints. You can hike, play mini golf, camp, swim in the lake, take in a picnic, play a round of golf, play on a playground, tennis, fishing, basketball or just drop quarters in the Ms. Pacman arcade game located in the lobby game room (that is after you have your morning dip in the pool).

  • Stayed: June 2008
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Thank jake_brake2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pennyrile Forest State Resort Lodge

Address: 20781 Pennyrile Lodge Rd, Dawson Springs, KY 42408-9250
Region: United States > Kentucky > Dawson Springs
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dawson Springs
Price Range: £49 - £86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pennyrile Forest State Resort Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Pennyrile Forest State Hotel Dawson Springs

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