Dawson Springs, Kentucky
Despite its many provisions for outdoor activities, this is a quiet, secluded resort pleasantly situated on a slope overlooking a small lake and beach. Its name comes from pennyroyal, an aromatic wildflower. The grounds of Pennyrile Lodge, which is built of native stone, are landscaped with flowering shrubs, including the delicately scented fringe tree.
With a sandy beach and a beach pavilion, the 56-acre lake attracts many swimmers. Rowboats, canoes, and pedal boats are available for rent. Lake Beshear, four miles from the lodge, is popular with fishermen, who try for crappies, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegills.
Several trails wander through the park and the adjacent 15,000-acre forest, where white-tailed deer and wild turkeys are often seen. Bobcats also live here but rarely appear. Cardinals, wrens, and mourning doves fill the woods with their songs, particularly in spring.
The park offers an 18-hole golf course, a tennis court, a basketball court, and three playgrounds. The picnic area, overlooking the lake, is equipped with tables and grills. The park also has a campground open seasonally. The park’s lodge, cottages, and restaurant are open year-round.
Campground open daily Mar.–Nov.; lodge and park open year-round.