If you’re looking for a family lake vacation with something for everyone to enjoy, Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park has a variety of options sure to fit everyone’s desires. Located in Burkesville, Kentucky, along the Obey River, the state resort park sits on the north shore of Dale Hollow Lake. The park’s 3,400 acres of property lie amongst beautiful Kentucky wilderness and offer spectacular views of forested hills and Dale Hollow Lake.
Established in 1997, Dale Hollow is one of Kentucky’s newest state parks. A renowned golf course and world-famous fishing are only the start of everything this park has to offer.
Mary Ray Oaken Lodge
Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park has a range of lodging options for those looking for any type of stay during their vacation. The Mary Ray Oaken Lodge stands out as the most lavish lodging option; its limestone and massive timber beams are perched atop a bluff overlooking the lake and surrounding woodlands, making for spectacular views. The lodge’s 60 guest rooms, each with private balconies/patios, and full-service restaurant create a relaxing atmosphere for its guests.
For those looking for a more secluded option, the state park offers cottages and cabins with A/C available for rent.
For those opting to bring their own shelter for their stay, the park hosts a 145-site campground to accommodate for tents and RVS.
The park is a perfect place for special events and retreats, and can accommodate large groups. Check their website for more information regarding group stays and events.
With a 27,000 acre lake in its backyard, visitors of the park can expect to take part in a variety of different water activities, including fishing, boating, and swimming. Travelers come from near and far to fish in the Dale Hollow Lake, whose waters once held the world record for the largest smallmouth bass ever caught. This “fisherman’s paradise” is stocked with bluegill, trout, crappie, and muskie, making it an excellent fishing location.
The Dale Hollow Marina hosts a dock and 200 boat slips for those interested in boating around the large lake. Recreational and fishing boats are available for rental.
The lake also makes for great swimming around its 64 square mile perimeter. Multiple outdoor pools at the lodge and campground create a variety of options for swimmers to cool off during the summer months.
Birding and eagle watching
Avid bird watchers will be excited to hear that the park’s wooded habitat and waterfront location makes for abundant bird watching of both native and migratory species. Eagles, Hawks, Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, Green Heron, Indigo Bunting, and Scarlet Tanager are a few of the many species that can be seen throughout the area.
Eagle Point trail stands out as the most notable birding location within the park; its opportunities to view raptors and water birds are among the best in the area. Come during December-February for the best chances of sighting eagles around the lake.
Dale Hollow Lake Resort Park offers facilities for several sports, notably golf and basketball.
The Dale Hollow golf course is a long, 18-hole course known for its hilly terrain that provides a challenging game. The golf course hosts a fully-equipped pro shop, a driving range, and opportunities for rental carts.
Those looking to downsize their golf game can play on the park’s 18-hole mini golf course, which sports a nautical theme and is full of fun water features.
The park also has basketball courts with sporting equipment available to rent from the front lodge.
Those looking to stretch their legs and venture onto the hilly terrain of the park can do so on 15 miles of multipurpose trails designated for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The trails are mostly made up of old logging roads which wind their way along the park’s ridgetops, giving hikers, bikers, and equestrians great views of the surrounding area.
Visitors can take guided tours of nearby Cindy Cave, where a reservation and rental gets you a helmet, light, and kneepads to explore the cave with a knowledgeable guide. The cave is open for touring from Memorial Day-Labor Day and by appointment for winter tours.