Michael and I spent Sunday afternoon at one of our favorite places in Kentucky, Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in Dawson Springs. This quiet, peaceful, and uncommonly beautiful beautiful state park never ceases to amaze me. Seriously, each time we go, I’m taken aback by its beauty and charm.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m someone who loves nature like it’s her job. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. Put me in the middle of the great outdoors and I’m like a kid on Christmas morning.
I absolutely live for visiting and photographing parks, state parks, zoos, public gardens, forests, lakes, etc. Over the years, I’ve noticed with these places that the one essential KEY to showcasing nature’s beauty is this: Don’t get in the way. Just let nature’s beauty shine through.
The Kentucky State Parks are masters at doing this very thing, and nobody does it any better than Pennyrile Forest State Park. Everywhere you look you’ll see nature showing off – from the thick beautiful forest to the beautiful lake, this is one very special park.
We walked around the park, enjoying the peace and quiet for about an hour. We watched squirrels, birds, and even a chubby ground hog, behind the lodge, and decided that they were all enjoying the day as much as we were.
Frankly, I think it’d be impossible NOT to enjoy a day at Pennyrile Forest State Park.
After working up an appetite, we went to the Clifty Falls Restaurant (downstairs in the beautiful lodge). We were trying to decide what to order, then our VERY warm and friendly server told us the soup and salad buffet was only $6.99. She said the soups of the day were brown bean and chicken vegetable. We both thought that sounded too good to pass up.
After we sat down with our soup and salad, our server came back by and told us to help ourselves to the bread on the buffet. She didn’t have to tell me twice! When I saw fried cornbread, I loaded up a plate and returned to the table. Michael did all but give me a standing ovation. Fried cornbread is one of his favorite things in the world. The soup was already outstanding, but the fried cornbread just took it to a whole Heavenly new place.
It was so cool of our server to point the bread out to us – I appreciated it a lot.
She was, truth be told, a very sweet person. Over the course of our meal, I noticed several times how extra sweet she was to some of her elderly guests at a nearby table. She was very sweet, very respectful, and treated each one as though they were a beloved grandparent. At one point an older lady stood up and started to make her way toward the buffet. Our server came rushing over and asked if there was anything in particular she could get for her. The little (and adorable!) lady said, “I wanted another roll…” and our server told her she’d be more than glad to get one for her.
It just struck me as a very kind thing to do and I thought how lucky Pennyrile Forest State Park is to have a woman like this on their staff. She reflects beautifully on the entire park. That’s the kind of southern hospitality we Kentuckians are known for and I always, always, always love to see it in action.
The cornbread was excellent, as was the brown bean soup. They were a match made in southern Heaven. Pennyrile always has a wonderful salad bar, too, and an above par lunch and dinner buffet. They do, of course, have a menu you can order from if you prefer that over the buffet. The fried catfish is fantastic, as is the Kentucky Hot Brown.
After enjoying our wonderful lunch, I visited the gift shop while Michael paid for our lunch. It’s a wonderful maneuver I’ve perfected over the years… “Honey, you pay while I go shop…” I love our Kentucky State Parks greatly, so I’m all for supporting them every chance I get – luckily the gift shops are always filled with wonderful things I NEED in the worst possible way.
On this trip, one of the things I grabbed was a jar of Plum Jam. It’s tough to find Plum jam and the state park gift shops are some of the only places I’m ever to find this personal favorite. I used it this afternoon to make some delicious Thumbprint Cookies. My daughters and husband didn’t seem to mind that one bit.
We sat in the beautiful lodge for a while enjoying the peace and quiet, then went outside and walked around the lodge one last time before heading home. The landscaping, flowers, plants, and bird feeding stations were gorgeous, as always Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park is just totally and completely on their game, and these pictures don’t even begin to do the park justice.
I hope you’ll visit Pennyrile Forest State Park as soon as you possibly can. Whether you make it a day trip or an overnight stay (in their beautiful lodge rooms or cottages), I know Pennyrile Forest State Park will blow you away. The friendly staff, wonderful Clifty Falls Restaurant, beautiful lodge, and breathtaking scenery will make this one of your favorite getaways too.
For more pictures of Pennyrile Forest State Park, check out our photo album. I just updated it with the pictures from this recent trip. Look for the chubby groundhog in the background of one of the pictures. So cute! She wouldn’t stay still, so I couldn’t get a good picture of her.
Maybe next time… and, rest assured, there will be a next time.
More Pennyrile State Resort Park on Genuine Kentucky:
- Pennyrile State Resort Park Pictures
- Things to Do at Pennyrile State Park!
- Pennyrile State Resort Park Events
- Kentucky Picture of the Day from Pennyrile State Park
- Pennyrile Forest’s Clifty Creek Restaurant Review
- Beautiful Picture of Pennyrile Forest
- Perfect Afternoon at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
- Secluded Lodge at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park!
- Beautiful Deer at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
- Best Fried Catfish Sandwich in Kentucky
- Best Trails for Hiking in Kentucky