The picture above isn’t from an exotic travel brochure, it’s a picture of Kentucky’s own Rough River Lake.Ã?Â I took the picture on one of Rough River Dam State Resort Park’s Lady of the Lake boat Tours. You MUST go on one of these tours of Rough River Lake. Your jaw will drop, like, a hundred times.
Michael and I recently spent the weekend at Rough River Dam State Resort Park in Falls of Rough, Kentucky.Ã?Â This beautiful state park is less than an hour SE of Owensboro, Kentucky and a few short minutes from Leitchfield.Ã?Â Rough River Dam State Resort Park overlooks a 5,000-acre lake, Rough River Lake, which I found especially intriguing.Ã?Â From the Balcony of our lodge room, the view would lead you to believe that the lake wasn’t very big. It looks sort of like a wide (but beautiful) river from this vantage point. A river with exceptionally clean and clear water, I might add.Ã?Â However, when we took the Lady of the Lake II Boat Tour, I quickly realized that there’s a lot more to Rough River Lake than you first realize.
A lot more!
First of all, the water is gorgeous – it’s a beautiful color that lies somewhere between blue and green. A color I’m not sure anyone’s even come up with a name for yet.Ã?Â I just called it “absolutely beautiful“Ã?Â – each and every time I looked at it. I must have said the words a gazillion times while we were there.
As we rode in the pontoon boat on the tour of the lake, I was mesmerized by all of the gorgeous rock formations and cliffs along the shoreline. A few formed coves that you could pull a boat into and lose yourself in the beauty and tranquility.Ã?Â Islands, coves, inlets, rock formations, and clear “absolutely beautiful” water provide people of all ages with endless enjoyment.
Along the way we saw older couples leisurely enjoying the day on their boats, young people riding on sea doos, families along the shore swimming, boats pulling jet skiers, men fishing (and no doubt telling great fish stories!) in the inlets, couples walking hand in hand along shorelines, parents teaching kids to swim along the banks, and quite a few people (including Michael and me) photographing everything and just feeling blessed to be a part of it all.
Breakfast at Grayson’s Landing: Fried Eggs, Sausage, Bacon, Pancakes, Fried Potatoes, and Coffee!
Grayson’s Landing Restaurant
We ate each meal at the Grayson’s Landing Restaurant in the lodge. Each meal featured a buffet, which were always excellent, but I enjoyed the meals we ordered off of the menu even more.Ã?Â I will say this, however, the Salisbury Steak, Banana Pudding, and Coconut Cream Pie (off of the buffet) were outstanding.Ã?Â The banana pudding was one of the top 2 banana puddings I’ve ever had in my life and the coconut cream pie was the best coconut cream pie I’ve ever had. Ever. Given the fact that this is one of my favorite desserts in the world, this is saying something. I’ve eaten coconut cream pie practically all over the country! Yet the one I had at Rough River Dam State Resort Park beat them all. The crust was perfect and the pie literally melted in my mouth. It was as light as a feather – so much so that I’m convinced “air” had to be listed in the ingredients.
It was simply outstanding and I’d walk across glass for another piece right now. Barefoot.
The Salisbury Steak that was on the lunch buffet Friday was also mouth-wateringly delicious. I’ve never had Salisbury Steak this good. The gravy was so flavorful my mouth is watering at the memory.
A few other foods that stood out were the pancakes and fried potatoes. The flavorful potatoes were so great, I almost didn’t add any ketchup. Can you imagine? However, when I saw that they were cool and classy enough to have my beloved Heinz, I had to add some. But just a little. The potatoes were that good.
The pancakes also outdid themselves.Ã?Â I’ve been in fancy shmancy restaurants who’s pancakes only wished they were this good. They were cooked perfectly and every bite was worthy of applause.
Like all of the restaurants in Kentucky’s State Parks, the tea and coffee were also uncommonly excellent. Funny thing happens when you use only the best tea and the best coffee beans – excellence happens and Joi smiles. I usually order sweet iced tea with lemon and Michael always orders unsweetened tea with lemon. Both ways were over the moon fantastic.Ã?Â But if you want a real taste of the south, go with sweet tea.Ã?Â It’s just the thing after a day on the lake or golf course.
Uncommonly Friendly People
When Michael and I visit any place – whether it’s Kentucky State Parks, restaurants, zoos, or someplace else – we do something I call “taking it’s pulse.”Ã?Â This is done simply enough. All you have to do is look at, listen to, and observe the staff.Ã?Â Ã?Â No place… no matter how grand.. will ever be better than its staff.Ã?Â We’ve been places that were gorgeous, but the staff was so rude that we simply don’t go back.Ã?Â We’ve also been places where the people were so warm that the place, itself, seemed to grow more beautiful right before our eyes.
When I say that people should pay the utmost attention to the individuals they hire, I mean it.Ã?Â Your staff members (each and every one) are ambassadors for you and representatives of your facility. They, literally, give your institution a face and voice.
I’m thrilled to say that the people at Rough River Dam State Resort Park were amongst the friendliest, happiest, and most personable people we’ve ever come across. From Michael, the park manager and Geoff the recreational director to the wonderful staff in Grayson’s Landing Restaurant and from the wonderfully friendly staff at the Pro Shop to the gentleman who conducted the Lady of the Lake Boat Tour and from the ladies in the gift shop to the BUSY lady at the front desk, everyone was uncommonly friendly, helpful, accommodating, and seemed genuinely glad to have guests.Ã?Â Everyone smiled – even when they were incredibly busy.
The lady at the front desk was so busy a couple of times I wanted to climb behind the desk and help her!Ã?Â For a period of time, the phones just never stopped ringing. Yet, each and every time, she answered with such warmth that you’d think it was the only call she’d taken all day.Ã?Â She kept smiling and she kept making each caller and visitor feel as though they were the only person in her world at that time.
This particular weekend was extra busy because of a Bluegrass show. Everybody loves bluegrass!Ã?Â Friday night, the restaurant was hopping like crazy – but the servers stayed on top of everything and.. again… they never forgot their smiles.
Even though we were only there one weekend, I almost felt like I was leaving friends behind when we left.Ã?Â The staff makes you feel THAT welcome and THAT at home.
Honestly, even across the street from the State Park, they were incredibly friendly at The Rough River General Store! Apparently the great vibe at the State Park carried across the street. They treated you like lifelong friends each time you walked into the store and, let me tell you, they make a MEAN stromboli!
I didn’t mention them above, because I wanted to save them for this spot, but the campgrounds were manned by a couple of characters!Ã?Â One older man, who’d been with the Park for a very long time, was what could only be described as a hoot.Ã?Â No doubt he keeps the other guys in stitches.Ã?Â They were each extremely fun and friendly.Ã?Â Everyplace in the world should have workers like them.Ã?Â I’ll tell you this, the world would be a much funner place if they did.
Lady of the Lake Boat Tours
The Lady of the Lake Boat Tour is really something special. These tours are, of course, done seasonally, so you’ll want to call for availability.Ã?Â Up to 30 people at a time can go on these daily tours. Pricing is $8.00 for adults and $3.00 for kids. Trust me, it’s money well spent. The guide will tell you fascinating facts about Rough River Lake and the scenery has to be seen to be believed.
When we took the tour, our guide gave the kids in the group special fish posters. The kids enjoyed the boat tour as much as the rest of us.Ã?Â Trust me, this is something you’ll definitely want to experience. Remember your camera!
The pictures below were some of the pictures we took on the Lady of the Lake Boat Tour. I wish the first one had turned out clearer. If you look in the bottom left corner of the picture you’ll see that a man is actually swimming amongst a group of beautiful Canadian Geese! Can you imagine?
I’m working on a series of articles and picture slideshows dedicated to Rough River Dam State Resort Park. There’s simply too much to cover at one time. I hope you’ll watch for these articles and I hope even more that you’ll grab a map (oh, right about now would be good) and plan your trip to Rough River Dam State Resort Park and Rough River Lake SOON. Grab your fishing pole, your golf clubs, your family, and most definitely your camera, and prepare to make some beautiful memories.
Upcoming articles will cover:
- Par 3 Golf Course
- Miniature Golf
- Camping at Rough River Dam State Resort Park
- Activities at Rough River Dam State Resort Park
And I’m pretty sure I’ll be licking my lips and talking about Grayson’s Landing again.Ã?Â And again… and again…
Read more about Rough River Dam State Resort Park (and see more pictures we took during our stay) by clicking the link.
Useful PDFs (links will open in new window):
- Rough River Summer Golf Packages (through July 28, 2012)