One of the most popular summer resort sites in the South was located at Grayson Springs, five miles from the town of Leitchfield. The waters of the white sulfur springs drew hundreds of guests to the area. A three-storied hotel accommodated the many guests who came to “take the waters.” The historic old structure burned in 1907, ending the history of one of Kentucky’s most visited health spas of the nineteenth century.
The park has a paved airstrip that makes it a very convenient landing place for private planes. By November 1, 1962, a lodge with 24 rooms had been completed. In 1965 through the sale of revenue bonds, the Kentucky Parks Department financed a number of improvements to the parks system. Rough River’s allotment consisted of nearly $400,000. An additional 16 rooms were added to the lodge along with other improvements. The parks system also added an additional 30 acres to the Rough River site. Rough River continued to grow throughout the 1960s. Monetary investment in the park amounted to over two million dollars. The park is open year round.
Orienteering is a sport in woods navigation where a person uses a map and compass to complete a course. It can be done by yourself or with your family. It is a great way to spend part of the day discovering new parts of the park! Rough River Dam State Resort Park offers a 3.8 km permanent orienteering course featuring 13 controls (check points) in a mixed forest and park-like setting.
Choose from lodge or campground locations.
Summer and fall are the best seasons for birding at Rough River. Species that may be seen include shorebirds and waterfowl, colorful spring and summer neotropical migrants, and raptor species. Common year-round sightings include Eastern Bluebirds, swallows, warblers, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, American Robins, woodpeckers, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Wild Turkey, & Red-tailed Hawks. Fall and winter brings about sightings of the Red-breasted Nuthatch, Dark- eyed Junco, Evening Grosbeak and shorebirds such as the Ring-billed Gull.
There are many good locations for birding throughout the park. Some of the best locations would include the Lake Ridge Nature Trail, the wooded areas near the campground, from the back patio of the lodge down towards the lake, and the open meadows near the lodge. The best way to see certain species including the Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron is to take our Lady of the Lake II tour. Eagles are also sometimes spotted from the park near the dam and beach area early in the morning.
Rough River Lake is the perfect location for the water sports enthusiast. The marina offers 120 open slips, 31 houseboat slips, 48 covered slips, and rental pontoon boats. Marina open year-round. Call 270-257-2311 for fees. Launching ramp available year-round.
New 18-Hole Lake-side Disc Golf Course with Recreational and Championship Tees. New 18-hole disc golf course with tees for both novice and expert players. Picturesque and challenging course includes a number of lake-side holes. Loaner discs available at the lodge front desk.
The avid angler will delight in the abundance of largemouth, white, and Kentucky bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, and rough fish.A Kentucky Fishing License is required.
The Lake Ridge Trail, a one-mile nature trail along the shoreline, links the lodge, marina and cottage areas. This is a great trail for bird watching and offers beautiful lake views. For a quiet walk in the woods, the Army Corps of Engineers maintain a self-guided interpretive trail, the Folklore Trail which is a 0.7 mile loop and includes an old pioneer cabin.
A beautiful miniature 18-hole golf course near the lodge provides family entertainment. Seasonal.
Perfect picnic outings are in store at Rough River Dam. Tables, grills, and playgrounds are located throughout the park and a picnic shelter near the beach is available for rental up to three years in advance.
Playgrounds are located throughout the park.
Shuffleboard courts are located on the lodge patio. Equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.
A pool is available for lodge and cottage guests.
Meet your opponent on the court for a game of tennis. Three tennis courts are near the beach; one tennis court is lighted. We have two tennis courts and a volleyball court. Sports equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.
A sand volleyball court is located at the beach. Sports equipment is available for check out at lodge desk.