The Culinary Trail Kentucky State Parks Road Trip!

The Culinary Trail of Kentucky is a hop, skip and jump away from Tennessee. There are times we can’t take a full week for a vacation; so it’s nice to know that we have some beautiful (and tasty!) locations close by for a visit. Check it out! Special thanks to the Lou Hammond Group for the assets to show you this beautiful part of the country!


Explore the natural wonders and culinary delights on the Kentucky State Park Culinary Trail. The state has been divided into nine diverse regions, each highlighting a specialty that is rooted deep in Kentucky’s history. If in the Bluegrass, Blues and Barbecue region, Pennyrile Forest State Park serves up some of the best burgoo and BBQ mutton in the state, or try the pork shoulder and local cheeses at Barren River Lake State Resort Park in the Caves, Lakes and Corvettes region. You won’t go hungry on the Culinary Trail!

Let’s set out for a delicious trip on the Culinary Trail!

Culinary Trail - Better in the Bluegrass

1. Western Waterlands – Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Calvert City, KY

Harbor Lights Restaurant

Nestled in the lower level of the Village Inn Lodge and offering a view of the last dam on the Tennessee River and the marina, the award winning staff prepares the freshest foods. Harbor Lights is dedicated to bring you the best of western Kentucky hospitality. As a supporter of Kentucky Proud program they utilize locally grown meats and produce when available. 

Visit Kentucky Dam Village State Park for more information about reservations, events, history, and more!

2. Bluegrass, Blues & Barbecue – Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #2 - Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

Sit back and enjoy the peaceful surroundings while checking the new menu, which features traditional Kentucky cuisine, such as, country fried chicken, farm raised catfish and the famous hot brown.

Clifty Creek state park restaurant seats 200, including a private dining room for up to 80. As a supporter of Kentucky Proud program they utilize locally grown meats and produce when available.

Bluegrass Blues BBQ

3. Bourbon, Horses & History – Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #3 - Rough River State Park

Enjoy the panoramic views from the Grayson’s Landing dining room and satisfy your dining pleasure with a variety of daily specials. Chef Calvin Bishop, the Rough River State Park chef, offers diversified menu options from Kentucky country ham to scrumptious catfish. Throughout the year, they offer special themed dining. As a supporter of Kentucky Proud program they utilize locally grown meats and produce when available. The only thing they overlook is the lake!

Grayson's Landing Restaurant

Visit the Rough River Dam State Resort Park website to learn more about special events, lodging, trails, history, reservations, and more!

4. Northern Kentucky River – Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Carlisle, KY

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park offers top-notch camping, lodging, dining and meeting facilities in a historic setting. Check it out!

Culinary Trail Stop #4 - Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park

Hidden Waters restaurant is well known in central Kentucky for its excellent southern cuisine. Among the items featured are southern-fried catfish and country ham which is cured and produced by an excellent Kentucky Proud supplier. 

Visit the Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park website to learn more about this beautiful area!

5. Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone – Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #5 - Natural Bridge State Resort

Natural Bridge State Resort Park is home to the great natural sandstone arch that stands like a sentinel over this mountain hideaway. Located in the midst of the Daniel Boone National Forest, near the Red River Gorge Geological Area, the arch spans 78 feet in length and 65 feet in height. Visitors will find this park a kaleidoscope of spectacular natural beauty with each passing season.

Sandstone Arches Restaurant

Visit Natural Bridge State Resort Park to discover more about the restaurant, lodging, events, and more!

6. Kentucky Appalachians – Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #6 - Jenny Wiley State Resort Park

At Jenny Wiley State Resort Park you will enjoy a variety of activities, from Broadway shows in the amphitheatre to hiking trails through the wilderness and boating.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park

The lodge overlooks Dewey Lake, one of Kentucky’s man-made lakes, with over 50 miles of shoreline and offers plethora of recreation and event opportunities. The park features a Dining Room that seats up to 224 people, Outdoor Ampitheatre, 49 Lodge Rooms, 18- 1 and 2 bedroom cabins and Dewey’s. Dewey’s is a place to relax try new menu items and new beverages.

Visit the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park website to learn more about the amenities.

7. Daniel Boone Country – Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #7 - Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville, KY

Pine Mountain State Resort Park is a Kentucky state park located in Bell County, Kentucky, United States. The park opened in 1924 as Kentucky’s first state park. You’ll be charmed by the skilled craftsmanship of stone and wood through the Herndon J. Evans Lodge, as well as by the cottages and cabins.

Mountain View restaurant

The atmosphere of the Mountain View restaurant is one of engaging serenity and gentle seclusion. Seating is available for 125 people with good viewing from every location. A private dining area seats 25 people. With a new menu and a wider variety of items, you will enjoy your meal while overlooking the spectacular mountain scenery of southeast Kentucky. Views of the mountains change throughout the day – from breakfast with mist-shrouded peaks to dinner with spectacular sunsets.

8. Southern Shorelines – Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #8 - Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown, KY

For Vacation Fun, We’ve Got You Covered! From a cool dip to a hot sauna, from reeling in the big fish to a round of disc golf, however you define vacation fun, it’s here at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.

The Rowena Landing Restaurant offers a panorama view of scenic Lake Cumberland to dining guests. Menu selections reflect the heritage of traditional Kentucky cuisine served with their renowned hospitality in a comfortable setting, for a memorable dining experience. The restaurant also offers specialty buffets throughout the year such as the Buffalo Dinner, our signature holiday buffets on Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Southern Shorelines

Visit the Lake Cumberland State Resort Park website to learn more!

9. Caves, Lakes, & Corvettes – Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas, KY

Culinary Trail Stop #9 - Barren River Lake State Resort Park

From a dip in the pool to a horseback ride, from a game of tennis to boating on the lake, however you define vacation fun, it’s here at Barren River Lake State Resort Park.

The Driftwood Restaurant is famous for hot brown and juicy burgers are on the menu. As a strong supporter of KY Proud products, they buy locally grown products when possible.

Caves, Lakes, & Corvettes

For more information about the State Park Culinary Trail, visit
https://parks.ky.gov/dining/

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