Park Highlight – Jenny Wiley State Park

August 09, 2021

Park Highlight – Jenny Wiley State Park

Hi Woo Family,

Located in the heart of Appalachia Jenny Wiley State Park is the perfect getaway location in southeastern Kentucky.  The park which is over 2,800 acres is chalked full of wildlife and fun. The park has a 1,100-acre lake that draws guests for swimming, boating, fishing, and other aquatic activities. We hope this post provides a little bit of insight into what you can expect from Jenny Wiley State Park. 

The Wildlife

While summer might seem like the best time to visit a state park, the winter is the time to experience what makes Jenny Wiley particularly unique. Elk viewing tours are offered from January through early March. Starting in 1997 elk were reintroduced into Kentucky. Jenny Wiley State Park is one area where the elk have thrived. In the spring another large attraction at the park is bird watching.  You will be able to see many warblers including the American Redstarts, Eastern Bluebirds, and even Bald Eagles.  Jenny Wiley is a great location for avid fishermen or women. Dewey Lake has largemouth and hybrid striped bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. Please note a Kentucky Fishing License is required.

The Water

Fishing isn’t the only water activity available parkgoers can also enjoy swimming, boating, or kayaking at Dewey Lake. The lake offers 153 boat slips, and the park offers canoe and pontoon boat rentals from April to November. Make sure to grab ice, drinks, and snacks are the marina before you head out on the water. Dewey Lake offers refuge on a hot summer day and is the perfect place to swim, but if you prefer a dip without the fish check out the May Lodge which has a huge swimming pool open after Memorial Day.

The Trails

Jenny Wiley State Park has 12 different hiking/ biking trails ranging from easy to hard. The shortest and easiest trail is the Sassafras Loop at 0.75-mile. The Escalator is the longest trail coming in at 2.5 miles and is considered a hard trail. You really can’t leave Jenny Wiley without hiking at least one of the trails especially since three miles of trails allow for mountain biking. Each trail provides a different scenic view of the park allowing for some amazing photos.

Have you ever been to Jenny Wiley State Park? What is your favorite state park? Tell us in the comments.


Stay Wild,

Wise Owl Team

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