Date of Stay: August, 2009
I've been coming to Diamond Lakes for nearly 30 years, and while it did decline for a number of years, it's coming back, and it shows! People from all walks of life enjoy Diamond because everyone is friendly, the owners genuinely seem to care about how the place looks and that there are plenty of activities to suit young and old alike. We try to camp at Diamond as often as we can if we can't get too far away from home. We take in at least 2 or 3 of the event weekends a year; these can include car shows, BBQ tournaments and Halloween-themed events among others. Golf carts are the primary means of transport within the park, and rentals are available. I use an electric scooter (I'm disabled), and the terrain is suitable for that if you have one. Good thing, too ... if you're parked on the back side, it's a hike to the office/camp store! There's very little not to like about Diamond Lakes. The old restaurant building that is falling into one of the lakes is an eyesore and potential hazard, but aside from that, if you want a nice, clean, friendly place to stay that's close to Kentucky's third largest city (which hosts a good many sports tournaments through the year), you can't beat it.
Date of Stay: July, 2009
Kentucky is in the midst of a fiscal crisis at the state government level, and it sure shows at Lake Barkley SRP. It took months for them to clean up damage from an ice storm in January, but that wasn't all. Broken showers, restroom facilities that were just plain nasty (and that's as nice as I can be about it), and minimal staff on hand are all a direct result of the state cutting funding to a bare minimum. Getting to the park isn't hard, but it is hilly and the roads within the campground are extremely narrow and treacherous, particularly in the rain. Rigs over 25' are going to have a rough time, and be forewarned -- even after all the tree damage from the ice storm, there are a good many low-hanging limbs that haven't been trimmed in years. BEWARE! I mentioned the skeleton staff. We arrived on Friday, and didn't see hide nor hair of a staff member until late Saturday afternoon. I asked if we needed to check in, and he said, "Naw, I see you're here." How did he know we were who we were supposed to be? I also mentioned the restrooms and showers. It's a wonder we all didn't catch some horrible illness from the accumulated filth in the bathhouse. Imagine the worst gas station bathroom you've ever seen and multiply it by 100. It was THAT bad. And if that wasn't bad enough, the bathhouse at the beach was even WORSE! Broken toilets, showers that might work, might not. At least the beach was clean ... As far as provisions, bring plenty of food. The nearest store is in Cadiz, which is about 8-10 miles from the campground. There's a "camp store" on site, but it was closed the entire time we were there, and looked as though it had been the whole time. To add insult to injury, for two of the three nights we stayed, we had loud, drunken neighbors. It didn't help that the sites were THIS CLOSE TOGETHER. Ugh. No, folks, we won't be staying at Lake Barkley SRP again. We've upgraded to a larger rig since this trip, and we'll stay in an upgraded park, too. There are plenty in the area.