Camp Hosting @ Dale Hollow Lake State Park, Kentucky

May 28, 2021

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is located at the southernmost point of central Kentucky. A large majority of the lake is actually in Tennessee although the park is in Kentucky.

Dale Hollow Lake is about 26,000 acres while the more famous Lake Cumberland (just to the north and east on the map below) is about 65,000 acres in size.

You can see the KY/TN state border just below the red balloon at Dale Hollow

We started as Camp Hosts in mid-April and we’ll be here until just after the July 4th holiday. They wanted us for the whole season but Kathy and I like to keep moving a little more often so we try to get working/volunteering gigs of 3 months or less so we’re not sitting in one place for too long.

Our site is in Loop Q. There are a total of 144 sites, 8 sites in each of the 18 loops. The loops are all circle shaped unlike some parks where the “loop” is actually a convoluted tour of left and right turns with sometimes very limited distance between sites and parked cars making parking a larger RV difficult. It’s very easy to pull into any of our loops and back right in to your site. Everyone has a pie-shaped lot that is much wider at the rear than at the front “hub” of the loop.

Map of the campground from reserveamerica

All the sites have water and 20/30/50 amp electric. Some of the loops also have sewer connections, but not all so if you’re planning on coming be aware of this when you make your reservation on

I gotta tell you, the management and staff here are terrific folks. All the way from the General Manager, Jenny, all the way down the list through the maintenance crew, the kitchen and dining room staff, restroom cleaning guys, all the way down to the fellas that come around the park three times daily emptying the trash barrels. They all do their jobs very well, they take pride in their park and it shows in the overall condition.

We try to find the jobs that DO NOT require us to work 40 hours weekly. We’ve both done that (and more) over the years and we’re not looking for full-time jobs at this point in our lives. What we enjoy and try to find are gigs that will give us our site and utilities in exchange for 12-15 hours work (per person) per week. We make sure those gigs allow us to both work the same schedule and we often (not always) work together on the same task.

At Dale Hollow we tour the park regularly (3-4 times/day) and visit with campers and we consistently hear complements about the park. It makes us feel good even though we’re sure to explain that the credit goes to the terrific paid staff and not us.

Our responsibilities are pretty limited and easy. We are the only Hosts here where in other parks that we’ve worked at there’s at least one other couple so that all seven days of the week are covered. Management really only needs us here on the weekends since the park is nearly empty (and nicely quiet) during the week.

We start our day about 10am when we go to the Country Store (campground office) and pick up the list of those that are incoming and outgoing that day. Then we put those incoming Reserved tags on those sites and we clean out the fire pits of those sites where campers have left. We’re usually done with that task in 30-45 minutes. If it’s a Friday this will take longer because there are more families coming in for the weekend. This weekend (Memorial Day) we had 36 incoming on Thursday and we have 93 coming in today (Friday). Its gonna be a fun and busy weekend! And yes, I forgot to mention they supply us with a golf cart and all the other tools we need to do our job safely.

Our morning duties include putting out the “Reserved” tags

As campers leave we always check their site and their fire pit to pick up any litter and have the site ready and attractive for the next campers. Again, Sundays are always a longer day for us because everybody’s leaving and heading back to work for the week. But sometimes, just like everywhere else, some people have so little respect for others and they just have to ruin a good thing.

These idiots will be cited and banned from staying at any Kentucky State Park in the future

Although the bathhouses (including showers and laundry machines) are cleaned at least 3 times daily by the paid staff (Robert and Jeff), on weekends since the park is so busy Kathy and I follow up in the late afternoon and again just before it gets dark. Usually we just have to give them a quick wipe down and damp mop. The rest rooms are air conditioned and have great exhaust fans to take out all the extra humidity.

Kathy and I like to stay busy and so we volunteered when we got here to do some painting to the loop posts and the mini-golf score card posts as well to spruce them up for the season

We head down to the Lodge about once a week where we can always get a great meal at a deep 50% employee discount. Not only is the dining room clean and spacious allowing for a quiet and relaxing meal, but the staff is attentive and the view from the dining room veranda is beautiful.

A cloudy and chilly day on the veranda but a great view nonetheless

We’ve found a couple other restaurants that we like as well. Annie Ruby’s Cafe in Burkesville (18 miles north) is a great little place for breakfast or lunch along with The Bait Store in Burkesville. Just south of us at Sulpher Creek Marina is Mike’s Landing Restaurant on the pier. Now this place is altogether different in that they serve liquor but they also have a great dinner menu.

We will be here through the July 4th weekend. If you think you’d like free camping for a few months into the fall, call the park and ask for Jenny, the General Manager. I’m sure she’d be glad to talk with you.

We’ve got two other posts about our time here so far. You can read Settling in at Dale Hollow and Just a little hike to learn more about what life is like here.

When we leave July 6th we’ll be heading up to Ohio where we’ve got some medical appointments and I’ll be getting a hip replacement. By the way, my rotator cuff surgery that I had March 16th is doing great – I’ve been getting PT down here twice weekly and my range of motion and strength are coming back real good. I’m having the same surgeon doing the hip.

Our hope is to be back on the road by the 2nd or 3rd week of August and head to Oregon to meet up with 30 other rigs from our Escapees RV Club to attend the Oregon Coast Hangout.

From there we’ll slowly make our way back to our winter home at Rover’s Roost (SKP Co-Op Park) in Casa Grande, AZ by November 1st. While the Roost will be our home base in the winter, during that time we’ll spend a couple weeks in January dry camping in the desert at Quartzsite, AZ so we can join our friends at the Big Tent RV Show and then a couple more weeks during February in Mexico with our friends of Escapees Chapter 8 Mexican Connection on their annual rally.

Thanks for riding along. Stay safe, take care of yourselves and we look forward to reading any comments you might have. You can leave them in the block down below, or if you’re reading this from a Facebook link you can leave them there too.

Herb & Kathy

6 thoughts on “Camp Hosting @ Dale Hollow Lake State Park, Kentucky

  1. Looks like a great place to stay/work! Thanks for the great commentary!
    Jim and I are available for lunch when you get back to Ohio! If you need any help while you’re here just let us know!

    1. Thanks so much for the offer of help, lunch sounds good, we’ll have to get it on the schedule

  2. Herb, Another great story of your Travels. So glad to hear your surgery went well. With your upcoming hip surgery, take it from a guy that has had two hip replacements, I hope you will have recovered enough, by the end of August, to endure the travel to Utah. You will have to watch to not over-due your travel, as swelling of your lower leg will limit the amount of time you can handle the swelling. Ice will be your become your best friend along with a cushy pillow. The best to you and Kathy

    1. Thanks for the tip Eric, and yes ice and I have become good friends as I go through the PT on the shoulder. Our best to you and Deb.

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