Maybe you’ve heard of the “Castle on the Cumberland” in Eddyville, KY? It’s the Kentucky State Penitentiary, a supermax prison. Built in 1886, it’s Kentucky’s oldest prison facility. But don’t let that scare you or keep you from visiting this small town.
Eddyville is one of the hidden gems of Kentucky, full of natural beauty and southern charm. Let’s look at why you should add this town to your road trip destination list. Let’s dive in.
Where Is Eddyville, KY?
Eddyville, located along the Cumberland River in southwestern Kentucky, has about 2,500 residents. Interstate-24 and Interstate-69 cut through the town.
Eddyville is about a 40-minute drive east from Paducah, KY, and a 90-minute drive southwest from Evansville, IN. With easy access to the interstate, you can get about anywhere in western Kentucky within two hours from here.
Traveler’s Tip: A little over an hour east of Eddyville, catch an outdoor concert at the amphitheater in Beaver Dam, KY.
5 Best Things to Do in and Around Eddyville, KY
Eddyville, KY, may not be the most hopping town in Kentucky, but there are a handful of things to do that make visiting the area worth it. From outdoor recreation to local cuisine, the city offers beautiful scenery and activities to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable.
Let’s look at five of the best things to do in the area. You might wonder why you’ve never been before.
1. Float the Lazy River at Venture River
Address: 280 Funway Dr. Eddyville, KY 42038
Why You Should Visit: What family doesn’t want to spend a day at a water park? Snake your way down the TurBoa body slide or plunge down Amanzi Falls at Venture River.
Race your child down Matanascar on your mats. Or, for a more relaxing adventure, float along Old Man River. There’s so much to do; your kids won’t want to leave.
General admission adult tickets cost $29, children tickets cost $24, and senior citizens tickets are $14. However, you can get week-day specials on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So check the website to help plan your visit.
2. Enjoy the Outdoors at Mineral Mound State Park
Address: 48 Finch Ln. Eddyville, KY 42038
Why You Should Visit: This peaceful location on the shores of Lake Barkley provides plenty to do for the outdoor enthusiast. Play a round of golf, take the boat out, view the animals at the wildlife refuge, or fish from the pier at Mineral Mound State Park.
The golf course is challenging, so beware if you’re an inexperienced golfer. You can also take a picnic lunch and enjoy spending a day in the natural beauty of Eddyville, KY.
The park stays open year-round, but hours vary from season to season. Make sure to check the website before you visit, so you arrive within operating hours.
3. Fill Up on Catfish and Hushpuppies at Willow Pond
Address: 124 Highway 62 West, Eddyville, KY 42038
Why You Should Visit: Rated number one on Trip Advisor for the best restaurant in town, Willow Pond has all-you-can-eat hushpuppies and beans. Order up a plate of catfish. Add a side of fried okra or white slaw.
Customers rave about the excellent service and delicious cuisine. It’s one of the best places around for southern home cooking. And it’s less than a half-mile from Venture River and about three miles from Mineral Mound State Park.
4. Relax at Vista Ridge Park
Address: 2856 Lake Barkley Dr. Kuttawa, KY 42055
Why You Should Visit: Only a few minutes south of Eddyville, KY, is Vista Ridge Park along the Cumberland River. Kuttawa Recreation Area provides places to eat a picnic lunch, soak up the sun at the swimming beach, and take the dog for a walk.
If you want to spend a whole day exploring the outdoors, Vista Ridge Park is just a short 10-minute drive from Mineral Mound State Park.
5. Keep an Eye Out for Butterflies at Butterfly Habitat
Address: Main St. Eddyville, KY 42038
Why You Should Visit: You can do much more than watch butterflies at the Butterfly Habitat. It has plenty of seating, a garden, and a walking trail. The kids can enjoy the park, and you may love relaxing after a day at Mineral Mound State Park or Vista Ridge Park.
You can even walk the half-mile to enjoy a home-cooked meal at Willow Pond. With its location right on Main Street, the Butterfly Habitat is perfectly situated so you can enjoy all of Eddyville, KY.
Add This Small Town to Your Itinerary
Eddyville, KY, might be known for the “Castle on the Cumberland,” but the beauty of Eddyville is everywhere. You won’t see the skyscrapers or endure the traffic of a metropolis. Instead, you’ll bask in the peace of nature.
This rural community offers a great experience for travelers. Next time you’re heading along I-24 or I-69, take a pit stop in Eddyville. Spend a few days exploring the outdoors. Will you be adding Eddyville, KY, to your road trip destination list?