There are places people have on their bucket lists, while other places are local treasures that RV road trippers only discover while on their way to visit their bucket list locales. Sometimes, these travels can end up with them making an unplanned visit to a place like General Burnside Island State Park.
Located just south of Somerset, Kentucky, General Burnside Island State Park deserves a bit more consideration on its own. You’ve surely got the time, so take a bit of it to read up on General Burnside Island State Park and see why your first visit there should be planned!
General Burnside Island State Park Facts
If you happen to find yourself in southeastern Kentucky, you might be fancying a visit to General Burnside Island State Park. Before you go, here are a few facts to help acquaint you with the park.
- Established in 1958, the 430-acre General Burnside Island State Park is named for General Ambrose E. Burnside.
- During the Civil War, General Burnside stationed his Union troops right where the state park named for him now is.
- General Burnside Island State Park is the only island park in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
- General Burnside Island State Park is known to locals simply as “Burnside Island.”
- Burnside Island’s golf course is consistently rated as one of the best places to play golf in Kentucky.
Best General Burnside Island State Park Campgrounds
General Burnside Island State Park is an excellent location for a Kentucky break, but do you know where you can stay? There are several RV campgrounds near General Burnside Island State Park that can accommodate you while you visit the area, so check ‘em out!
General Burnside Island Campground
Amenities: If you’re keen on getting an early start to fishing or to get 18 holes in before everyone else does, you may just want to spend the night at the Burnside Island Campground from spring to late fall.
There’s a playground for the kids, as well as a bathhouse, and a dump station to rid yourself of any grey or black water in your tanks. If the weather is less than cooperative, know that you can stay safe in their tornado shelter. There aren’t full hookups, but there are 30/20/15 amp electric hookups and water.
Capacity: 102 RV sites
More Information: General Burnside Island Campground
Fishing Creek Campground
Amenities: Want to save General Burnside Island State Park for the day and stay elsewhere at night? Then consider Fishing Creek Campground. Just a 20-minute drive away from Burnside Island, when you stay here you’re right on the shores of man-made Lake Cumberland.
The bathrooms at Fishing Creek have flush toilets and showers, and there’s drinking water as well as laundry facilities. If you want to get out on the water, make use of the boat ramp, and yes, as the name implies, you can also go fishing here!
Capacity: 26 RV sites
More Information: Fishing Creek Campground
Lake Cumberland RV Park
Amenities: Just 8 minutes away from General Burnside Island State Park, Lake Cumberland RV Park has a mix of seasonal and overnight guests, making it a unique overnight opportunity. Talk with the “locals” to see what there is to do for those who want to make a longer stay of it. There are full hookups available, along with Wi-Fi, full restrooms, and cable TV. This is the sort of campground you stay at to save money while enjoying all nearby Burnside Island has to offer.
Capacity: 50 RV sites
More Information: Lake Cumberland RV Park
Somerset KY RV Park
Amenities: Fans of smaller RV campgrounds will find Somerset KY RV Park much to their liking. There’s no Wi-Fi, so consider yourself to be roughing it a bit (even so, there are full hookups available, so it’s not all that rough).
There are pets allowed, and the smaller size of this campground makes it easier for your four-legged family members to enjoy the peaceful setting along with you. It’s just a 10-minute drive from Somerset KY RV Park to Burnside Island, making this cozy campground a convenient option.
Capacity: 12 RV sites
More Information: Somerset KY RV Park
Pulaski County Park
Amenities: Only 20-minutes away from General Burnside Island State Park you’ll find Pulaski County Park, which recently expanded for the 2022 season. There is no shortage of things to do at this campground, from birding to fishing, or even swimming and biking (and more!). You can find 50 and 30 amp electric sites, and while there is no sewage hookup, there is a dump station for your use. For campers who want to make the most of staying lakeside, Pulaski County Park is the place to be.
Capacity: 41 RV sites
More Information: Pulaski County Park
Best Time To Visit General Burnside Island State Park for RV Camping
Wondering when the best time to visit General Burnside Island State Park is? Have a look at what you can expect to experience in different seasons, and plan your trip around your preferences!
If visiting General Burnside Island State Park in winter, there may be one big reason drawing you. Every winter, Burnside hosts the “Christmas Island,” an oasis of holiday spirit along the Cumberland River. Temperatures won’t be so cold that you can’t enjoy Christmas Island fully; highs reach into the 40s Fahrenheit, while overnight lows dip into the high 20s. Snowfall is usually not too plentiful in winter, though recent years have seen snowstorms in the area drop a significant amount of the white stuff on nearby Somerset.
Spring brings with it temperatures ranging from the mid-50s in March to the mid-70s in May. Spring is the second-rainiest season after mid-to-late summer, with an average of 19 days each month seeing some kind of precipitation. Overnight lows range from the high 30s F in early spring to the mid-50s F by late May, so if you’re a fan of early-morning golfing or seeing how early the fish in the Cumberland River bite, you might find the weather crisp but enjoyable.
Summer is when General Burnside Island State Park really comes to life but be warned that it’s also when Mother Nature usually chooses to dump the most rain on the area. July is the rainiest month of the year, with an average of 22 days of rainfall. Humidity stays pretty even at around 77%, while daytime highs stay in the mid-to-high 80s Fahrenheit. This is the season when RV campgrounds near Burnside Island can fill up, so make your reservations early if you can.
Locals anywhere will talk up the attractiveness of their area, but there is something to the claims that the fall foliage at Burnside Island is the best in the state. Before it gets cool enough for the leaves to change, temperatures hover in the mid-80s in September, but by October visitors can enjoy the autumn leaves with a light jacket as daytime temperatures drop to the high 60s. By November, highs get into the mid-50s, and not much higher. Many RV campgrounds (including the one on Burnside Island) will close in the fall, so just be aware!
Things To Do in General Burnside Island State Park
General Burnside Island State Park has its particular draws, especially for golfers, but is a suitable destination for anyone interested in exploring southern Kentucky’s beauty. Here are some of the best things to do in the state park!
Golfing. An 18-hole golf course built in 1950 and renovated a few years ago is one of the most popular attractions at General Burnside Island State Park. Have a swing and enjoy some views of the water.
Fishing. The Cumberland River provides some of America’s best fishing, with large crappies, smallmouth bass, and striped bass waiting for you to catch them.
Camping. General Burnside Island State Park’s campground is open from the beginning of April to the end of October each year, making for a picturesque stay.
Boating. Visitors to Burnside Island are right in the middle of the Cumberland River and should make the most of the opportunity. You can rent many different kinds of boats from the dock.
Geocaching. It’s not a big cache, but enthusiasts of outdoor exploration can find one near the area’s marina parking lot.
Tips for Visiting General Burnside Island State Park
For outdoorsy types, General Burnside Island State Park is a perfect venue. To make the most of your visit, have a look at the following tips to be as prepared as you can be.
- If visiting General Burnside Island State Park for golfing without your golf gear, stop by the pro shop to rent some clubs or a golf cart.
- The best water views while golfing can be seen at the sixth, eighth, ninth, seventeenth, and eighteenth holes.
- The Cumberland River’s bounty is calling out to anglers, but to enjoy fishing at Burnside Island, you’ll need to reserve yourself a Kentucky Fishing License.
- There are size limits to the fish you can catch; there is a 15-inch limit on smallmouth bass, and you’re allowed to keep a maximum of two striped bass (up to 24 inches) each day.
RV Rental for General Burnside Island State Park
General Burnside Island State Park is an amazing place in Kentucky you should visit at least once in your life, whether or not you’re into golf, history, or fishing. Now that you know it’s there, you can get the ball rolling on a trip to Burnside Island by booking an RV rental with Cruise America.
With a Cruise America RV, you know you’re getting a quality RV for your road trip at a great price. Contact Cruise America now to start planning a trip to General Burnside Island State Park!