Family fun abounds in Cadiz, Kentucky. Whether you’re visiting for a family reunion, a getaway, or a conference brings you and your family to town, there’s plenty to do and lots of ways to build lifelong memories.
Reserve a cabin, houseboat or RV spot at Prizer Point Marina & Resort, a delightful and fun-filled campground on the shores of Lake Barkley, and check in early. Settle in and put on your swimsuits because Prizer Point has a pool (that can be covered if the weather’s less than great) and whole lake at your disposal.
Pay a visit to The Iceberg, a giant inflatable climbing wall/diving platform that lets you leap into the lake, climb back up and do it again.
When your tribe begins to tire, head inland for the start of a multi-day putt-putt golf tournament at the mini-golf course. Clean up back at the cabin and head over to The Pier for a bite to eat. Their burgers, baskets, and kid’s menu will keep everyone well fed.
Before sundown, head out to The Fishin’ Hole for milkshakes to go, you’ll need them for the movie they show on Friday and Saturday nights just after the sun sets. Rest your head, it’s been a big day and tomorrow will be even better.
Grab a hearty breakfast at The Pier—the pancakes are particularly filling—because you’ll need the fuel for a bit of paddling before you head into town and off to the Land Between the Lakes.
Rent a kayak, canoe or standup paddleboard at the marina, and begin an adventure exploring the shores in the immediate area. Paddleboards may look challenging, but they’re actually very easy to ride, in fact, if you can stand up, you can stand up paddleboard. Get your sea legs and paddle over to the far shore of the cove and follow the shoreline, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way. For your littlest ones, you may want to get a double kayak or a canoe so they can experience the water without much risk of falling in.
Shower up and hop in the car once you’ve tired of paddling. Go into town and get lunch at Cadiz Restaurant, where a country lunch buffet offers up a number of down-home sides and the full menu features everything from fried chicken to guaranteed-to-please sandwiches. From here, cross Lake Barkley into Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Land Between the Lakes is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities. Make your first stop the Golden Pond Visitors Center and the planetarium there; this is only planetarium in Western Kentucky, and one of only five in the state. Take in the show and learn a little more about the constellations and planets, the moon, space weather, and more.
Check out the museum there telling the story of the history of the Land Between the Lakes from the time when it was the wild frontier of the U.S. to the building of the dams that created Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
Just up the road from the Golden Pond, you’ll find the Elk and Bison Prairie.
This 700-acre drive-through habitat has been restored to resemble the native habitat here, which was lost more than 100 years ago. Many folks don’t know that this land was crowded with elk and bison when the first settlers arrived here, and on this 3.5-mile loop, you can get a close-up look at these majestic animals. The Prairie is open dawn to dusk, and the extreme ends of the day are the best times to see the animals as they’re on the move.
If it’s near dark, you can stop back by the Planetarium for a look at the stars from their observatory if there’s a show. Inquire at the Visitors Center about times and dates. Or head back to Prizer Point to continue the mini-golf tourney.
Back in town, you can try Triplet’s BBQ, where you can get a pulled pork sandwich, salads, or something off the full (and delicious) menu before retiring and resting up for tomorrow.
You’ll need a big breakfast today, so stop by Cadiz Restaurant for a hearty breakfast. Their buffet is guaranteed to please, but so are their menu items (like the French toast, which is fantastic). Make the trip back out to Land Between the Lakes and head north toward Hematite Lake.
Hematite Lake, so named for the shiny mineral dug up here alongside iron ore, is the home to many migratory waterfowl and quite a few permanent residents. It’s a 2.2-mile trail around the lake, and it’s flat, so it’s no problem for hikers of all skill levels and abilities.
If you’re going to circle the entire lake, keep in mind that the trail at the upper end of the lake is quite marshy and turns into an elevated wood walkway.
When the water level is at its highest, it comes close to flooding the lowest sections of the path. If you’d rather not circle the lake, then turn left at the spillway and cross the wide, shallow stream that flows over the top of the dam.
Here, a series of concrete stepping stones lead you across high and dry, and walking on them is almost like being a frog leaping from lily pads. Follow this trail around the left side of the lake until you reach the first bridge and stream crossing; it’s a short, but pretty hike.
Since you’re at Hematite Lake, you should stop at the excellent Nature Station. Here you’ll be able to get up close to the plants and animals native to the region. There’s a bobcat, a coyote, even a Red Wolf.
You can see a Great Horned Owl from just a few feet away. See fish, turtle and other reptiles, Bald eagles, and more at the Nature Station. If you haven’t had enough adventure yet (and if you’re not feeling peckish for lunch), check the schedule for an outdoor activity (canoe excursions, wetlands explorations, animal tracking and more).
Back at Prizer Point, rent a pontoon for the afternoon and head out for a lake exploration, maybe a little fishing, and maybe even a picnic. Or you can just let the kids run wild on the Jumping Pillow (think of a huge, inflatable trampoline) and in the arcade before round three of your golf tournament.
Dinner tonight is a pizza and milkshakes from The Fishin’ Hole. Eat there or take it back to your cabin.
On your final day, squeeze in one last round of golf and declare your winner, then head over to Lake Barkley to visit the beach and go for a quick swim before grabbing lunch at El Bracero, an excellent Mexican restaurant on the edge of town.
Now it’s time to hit the road and head back home.
Conference Goers: Many conferences make use of Lake Barkley Lodge in Lake Barkley State Resort Park, where families will have plenty of options for activities. In addition to a great outdoor pool and small video arcade, there’s a swimming beach and many miles of easy hiking trails. There are also a number of craft and wildlife activities for the kids here, thanks to the recreation team at Lake Barkley. Windows on the Water, serves an all-you-can-eat breakfast, as well as a full-menu lunch and dinner.