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​​​In 1930, as part of the Land Use and Resettlement Program, the Division of Forestry acquired leases on land in Christian, Hopkins and Caldwell counties, which became the Pennyrile State Forest. It now includes 14,379 acres of forest. These leases were sustained until 1954, when the property was deeded (with certain reservations) by the U.S. government to the Commonwealth.

Pennyrile State Forest contains Pennyrile State Resort Park and borders Lake Beshear. It is managed using the principles of ecosystem management. These principles allow the forest to be managed for sustainable timber production, while ensuring the protection of the water quality and the enhancement and/or protection of biological diversity. 

The Division of Forestry and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) have cooperated in numerous projects in the forests, including turkey and grouse restoration projects. The KDFWR conducts a managed bonus deer hunt here each November in cooperation with the Division of Forestry.

The area is open to public hunting and fishing, subject to state fish and game regulations, and is available for primitive camping, hiking, picnicking and horseback riding. Off-road vehicles, including ATV's are prohibited in the forest.

Food and lodging is available at Pennyrile State Resort Park and also in Dawson Springs.

Directions: From the Western Kentucky Parkway take Exit 24 (Dawson Springs) follow Highway 109 South to Pennyrile State Resort Park. Pennyrile State Resort Park is located in the middle of the Pennyrile State Forest. Highway 109 also bisects portions of the forest. 

Cliffs at Pennyrile State ForestPennyrile Lake

Oak stand in Pennyrile State Forest