Give Thanks to Paris Landing State Park
There’s no Eiffel Tower in sight but Paris Landing State Park packs its own set of postcard-ready features.
Situated on Kentucky Lake, the largest man-made lake in the eastern United States, the 841-acre Paris Landing State Park offers water sports, golf, lodging, camping, dining and memorable views of the widest part of the picturesque lake near the confluence of the Big Sandy and Tennessee Rivers.
Kentucky Lake was created when the Tennessee River was impounded by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1944, creating a run-of-the-river lake that stretches from Pickwick Dam, near the Tennessee-Alabama line, across Tennessee’s midsection and beyond the Kentucky line.
Its 160,000 surface acres reward anglers with stringers of largemouth, smallmouth, and white bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie and sauger. During late fall and winter a slow retrieve along main channel points with small grubs and spinners or live bait in creeks may induce smallies to strike. Many crappie anglers favor the tried-and-true Kentucky rig that consists of two hooks baited with minnows and a 3/4- or 1-ounce sinker to bump bottom.
The park’s marina is in a protected harbor off the main channel north and west of the Highway 79 bridge. It is fully equipped to handle crafts of all sizes and types. Transportation is available from the marina to the inn and restaurant for transit boaters wishing to spend the night and dine at the restaurant. A free launching ramp is provided at the marina and the inn has a day-use dock.
It’s so well known for fishing, in fact, that there’s little wonder why Paris Landing State Park puts on a Thanksgiving feast with crisp southern fried catfish taking a place of honor right alongside turkey and ham and all the fixin’s. The restaurant is located inside the inn and every table comes with a majestic view of Kentucky Lake. An all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet will be served from 10:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on November 22.
If you over indulge in sweet potato casserole, dressing and pumpkin pie you can always take a stroll along the shoreline and through the park to walk off dinner.
Golfers may prefer to arrange a tee time and take advantage of one of the golf and lodging packages with an unlimited day of golf with a golf cart and an overnight stay in the 130-room inn. Paris Landing has a challenging tree-lined, par 72, 6,689-yard, 18-hole golf course with lovely scenery on every hole including the breathtaking view from number four. The pro shop provides a snack bar, rental clubs, golf carts as well as pull carts and a line of golf accessories.
Others may choose to relax in front of the stone fireplace in one of 10 three-bedroom cabins built in the woods overlooking Kentucky Lake. Tall windows in the living area overlook a deck with comfortable patio chairs perfect for relaxing with a good book or watching wildlife.
The campground, located near the marina, has a total of 62 campsites, all with tables, grills and fire rings. There are 44 sites with water and electrical hookups and 18 primitive sites. Two bathhouses provide hot showers, and there is a dumping station and launderette. Campgrounds are open year round but bathhouses are closed as weather conditions dictate during freezing winter weather.
Speaking of freezing and winter – the “Shiver in the River” event held on New Year’s Day at the park marina launch ramp is an invigorating way to begin 2013. Warm up for the big chill while having fun at the Friends of Paris Landing dance at the park Conference Center starting at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Other scheduled events include a Christmas arts and crafts show at the inn on Friday, Nov. 30th from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on and Sunday from 8 a.m. – noon. The eight-mile Over the River Run starts at 11:00 a.m. on December 8th. This is one of 21 races held during 2012, the 34th year of the Tennessee State Parks running tour.
For more information contact Paris Landing State Park at 800-250-8614, 731-641-4465 or visit their website here.