I'm not ever going to pit one Kentucky state park against another; I love them all. We have so many amazing state parks here, you really can't go wrong when you're choosing a campground.

Camping, in and of itself, is an adventure. I did way more of it out West when I was a kid, but the southern Rockies don't hold all the cards when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. We may not have that kind of elevation here in the Commonwealth, but we have lots of water. And our state parks take full advantage. One of them is even on an "island," so naturally water is a key ingredient in the fun.

General Burnside Island State Park

Located a few miles southeast of Somerset KY, General Burnside Island State Park isn't exactly an island. It is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Cumberland River and is accessible by way of a small isthmus connecting it to charming Burnside KY.

Having Fun at General Burnside Island State Park

Any state park camping getaway is a great excuse to CHILL out and VEG out, but there's always plenty to do, too. Parks.ky.gov touts the fishing at Burnside where the waters are loaded with crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and striped bass.

But make sure you squeeze your swim gear in next to the rod and reel, and don't forget to plan boating excursions. You can bring your own or rent one. And if you're a golfer, you are in luck. General Burnside Island State Park has one of the best courses in Kentucky.

Of course, if you're staying long enough, you'll be looking outside the park grounds, and you won't be disappointed. Cumberland Speedway isn't very far from the park, and since you're so close to Somerset, you could enjoy a day at SomerSplash Waterpark.

How General Burnside Island State Park Got Its Name

History buffs have something to look forward to, as well. I mean, "General Burnside" isn't just some odd, out-of-the-box name choice. The park and the town are both named after Ambrose Burnside, and here's why:

During the Civil War in 1863, the Union Army set up a troop rendezvous and supply base here as a prelude to the East Tennessee campaign of General Ambrose E. Burnside. The area then became known as Camp Burnside.

Swimming, boating, fishing, golfing, a nearby raceway, a water park. And here I was thinking General Burnside Island State Park would make for a great weekend getaway. While that is absolutely true, I'm starting to think you'll need more time.

Enjoy your summer.

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