Jenny Wiley State Resort Park

Quick Facts

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park


(606) 889-1790

Map Directions

Things To Do


Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, originally known as Dewey Lake State Park, located at Prestonsburg, Kentucky, is a mountain resort park located on the shores of Dewey Lake. It is named for Virginia "Jenny" Wiley, a pioneer woman and Indian captive. The park opened on January 1, 1954.

Taken captive by a group composed of (two Cherokees, three Shawnees, three Wyandots, three Delawares) in 1789, Wiley endured the slaying of her brother and four children and escaped after 11 months of captivity. However, the Cherokee had intended to punish the Harmon family for killing two Cherokees, and had mistakenly attacked the Wileys on October 1, 1789. Despite having given birth during the captivity, and seeing her three-month-old child murdered by the Cherokee by tomahawk, she learned Cherokee lifestyles until her rescue in the spring of 1790.

Of the park's 2,871 acres, 1,100 of them comprise Dewey Lake. The Kentucky record for largest tiger muskie has been caught in Dewey Lake. Dewey Lake was named for the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay, Admiral George Dewey, when the United States Army Corps of Engineers built the lake in 1951. The park has several features. It lies in a "Moist Appalachian" environment, dominated by maple, pawpaw and tulip poplars. The park's hotel, May Lodge, has 47 rooms and a dining room that seats over 200. The Music Highway Grill makes a point of using local produce in their food. The Jenny Wiley Theatre hosts numerous plays, such as The Wizard of Oz and A Chorus Line, and the "Story of Jenny Wiley", throughout the summer. Fishing is irregular, as the lake can be low during the summer, weeds are abundant in the fall, and the lake can be very cloudy in late winter/early spring. The Jenny Wiley Trail marks the path Wiley took to escape her Cherokee tormentors; it is advised that lone hikers do not take the path because of "trail difficulty".

Map of Jenny Wiley State Resort Park (KY)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.711451, -82.726824



  • Boating

    Fun-filled days await you on Dewey Lake! The boat dock offers 153 open slips, four launching ramps, and pontoon boat rental. Fee charged for boat rental. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day of paddling, an afternoon of fishing, or you want to explore all Jenny Wiley State Resort Park has to offer, you can do all of this from a canoe! Stop by the Nature Center 8am to 4pm any day of the week, Memorial Day through Labor Day for rental ($).

  • Bird Watching

    The biggest attraction at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is the Spring Warblers and migration. You will be able to add numerous warblers to your list along with many sightings of American Redstarts. One of the most overlooked areas for birdwatching is the asphalt road leading from the May Lodge to the two-bedroom cottages. You will find many species of birds year round in this area. Another area, especially for eastern bluebirds, would be the Jenny Wiley Executive Golf Course.

  • Bicycling

    There are three mountain biking trails of varying difficulty that offer 3.0-miles of riding pleasure. They include the Short-Loop (.8) the Switchback (1.9) and the Beginners Trail (.75). Mountain biking trail regulations and signage are posted at the entrance.

  • Camping

    Enjoy the great outdoors in the 121-site campground. Utility hookups, two central service buildings with showers and rest rooms, a grocery store, and a dump station are available for your convenience. Pets are allowed if restrained. Closed for season from November 1 to March 31.

  • Fishing

    For "reel" excitement, Jenny Wiley is the place to be! Dewey Lake has largemouth and hybrid striped bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. Don't have a fishing pole? No problem! Ask at the park about their fishing loaner program where you can check out FREE equipment.

  • Golfing

    Jenny Wiley 9-hole Executive Golf Course is closed until Apr 2012. Golf operations are operated by the city of Prestonsburg through Stonecrest Golf Course. Rental motor carts, pull carts and clubs available. - Open 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily, weather permitting. - Student and family rates available. - For information and tee times, call 606-889-1996.

  • Hiking

    Acquaint yourself with the natural beauty of Jenny Wiley State Resort Park on the trails. The trails provide over ten miles of hiking for all ability levels, as well as a three-mile mountain bike loop. The Jenny Wiley Trail Heritage Byway embraces a 154-mile loop drive in eastern Kentucky. The park provides easy access to more than 60 miles of existing recreational facilities, such as hiking trails.

    Path to Boat Dock and Marina 0.1 mile .1 mile path, takes visitors from lodge to dock/marina

    Sassafras Self-Guided Interpretive Trail 0.75 mile .75 mile, entrance is near campground off of KY 302, easy trail for any age group, pass many interesting species of plants,

    Steve Brackett Memorial Trail 1 mile 1.0 mile, entrance from Moss Ridge Hiking Trail, breathtaking views of cliff chains and plant life, some of the oldest trees in park are located on this trail, chance to see whitetails and turkey

    Moss Ridge Hiking Trail 1.3 mile 1.3 miles, strenuous uphill hike, steep downhill trek, see many species of trees and other plant life, 200-300 million year old exposed rock along the trail from the Pennsylvanian age

    Lakeshore Hiking Trail 2.5 mile 2.5 miles including return trip along blacktop road, may also exit trail at cottage 123, trail winds along shoreline providing excellent views of lake, wildlife, and plant life

    Jenny Wiley Trail 4.5 mile 4.5 miles, entrance near cottage 123, strenuous backpacking trail, enjoy totally immersing yourself in the appalachian terrain, not recommended for solo hikers

  • Historic Sites

    Jenny Wiley State Resort Park has a nature center nearby the May Lodge. It houses displays with natural, cultural, and historic information on the local area. Exhibits include a beech forest display where visitors can learn about the wildlife found throughout Jenny Wiley. Learn about the park's namesake heroine, pioneer woman Jenny Wiley. View a replica of one of the coal mines that Kentucky is historically known for. The nature center is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic tables, grills, and playgrounds are located throughout the park for the perfect family outing. Picnic shelters are located at the campground.

  • RVing

    Campsite has utility hookups.

  • Water Sports

    The lodge pool is for the exclusive use of overnight guests. Open Memorial Day through mid-August.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Elk have recently been introduced to Kentucky as a wildlife re-introduction program. Before the release in 1997, elk had been gone from Kentucky for nearly 150 years. Check our event listing for Winter Elk Tour dates.


Canoe rental available from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The campsite is closed from mid-November until mid-March.



Jenny Wiley is located in Prestonsburg, off US 23/460 on KY 3. From I-64 West take the Mountain Parkway exit. From I-64 East take the US 23 South Exit. From I-75 North, take the Hal Rogers Parkway exit. From I-75 south, take the I-64 East exit. Here is an area map.

Phone Numbers


(606) 889-1790