Skip to Main Content


Dawson Springs – Kentucky’s Original Trail Town

Kentucky Life chats with Jenny Sewell, mayor of Dawson Springs, about the outdoor recreation opportunities that earned the city the first Trail Town designation in Kentucky.

The town of Dawson Springs is located in the heart of Kentucky’s Pennyrile region. With access to miles of trails and waterways, the town is a rich resource for outdoor recreation.

Dawson Springs was the first official Trail Town in Kentucky, and it lives up to that designation. There are more than 100 trails located in and around the city, including 30 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of mountain biking trails, and 50 miles for horseback riding.

The state’s first wildlife management area, the Jones-Keeney Wildlife Management Area, is located just west of the center of town. The hilly, forested 2,000-acre preserve includes spectacular rock formations, a natural bridge, caves, and waterfalls.

Dawson Springs is surrounded by the Tradewater River, which offers seven miles of canoeing and kayaking. There are also opportunities for water recreation at Lake Beshear, one of Kentucky’s 15 major lakes. A bit farther south, Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park includes a 58-acre lake for swimming, boating, and fishing.

This video is part of Kentucky Life episode #1917, which originally aired on April 19, 2014. View the full episode here.