Kentucky Tourism


Established May 19, 1962

Located on Kentucky Highway 973, off U.S. Highway 431 22 miles south of the Central City-Drakesboro exit from the Western Kentucky Parkway, Lake Malone is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the commonwealth. The striking views of sandstone cliffs such as Bear Bluff and Chalk Bluff rising above the water and thick wooded 26-mile shoreline are impressive. The park also has a natural rock bridge.

Efforts to create a state park at Lake Malone began in 1959. Previously, the Todd County Game and Fish Club made a proposal to have a lake developed from impounding the waters of Rocky Creek. Sports clubs from the surrounding counties of Logan and Muhlenberg worked toward the goal of establishing a lake for recreation and sports activities. Interested individuals formed an organization to promote a recreational lake in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. At a December 22, 1955 meeting, representatives of the lake promoters, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Federal Soil Conservation Service agreed to work together in planning a dam on Rocky Creek. Preliminary studies estimated that the proposed dam would drain an area of about 18,000 acres, creating a lake of 778 acres.

Originally called the Rocky Creek Lake project, the dam would provide flood control for the Mud River watershed. The resulting lake and surrounding area would be used for recreation. In 1961, with the completion of the dam, the waters of Rocky Creek formed an 826-acre lake. As early as 1959, several citizens wanted a state park in the area. The Muhlenberg Conservation Club that owned some of the land surrounding the lake donated their acreage to the park site. W.C. Malone, a wealthy, retired lumberman and sawmill operator of Greenville, Muhlenberg County and his wife donated a large amount of land for the development of the lake and park. The lake and subsequent park were named in his honor.

Initial acquisitions for the lake and park included a 15 acre site with clubhouse, picnic area, road and parking development that belonged to the Muhlenberg County Conservation Club; Mr. And Mrs. W.C. Malone’s donation of 200 acres; the purchase of another 75 acres from the Malones; and the acquisition of fourteen acres of adjoining property from local landowner, O.I. Carver. The solving of a complex problem regarding rights to a boat dock site ended with the purchase of operating rights from local resident Zirkle Embry who held a 20-year lease from the Rocky Creek Lake Club. Development of the Lake Malone property by the Department of Parks continued with the construction of a bathhouse, beach, and boat dock. Campgrounds, landscaping, and a new roadway added to the park improvements.