Jenny Wiley State Resort Park

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Jenny Wiley State Resort Park
Dewey Lake fall.jpg
Dewey Lake
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located in Kentucky
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park
Location in Kentucky
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located in the United States
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park
Location in United States
TypeKentucky state park
LocationFloyd County, Kentucky
Coordinates37°41′51″N 82°43′30″W / 37.69750°N 82.72500°W / 37.69750; -82.72500Coordinates: 37°41′51″N 82°43′30″W / 37.69750°N 82.72500°W / 37.69750; -82.72500
Area2,871 acres (11.62 km2)
CreatedJanuary 1, 1954[1]
Operated byKentucky Department of Parks
StatusOpen year-round
WebsiteOfficial website

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park was at first named Jenny Wiley State Park on January 1, 1954 with Dewey Lake near Prestonsburg, Kentucky as its centerpiece. It is named for Virginia "Jenny" Wiley, a pioneer woman who is remembered as a survivor of Indian captivity.[1]

Taken captive October 1, 1789, by Indians of the area, Cherokees, Shawnees, Wyandots, and Delawares, who murdered her brother and four children by tomahawk. She escaped after 11 months of captivity. The Indians had intended to attack the Harmon family who lived nearby, for killing two Cherokees, and had mistakenly attacked the Wiley family who lived in one of the hollows that is now within the park. Jenny Wiley became pregnant and gave birth during the captivity, and learned the Cherokee lifestyle. Her dramatic escape in the spring of 1790 is now a legendary tale of early American frontier life in the Levisa Fork River area and the Big Sandy Valley .[2][1]

Of the park's 2,871 acres (1,162 ha), 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) is Dewey Lake. The Kentucky record for largest tiger muskie was at 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.[3]

The park lies in a "Moist Appalachian" environment, dominated by maple, pawpaw and tulip poplars. The park's hotel, May Lodge, has 49 rooms, many rental cabins and a dining and conference room that seats 200. The Music Highway Grill uses locally grown produce, meat and dairy. The Jenny Wiley Amphitheater produces numerous plays, such as The Wizard of Oz and A Chorus Line, and the "Story of Jenny Wiley", throughout the summer season. Fishing is very popular, with many boat launches as well as a full service boat dock at the May Lodge. 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".[4][5][6] The scenery and low traffic make this one of the best kept secrets among Bicycle Tourists and Randoneers.[citation needed] Multiday bicycle camping and touring clinics are offered in fall and winter during the turning of the leaves.[citation needed] An 18-hole golf course is one of several other outdoor activities.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "History". Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Kentucky Department of Parks. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  2. ^ Bailey, Bill. Kentucky State Parks. (Glovebox Guidebooks of America, 1995) pg.144-146
  3. ^ Bailey pg.144,150,151
  4. ^ Elliott, Brook & Barbara. Hiking Indiana (Human Kinetics, 1998) pg.7
  5. ^ Bailey pg.146-149
  6. ^ "Trails". Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Kentucky Department of Parks. Retrieved September 28, 2013.

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