Visiting Kentucky Campgrounds are famous for a lot of things, including horses, horse racing, fishing, baseball and basketball. But it’s also one of the best states in the country to camp. With thousands of lakes, 38 State Parks, three State Forests, 12 State Historic Sites, one National Park, one National Forest, one National Historic Park and two National Wildlife Refuges, there’s something for every level of outdoors lover.
There are also 31 campgrounds in the Kentucky State Park system. The parks are spread out across the state so you’re not too far from being able to enjoy the outdoors. Four parks – Dale Hollow Lake, Pennyrile Forest, Taylorsville Lake and Carter Caves – also offer equestrian-friendly sites.
Kentucky Campgrounds –
Set up a base camp and go hike a trail, cycle around the park or head out on one of Kentucky’s many lakes and rivers. Fish, boat, and enjoy all the nature Kentucky has to offer. Each public campsite facility offers amenities such as restrooms, trail access, RV electric and water hookups, a fire ring, table and more — all in a beautiful setting with affordable rates. If you want to ensure you secure a campsite at your desired campground, make reservations online or by phone for your selected dates. Pick your favorite site, pay for it to guarantee it, and then confirm your reservation before you head out to make sure nothing has changed.
Be sure and check the campground’s website before you leave to make sure you’re bringing (or not bringing) items that are required or banned. This may include doughnuts for your sewer hose, or potable water, or a leash for your dog, or no alcohol. Every campground is different, so review the rules before you go, or once you arrive.
Kentucky Campgrounds Around Green River Lake – Kentucky Campgrounds
Green River Lake, just outside Campbellsville, KY, has three marinas all offering accommodations on the lake. Choose from floating cabins, lakeside condos, camper or luxury cabins and even houseboats rentals.
- Emerald Isle Resort & Marina
Phone: (270) 465-3412
- Green River Marina
Phone: (270) 465-2512
- Holmes Bend Marina
If you haven’t heard of it before, Green River State Park is a recreational paradise in south-central Kentucky. An 8,200-acre lake provides excellent opportunities for any water sport. If you don’t want to relax on the water, then relax in one of the 157 (Standard Electric) improved land based campsites. There are 72 tent sites (no electric or water), and 50 overflow sites (no electric or water). Go for a swim at the sand beach or play a game of mini golf. The campground offers planned recreation for the children camping. For adults and families, there are 28 miles of multiple use trails for hiking, horses and biking. Green River Lake State Park now offers Wi-Fi Internet Access for a fee, throughout the campground.
Two of the county’s thirteen campgrounds are situated beside the lakeside, offering campers a front row seat to all the recreational opportunities Green River Lake has to offer.
Green River Lake has an average depth of 50 feet and a distance of one mile at its widest point. A popular destination for fishing, boating and water skiing, the park has over 50 miles of trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding. Twelve boat ramps are available for public use at Green River Lake, including one at each campground. Three marinas offer full services on the lake, including boat rental, slip rental, gas, bait, fishing gear, and picnicking supplies.
Kentucky Campgrounds Open Year Round
1149 State Park Rd
Lucas, KY 42156-9300
Close to the famous and popular Mammoth Cave National Park, Barren River Lake State Resort Park makes a great base camp for exploring the surrounding area. The lodge and cottages curve around the 10,000-acre lake, providing spectacular views of sunsets. In addition to boating and fishing, the resort features an 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, tennis courts, a beach, a pool, and a paved trail for hiking and biking. Barren River Lake also has an abundance of largemouth, white, and hybrid striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, and rough fish. The lake’s marina has 100 open slips, 40 covered slips, a launching ramp, rental fishing boats, rental pontoons and Jet Ski Rentals. There are 101 campsites, two for tents, the rest for RVs and trailers.
A swimming pool near the lodge is for the exclusive use of lodge and cottage guests. A public beach, with a bathhouse complex, is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day. The resort has four miles of woodland trails for nature study. Guided trail rides depart hourly during the summer season. A lighted basketball court, two lighted tennis courts, shuffleboard, and volleyball courts, with rental sports equipment, are popular, and the park also hosts daily summer activities and year-round special events, with a trained recreation director. An 18-hole, regulation golf course with a fully equipped pro shop, riding carts, and rental clubs, rounds out this park’s many activity options.
The Louie B. Nunn Lodge overlooks the beautiful 10,000-acre lake and has 51 rooms with full amenities. The park also has 22 two-bedroom, two-bath cottages. The tableware, cooking utensils, and linens are provided, with fresh linen available daily. Several cottages have lake views, while other cottages are nestled in the woods. Looking for a more rustic experience? The 99-site campground will probably fit the bill. Utility hookups are available, and a dump station, showers, restrooms are offered and boat ramp. A 146-seat dining room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Two shelters with restrooms (rental available), picnic tables, and grills are located near the main entrance to the park. Playgrounds are located in the lodge, cottage, and camping areas. Meeting facilities include two private dining rooms, seating 32 and 20. An executive conference room on site seats 20, a large meeting room seats 75, and there is a banquet room that accommodates 224-400 if you’re needing to host a conference. There is also a gift shop.
General Butler – Kentucky Campgrounds
1608 Hwy. 227
Carrollton, KY 41008
Phone: (502) 732-4384
The hilltop Butler Lodge is an attraction within itself. Situated where the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers meet, the campground’s name honors a prominent military family, that of General William Orlando Butler. Butler’s service spanned from Colonial times through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War.
With 111 campsites located among the campground’s three loops, you’re sure to find your perfect parking spot. Once you settle in, visit the lodge and listen to the piano and admire the Ohio River valley view. If you like what you see, there are 53 rooms you can book as well. Each features a private balcony or patio overlooking the pool or hillside. This hilltop resort is the essence of river town charm, featuring the warm glow of polished brass and rich woodwork. Pets are allowed for an extra fee. Other Butler State Resort Park lodging options include 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom cottages.
Greenbo Lake – Kentucky Campgrounds
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park
965 Lodge Rd.
Greenup, KY 41144
Phone: (606) 473-7324
If you’re thinking conference, family reunion, or group camping adventure, Greenbo Lake is your best option. Located on the shores of Green Lake water adventures are plentiful – including a new 10-acre scuba refuge that allows divers to use the lake April through October and other designated times from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Divers are required to present their open water certification or have an instructor with them that has an approved certification. Other types of accepted certifications would include Advanced and Rescue Diver. Divers are also required to have a dive buddy and display his or her own diver-down flags.
Water depth averages 25 feet. There is a daily fee of $12.
Anglers Cove Restaurant is a great break for campers wanting to get away from cooking over a fire or in their RVs.
Fort Boonesborough – Kentucky Campgrounds
FORT BOONESBOROUGH STATE PARK
4375 Boonesboro Road
Richmond KY 40475
Phone Number: (859)527-3454
Fort Boonesborough State Park is the site of Ft. Boonesborough, founded in 1775 by Daniel Boone. A full scale replica of the original fort, complete with living historians is the parks main feature. The park is located in the Central Kentucky Bluegrass Region along the Kentucky River and is near to such attractions as the horse farms around Lexington, the arts and crafts of Berea, and White Hall State Historic Site that is only 8 miles away.
Amenities at the park are too numerous to list, but can be found on the campground’s website. They do however include fishing, fire rings, canoeing, restrooms, showers, laundry, golf, a camp store, a campground host, picnic tables, sunbathing, trails and so much more.
There are 163 sites at this campground, with standard electric at each site
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is located in Russell County Kentucky, just south of Jamestown, on the northwestern edge of Lake Cumberland. With more than 52,000 acres of water and 1,225 miles of shoreline, Lake Cumberland is considered one of the finest fishing and boating areas in the Eastern United States.
There’s an abundance of largemouth, smallmouth, white and Kentucky bass, bluegill, crappie, rockfish, and walleye. The State Dock offers both open and covered slips up to 100′ long with rental fishing boats, pontoon boats, and ski boats. The 18-hole miniature golf course is perfect for family fun, April-November, and the 18-hole disc golf course is available year round.
The campground has 123 site(s), 91 with standard electric, 1 without electric, and 31 tent sites. A four-mile loop trail around the Lure Lodge area and a 1.5-mile one-way trail (3 miles total including return) let hikers enjoy the forest. Guided horseback trail rides depart every hour, and tennis and shuffleboard courts ensure that no visitor will ever get bored here. Interpretive programs on native plants, animals, and local history are conducted at various times throughout the year by a full-time naturalist, and daily summer activities are conducted by recreation staff.
Hungry? The Rowena Landing Restaurant is located inside the beautiful Lure Lodge. The 63-room Lure Lodge overlooks beautiful Lake Cumberland and Pumpkin Creek Lodge and offers 13 rooms. Thirty cottage, including Wildwood cottages featuring fireplaces, round out the available accommodations. A picnic shelter is available for rent and includes tables, grills, and restrooms. Picnic areas are scattered throughout the park.
Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park – Kentucky Campgrounds
998 Levi Jackson Mill Rd.
London, KY 40744
Phone: (606) 330-2130
This park is located near two historic Kentucky trails, the Wilderness Road and Boone’s Trace. These two trails carried more than 200,000 settlers from the eastern colonies into the western frontier between 1774 and 1796. If you enjoy history, you’ll enjoy this area. Located south of London, KY, Levi Jackson State Park encompasses over 800 acres. The park offerings include the Defeated Camp Pioneer Burial Ground, McHargue’s Mill and the Mountain Life Museum. Every building is filled with pioneer relics, including tools, products of agriculture, and household implements. A working reproduction mill dates to the same era as the original McHargue family mill and has authentic interior works, including millstones. It is surrounded by the largest display of millstones in the country.
If you’re looking for more outdoorsy pursuits, cool off in the community swimming pool, or test your putting skills on the 18-hole miniature golf course. Hike on the park’s 8.5 miles of trails. Play horseshoe, volleyball, or basketball. In the camping area, daily summer activities are available for children and adults, under the guidance of a trained recreation staff.
This 146-site campground is nestled in open woodland, but you still get the convenience of utility hookups, a grocery store, a dump station, and three central service buildings containing an activities room, showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities assure camping convenience. Pets are allowed if restrained. The group camping area has an activities building and may be reserved in advance. The Russell Dyche Amphitheater seats 1,500 people and is host to many community events.
Carter Caves State Resort Park – Kentucky Campgrounds
344 Caveland Dr.
Olive Hill, KY 41164
Phone: (606) 286-4411
Beneath the forested hills of this resort, are more than 20 twisting caverns—which is where the park gets its name. Don’t stop at exploring what’s above ground. Go below, into Cascade Cave, where you’ll discover a 30-foot underground waterfall. For millions of years, nature has formed luminous stone fans, pipes and spirals that make this cave exploration worth the trip.
Above ground, enjoy a relaxing game of golf on the 9-hole golf course, go canoeing, hiking, horseback riding or mountain biking on 20 miles of single and multi-use trails. If you don’t want to camp, the beautiful fieldstone lodge at the park offers 28 rooms with full amenities, including a private balcony or patio overlooking the surrounding woodlands. For campers, there are 129 site(s), including 8 equestrian sites, and 90 RV sites (standard electric), and 31 tent sites. Hence, reservations are strongly recommended as this is a very popular park during the summer season.
You’re welcome to camp with your horse, but only with reservations for the Equestrian Campground. Reservations are accepted ONLY by contacting the Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground directly at 606-286-4411. Select option 4 for the campground. Camping in the Equestrian Campground is open to Equestrian Campers year round. However, Non-Equestrian Campers choosing this campground must wait until 10 days before chosen arrival date to make a reservation.
Columbus-Belmont – Kentucky Campgrounds
350 Park Road
Columbus, KY 42032
Phone: (270) 677-2327
Kentucky saw a lot of action during the Civil War, and like many Civil War battlefields, the land has been preserved as a state park. Columbus-Belmont is more than just a campground. It’s the site of a fortification built by the Confederates and later occupied by Union forces. The 1861 Battle of Belmont, fought to overtake the Confederate stronghold here, marked the opening of the Union’s Western Campaign. It was also Grant’s first battle. This 156-acre site is small, but comfortable and quiet, with 38 RV sites with standard electric, utility hookups, and one group area with four sites.
A central service offers restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Pets are allowed if restrained. Campground open year round, water available, but not to each site in winter. Two rental camping trailers and a log cabin are also available by calling the park directly. Each trailer has a kitchen, bath, and sleeps six. The log cabin sleeps two and renter uses campground facilities.
Paintsville Lake – Kentucky Campgrounds
Paintsville Lake State Park
1551 KY 2275
Staffordsville, KY 41256
Phone: (606) 297-8486
Paintersville Lake State Park in eastern Kentucky provides 1,140 acres for your boating, skiing and fishing pleasure. The campground and park grounds are open year round, offering a variety of options for visitors. The park offers three great trail options, including the 1.6-mile Kiwanis Trail. The Dawkins Line Rail Trail stretches 18 miles from Johnson County to Magoffin County and is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders.
The campground has 32 developed sites with restrooms, showers, laundry and sewer hookups waterfront picnic tables, two playgrounds and other recreation. However, if you prefer a primitive walk-in style campsite, there are 10 available. A full-service marina is located near the campground, offering rental houseboats, pontoons and fishing boats.
Pennyrile (equestrian sites) – Kentucky Campgrounds
1555 Crofton Fruithill Rd
Crofton, KY 42217
Phone: (270) 881-7931
Pennyrile Park, named for the tiny Pennyroyal plant found in the woodlands surrounding this resort, is situated in the middle of 14,000 plus acres of forest. They also have a 56 acre lake with pedal boats and row boats. There are miles of hiking trails that meander through the forest. It is a great place to get back to nature. They also have an 18 hole golf course, tennis and basketball court, and a lodge with a full service dining room. The campground has 36-sites and features utility hook ups, a dump station, and one central service building with showers, restrooms, and a laundry. Pets are allowed if restrained.
The rustic wood and stone Pennyrile Lodge is open year round. The lodge sits on a high cliff and has 24 rooms, overlooking Pennyrile Lake.
The park has 13 cottages located in the wooded lodge area and on the shores of Pennyrile Lake. The one and two-bedroom cottages have unique features, offering wooded or lake views, and such amenities as private boat and fishing docks, fireplaces, or screened-in porches. Tableware, cooking utensils, and linens are provided, with fresh linens available daily.
What To Bring –
If you want to bring your horse, this is the campground to bring it to. Pennyrile Forest offers eight pull-through campsites specifically designed for horse owners. Each site feature electric, water and sewer hook-ups. Each site has its own corresponding hitching posts for up to four horses, a picnic table, a lantern hanger and a fire ring/grill combo. As a result, horse campers have access to all campground amenities, which include bathhouses, laundry area and playgrounds. A new 1.25 mile horse trail near the campground connects horseback riders to the 40+ miles of horse trails on the adjacent Pennyrile State Forest.
Nolin Lake State Park ( Open year-round for walk-ins only ) – Kentucky Campgrounds
Nolin Lake State Park
2998 Brier Creek Road
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
Phone: (270) 286-4240
Nolin Lake State Park is situated around its namesake, 5,795-acre Nolin Lake. The campground and sites along the shoreline of Nolin Lake, offer all the natural scenery and comforts you expect, but without the crowds. There are 59 lodging options: 32 campsites with water and electric, 27 primitive sites (some with lakefront views), a restroom/shower building, laundry facilities and dump station. A shaded playground is located by the sites. Three RV sites have been adapted for the disabled. Pets are allowed if restrained. Basic camping supplies can be purchased at the registration booth. Enjoy the lake from the sand beach or launch your watercraft from the boat ramp. The park has a picnic pavilion, tables and grills, for family outings and group events.
Bass, walleye, catfish and crappie are the prize catches here. Therefore, there is a launching ramp on the lake, and a sand beach curves along the lakeshore.
Kentucky Lakes – Prizer Point KOA – Kentucky Campgrounds
1777 Prizer Point Rd.
(Mile Marker 55 on Lake Barkley)
Cadiz, KY 42211
Phone for Info: 270-522-3762
Ever think about camping aboard a boat? You can here. This year the Kentucky Lake KOA has new, hassle-free houseboats that sleep 12 and the best part is, no boating experience required! This KOA offers an indoor/outdoor pool, a zero-entry splash pool, jumping pillow, mini golf, a giant chess set, a basketball court, soccer, volleyball, horseshoes, a playground and pedal carts. Therefore, your kids won’t be bored unless they want to be. As with most KOA’s, this campground offers sites for tent, RV and trailer camping, as well as cabins onsite you can rent.
The Great Loop –
The Cumberland River, part of the “great loop,” a continuous waterway that recreational mariners can travel that includes part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland. Anyone who completes the journey is then named an official ‘Looper.’ This campground is a great stop for boaters looking for a transient slip. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Pier Floating Restaurant, a top restaurant to visit on Lake Barkley that offers catering for easy group events. Nearby attractions include Civil War and Cherokee Trail of Tears historic sites. If you’ve brought your dog with you, this KOA has a Kamp K-9 pet play area. In this area, all dogs can be off leash and play with their owners. There are fun stations, a bench for owners, and a cleanup station.
Kentucky River Campground – Kentucky Campgrounds
1489 Steele Branch Rd.
This friendly little campground is located right on the beautiful Kentucky River just minutes from the state’s capital, and is situated along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The Kentucky River campground offers on-site 24-hour laundry facilities, a children’s playground area, year round heated/air conditioned restrooms/showers. As a result, there is also an on-site propane service and a propane tank swap cage. Enjoy an indoor pavilion with big screen TV, refrigerator and stove, and a camp store that is open during all office hours. There’s free wifi and when you’re away from your computer there is lots of river frontage for all your fishing, kayaking, boating, and swimming.