Where to Camp in the Bluegrass State
Kentucky is a beautiful state of rivers, woods and mountains. Its temperate climate makes it a great camping destination all year round.
Here are our picks for the top 10 places to camp in Kentucky.
1. Kendall Campground – Jamestown
The campground overlooks the river, offering sweeping scenic views. Dense stands of mature hardwoods forest the site, offering scenic views, pleasant shade and wildlife habitat. Because of the temperate climate and relatively long recreation season, the lake provides varied outdoor recreational opportunities for millions of visitors each year. Learn more.
2. Waitsboro Recreation Area – Somerset
Lake Cumberland is the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River. Its large surface acreage and over 1,200 miles of shoreline provide a myriad of recreational activities. The lake has an abundance of largemouth, smallmouth, white and Kentucky bass, bluegill, crappie, rockfish and walleye, making it a favorite among anglers. Learn more.
3. Buckhorn Lake – Hazard
Buckhorn Campground on Buckhorn Lake, provides the perfect outdoor escape in eastern Kentucky's lush Cumberland Plateau. The campground is packed with activities to entertain all ages, including monthly interpretive programs offered during summer months and convenient access for boating and fishing on Buckhorn Lake. Learn more.
4. Walnut Creek Marina – Scottsville
Picnic area, camping, jet ski rentals, boat ramp and dock on Barren River Lake. Learn more.
5. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – Corbin
Known as the “Niagara of the South,” Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is named after the largest waterfall south of the Niagara. 125 ft wide wall of water drops into a boulder-strewn gorge. With a full moon and clear night sky you can see the “moonbow,” a (lunar rainbow) that appears in the base of the waterfall. A phenomenon not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere! The area is also a natural choice for water-sports enthusiasts, offering *white-water rafting, *canoeing, *swimming, and fishing. Learn more.
6. Mammoth Cave – Cave City
There are few better ways to discover the pleasures and curiosities of the sunlit side of Mammoth Cave National Park than to camp among the trees or by the waters. The park offers camping in three developed campgrounds and in more than a dozen primitive sites in the backcountry and along the Green and Nolin Rivers. Use the links to find out about the different campgrounds. The table below will help you choose the one that's best for you. Learn more.
7. Natural Bridge State Resort Park – Slade
Natural Bridge is a 2,200 acre forested park and nature preserve with 22 miles of trails, a 60 acre lake, two campgrounds, lodging, and dining facilities. It is surrounded by the Daniel Boone National Forest and adjacent to the Red River Gorge National Geologic Area. Learn more.
8. Wax Campground – Clarkson
Wax Campground sits on the shores of Nolin River Lake in the rolling landscape of southern Kentucky. The large lake and surrounding greenery create a recreational oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. Click herefor a tour of the lake. Learn more.
9. Nolin Lake State Park – Mammoth Cave
There are 32 camp sites with water and electricity, 40 primitive sites, a restroom/shower building, laundry facilities and dump station. A new playground is located by the sites. Three sites have been adapted for the disabled. Open April-October. Pets are allowed if restrained. Basic camping supplies can be purchased at the registration booth. You can now make reservations by calling 1-888-4KY-PARK. Learn more.
10. Eureka – Lake Barkley
Eureka Campground sits on Lake Barkley among wooded rolling hills and abundant wildlife. Fishing is a well-loved sport here; Kentucky's largest yellow bass was caught in these waters, and anglers flock with hopes of breaking the record. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in Kentucky that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.