The best camping in
Kentucky

1007 Reviews 354 Campgrounds
Camping Kentucky

With Kentucky’s 45 state parks, the greatest length of navigable waterways in the lower 48, and the world’s longest cave system, the state of bourbon and horse racing is a dream destination for outdoor lovers. A diverse state with numerous distinct natural regions, Kentucky has a plethora of camping locations. Whether you choose to visit a state park or national forest, you don’t have to look hard to find amazing locations for camping in Kentucky.

For some of the most romantic and rugged landscapes in the state, visit the Red River Gorge in the south. With some of the most spectacular sites for camping in Kentucky, the gorge is a popular destination with visitors and locals alike. Climbers and hikers love the steep and rocky hillsides and cliffs which make the gorge famous. Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Red River Gorge offers endless overnight options. From dispersed camping in quiet stretches of forest to whimsical treehouse and full-access campgrounds, it’s easy to find the perfect spot to spend the night. Snag a site next to a lake with record-sized muskies and you won’t have to go far to get on the water first thing in the morning.

If you love fishing, visiting Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is a must. With an abundance of lakes and rivers teeming with fish, it’s an angler’s dream. Enjoy lazy afternoons canoeing on the river or get an adrenaline rush on thrilling rapids. Nature lovers will love the plethora of wildlife and numerous hiking trails that wind through lush shaded forests.

Keep exploring Kentucky’s shaded forests and rugged cliffs in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in southeast Kentucky. Boaters will delight in the park’s large, languorous rivers and quick-flowing streams. Sheer bluffs and rocky gorges characterize the river valleys where water flows over rugged rapids and slows in quiet pools.

There are a variety of options for camping in Kentucky near the Big South Fork, from primitive to developed campgrounds. If you’re travelling with horses, stay in the horse camp, complete with a tack store stocked with essentials. Keep in mind that most parks and campgrounds have a ban on bringing your own firewood to prevent the spread of invasive species. Check with the campground regulations before you come, as some allow collection of wood on the forest floor and other require you to purchase firewood from a ranger. Wherever you choose to stay, with the Dyrt you can be sure to find the best camping in Kentucky.

EXPLORE
Recent Reviews in Kentucky
Hideaway says it all

First impression was not your typical campground. This is a climbers haven, so expect to see a lot of “down to earth”, modern “hippie” types in their converted/or not vans.

There are limited 30 amp sites and several sites with electric. Lazy Oaks and Piney are in the trees, Cardinal which is good for larger RVs is in the field , no shade. Then there are two wide open fields where you can set up wherever you please and a new area under construction as of Fall 2019. They are also constructing a new showerhouse. I spoke with the office ladies and they are pretty flexible with accommodating campers. The trails on site are being cleared. And there is breakfast for guests on certain mornings and a “shack” and pavilion for all to use. I stayed in the red roof cabin which was small but pretty awesome. Full kitchen, bathroom, gas fireplace heater and loft w/three beds. Then there’s the porch overlooking the little lake. There are several cabins of varying size to rent, one with a HOT TUB! Definitely worth a visit. Natural Bridge State Park is nearby as well as several adventure based businesses.

Clean, Quiet and Beautiful

The campground was clean and quiet. Our campsite backed up to the Cumberland River. There were several spots for hiking and fishing. We will definitely be back!

Nice, basic campground

We stopped here passing through for 1 night.  My impression was that the camping area was a basic field with not much privacy between sites.  It's good we had a 50' hose because the water hook-up was with other faucets between a few sites.  Not with the electrical hook-up as we were used to seeing.

Awesome campground on the lake!

This time of year (October) this campground is walk up only. We got there as quick as we could and are glad we did as we were able to grab an awesome site. There are tent sites and RV sites here and the campground is gorgeous. It’s right on a lake(so expect boat traffic) and there are several loops all along the lake. Those loops are connected by a trail that I enjoyed walking on. Internet service is spotty there– our Verizon hotspot worked ok, but the Sprint was super slow. There are mountain biking trails that you can access right from the campground so that was nice. You can also go on a short hike up one of the knobs. However, there really isn’t a good view at the top. I loved this campground and would go back in a heartbeat! In fact, I didn’t want to leave!

Beach, camping, what else do you need?

Great place to set up camp and enjoy! On site washer and dryers, very nice shower houses, the camp attended is super nice, all the staff will go above and beyond to make your stay a great one. Every night there are deers out grazing and it's near fishing spots, and Wayne's right up the street is a super nice little country store. I will be going back to camp there again and again.The restrooms and grounds were very clean at the campsite. The camp host and store clerk were friendly and helpful. This is a very small park with a quiet campground. There is no gate to the campground, so there is some traffic that comes through from time to time which I didn't care for. The trails were nice. The beach and beach house were just okay, not bad, but not great either.

tons of water activities

Great place to visit. Is beautiful with a lot of walking trails 10 things to do. In summer for swimming and rental boats paddle boats and some battery powered boats.I was there for a fall photography contest it was a little too soon and theirwas very little color. You can camp in tents or campers you can ride horses or enjoy the lake and many miles of walking trails. They also have hotel rooms and cabins if you care to spend multiple nights the beautiful Park and I highly recommend it to anybody that enjoys outdoor Beauty.This year 2019 makes the fifth year tha I've gone to Pennyroyal for the fall photography contest I've also been there a few springs for the spring photography contest. These photos are not the best cuz I took them from the restaurant through a window screen so you can kind of see it in the in the images I'll try to upload better ones later.

Decent campground

Nice campground. Not very big though. The do have some pull through sites for equestrian trailers. Good horse trails. Clean facilities.

Excellent Campground for Family

We stayed here for three nights in Mid-October 2019.  The site we had was in the Annex portion and the parking pad was long, wide and level. Plenty of room to park a large RV and car or boat. In addition the site offered plenty of space for chairs to socialize and faces into the surrounding foliage versus the RV next door. 

The site was set at an angle that made backing into a breeze and level to the paved road. The site included a picnic table, 2 posts to hang lanterns, etc and a fire ring. 

While fairly full the campground was quiet and all the other other campers were very respectful of each other. 

The campground is ideal for riding bicycles around as you can ride from the Annex to the main campground, the snack bar, and the trout fish hatchery without encountering a lot of vehicle traffic.  While there are some hills the grades are long and not too steep. 

The hatchery is open every day but Christmas, is free,  and is very educational. You can walk though the whole operation and  see the trout in different stages of growth. In addition there is a man made trout stream that take the water from the hatchery to the Cumberland River and it is a beautiful stroll along the banks to see the different habitats that make trout stream.  Catch and release fishing is allowed. 

The snack bar offers pretty good fare at a reasonable price and sells firewood and ice on the honor system when closed at night. 

If you need supplies or a dinner out Jamestown is not too far and offers most of the "Generica" you would expect. 

While I didn't use the bathhouses the buildings suggested newer construction and they offer washer and dryers. 

Expect to see deer in abundance as well as ducks and blue heron.

Jesse Stuart Greenbo Lake Lodge

We recently stayed at Jesse Stuart Greenbo Lake Lodge from Oct 17 thru Oct 20 2019. Our was a wonderful room looking over towards the lake. The room was clean.The staff was very friendly and helpful. We had a couple of minor electrical issues which we told the staff about. The only negative thing that I can say about the room is that the TV was very small for the room size. An their is no way to store any food or drinks in the room because their is no type of mini refrigerator available in the room. Which would have been nice. But we would stay at the lodge again in the future. We would give the room a score of 3.5 stars⭐️

Boo Fest weekend! So much fun.

The second and third weekends in October is Boo Fest. Great time for the kids (adults too)!

Great sites, beautiful landscape.

You'll have to drive a ways out of your way to get there, but once you do, you'll be glad. We typically have to leave Fridays after work, so we typically arrive at dark; sites aren't well marked, and not much turning room on the road to manuever while you're trying to back up. There are several pull-through options and some small camping cul-de-sacs.

We stayed at site 40, which had a huge pad, great concrete coated picnic table and lantern stand. Firepits don't have grills options.

The camp is quite small, one major loop, and 5-8 sites on the water, but only available first come basis. Friendly and helpful staff and great diner called the Watering Hole 1 mi up the road.

Very nice bathrooms, centrally located, cute playground and right on the water. Only one dump site, and it’s a one-sided, one port, pull-through lane, so if you go at checkout /1-2pm, expect a 2-3 RV wait to dump.

Red River Gorge

I thought it was a little too crowded for my liking. I prefer sites a little more secluded though. Still enjoyed my stay.

Thumbs up.

I loved site 48 at Cliffy Campground. It was the most secluded spot we could find. Definitely book ahead of time if you can.

Beautiful place

The falls here are great ! The hiking is good, the only thing is the markers are a little confusing . When we went some of the trails where closed and it was unclear on the trail markers where to go. The facilities where good except the bathrooms where closed . The rest was clean and the staff was very knowledgeable.

Beautiful view! Nice site.

Site D-11 couldn’t get much better view. The walk down to the lake is short, kind of steep and rocky but easily manageable. The site is decent sized and not far from the bath house through the woods.

Cute but noisy!

This campground has decent facilities and some shaded areas. The reason for my low rating is that it’s 11:00 pm and someone is singing karaoke. I mean loud, amplified country music sung badly. The current track is The Gambler, and I can hear it clearly over the music on my cell phone speaker. Very noisy campground on busy weekends, it seems. Bring earplugs. Unless you like to get drunk and sing Willie Nelson. Then you’ll fit right in.

Fallsburg campground

Good place to get away for the weekend.

Great little park with all you need

Nice little campground, with full hook-ups available. Nice views of the Mississippi River. Very clean all around. All site are hard and somewhat level. You can drive a short distance to the river for some boat watching. Everything is very well cared for. Lots of Civil War history on site. I'd recommend that you pass on buying the internet service. It's spotty at best and slow.

Columbus has plenty of areas to have a cookout, an abundance of trails to explore, a ton of scenery for your eyes to enjoy, history woven into it's fabric which is narrated to you by way of signs and a museum(which cost a very reasonable fee to explore), a beautiful campground, a pleasant little food shack with reasonable food prices( hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, sodas and more on menu), and cute mini Golf course!( also a reasonable fee). The staff we ran into were very friendly and helpful. Can't wait to journey back

Not sure we’ll come back

We were not very impressed with the campground. The water and electric hookups on some sites are very from from the pads. We had to park our trailer close to the hookups which means we are just barely off the road. The sites are very small and some of them are very unlevel. Unfortunately not sure we would come back.

Accommodating

We arrived after hours and were told we could stay in a site, and in the morning they would find us an open campsite. Although it rained we still had a great experience at the campsite, hiking and caving.

Fun, good food, lots of people

Miguel’s is a cute and family friendly place where lots of campers gather. Is like camping in a backyard

Older campground but still has all you need

 We've camped here a couple of times. Lake is nice but some of the sites on the lake are steep. The spot was clean and had a nice picnic table and fire pit. 

Electric hook up a bit far from camper. Needed to buy extension for 30-50 amp hookup.

Level? Not so much. Unless you are a master truck driver, and pull a trailer less than 24', you are in trouble backing into most sites. Pray your neighbor moves his/her vehicle for you. Bathhouse needs a total gut job, and more attentive personnel on busy weekends. Area around the campground is great with lots of activities.

Average camping

We've camped and stayed in the lodge and both are not horrible but….This place is a diamond in the rough, and you should focus on the rough aspect. When we pulled up to the lodge it was awe inspiring. We registered in a lovely lobby, and drove to the parking lot by our room. This is where things changed. We carried our bags to the rustic covered walkway, and fought our way through swarms of nats to get to our room. The woodwork is in poor shape, and the metal brackets are rusting. Spider webs and mud dauber nests are all over. We stayed in a ground level room. There is no elevator, so we carried our bags down the stairs. The room is late 60s decor, and kinda funky, but a little worn, furthermore, it was not particularly clean. We called the front desk, and the desk clerk came down personally to vacuum the room, and was as pleasant as can be when she did. The adjoining room next door can be heard through the wall. The dining room is somewhat better cared for, and the food was good. Every staff member has been pleasant and engaging, and the views are amazing. With a good housekeeping manager, a good grounds crew, some maintenance catch up, and spraying for bugs this lodge would be simply fantastic. As it is, it is a tolerable, interesting place to stay with a very nice group of people in contact with the customer. If you choose to stay here, opt for the second floor room and preferably the marina side. It seems less buggy.

Beautiful

Camp at twin knobs and hike at tater knob fire tower and lockegee lookout .

The site is good but remember to bring sleeping pad due to you only for site for tent

Always had a nice time there

Primitive camping and rv space. You can rent a cabin and such. There is a resort.  Everything always looks really nice. So many recreational activities, caves, hiking, horses and a lot more. I would really recommend visiting.

Not bad

We stayed in the H area. All the areas before H appeared to have sewer hookup but we didn't. Simple playground nearby as well as a basketball court. Nets needed to be replaced but hey, it's not the YMCA. Bath houses close to us. Not super clean but not dirty. Spots were pull through so that was a plus. Pretty unlevel though. Bring lots of blocks. Burn ban in effect so no campfires but it was a good precaution to take for sure. Might visit there again but definitely want sewer hookup and will take more blocks.

Awesome campground

Stayed 3 nights with my granddaughter and we had a wonderful time. Perfect size for our Range Runner mini camper.

Ranger Review Red Ledge Thunderlight jacket at Axtel Campground

Campground Review: I have stayed at and reviewed this campground before, however this time I am reviewing our experience at site I158 over Labor Day Weekend while using the Red Ledge Thunderlight jacket. Site I158 has no electric or water. It is a fairly small tent site that is very close to other sites. There is only enough room for 1 tent and 1 vehicle. The fire ring is nice and has a grill attached. There is a large picnic table and a prep table with a tall hook, which we hung our trash on. The site is gravel but I was able to put in my tent stakes with minimal effort. The site is completely wooded, so if you don't like tent camping near trees, this site is not for you. The upside is there are plenty of sticks for kindling. I did however get hit with a few falling acorns, and that did not feel good at all. The quiet time at this campground is respected and followed. The beach is great for hanging out and swimming in the lake. The beach had previously been damaged by flooding but was beautiful for Labor Day Weekend. 

Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt www.thedyrt.com, I get products to test from time to time and today I am reviewing the Men& Women's Thunderlight Jacket from Red Ledge https://www.redledge.com/products/mens-and-womens-thunderlight-jacket?variant=7068462153788. I made a video folding the jacket into the carrying bag after I returned home from camping. 

1. What I liked about this product: The jacket fits great. Using the size guidelines on Red Ledge's website, I ordered the appropriate sized jacket and it fits perfectly. I like the sealed edges that kept any water from getting to my clothes underneath. This jacket is lightweight. It is a great jacket to use anywhere, but this would be great for back country camping. Because it's lightweight and breathable, I also used it for sun protection while sitting on Rough River Lake beach. The hood hangs over a little bit keeping the sun and rain out of your eyes. The cuffs and the bottom of the jacket are adjustable, which I love. Red Ledge offers this jacket in 13 different colors, but I chose Mercury(gray). The price of the jacket is a little higher than I expected, however, I believe this jacket will hold up over time and be completely worth it. As a tent camper, I have learned to spend a little more money on better quality products than to buy cheap stuff and have to keep replacing them. 

2. What I didn't like about this product: I didn't quite understand how the hood adjust worked and it took me a little bit of figuring it out. However, once I understood what I was doing, it worked great. 

Overall, I would recommend this jacket. My son has the youth version of The Thunderlight and he loves it. I think Red Ledge has made a good quality product that anyone can use and appreciate.

Walk through history

Fort Boonesborough SP is near I64 and I75 Between Lexington and Richmond , Ky. The Kentucky River is adjacent. I remember watching Daniel Boone in black and white when I was a kid. The Fort is very cool.

I imagine the staff here stays very busy considering the amount of people that pass through. Then there are those visitors that try to get the most for their money and stuff as many people as possible into one site. And my favorite, the ones that think it’s someone else’s responsibility to clean up their trash. So here’s a shout out to the people that do their best to keep it working and try to keep a professional smile on their face while putting up with the less then polite visitors.

Alrighty then…..nice enough busy campground with some sites definitely more preferable then others. Knowing the campground and reserving ahead always makes your stay better. We visited in the off season so did not have to worry about the crowds. Showerhouse was adequate and the sites reasonably level. Sort of a “every available spot” used kinda campground and I would not want to stay here when it is at full capacity. I’m here for the hiking mostly and enjoyed the trails and bridges. The Fort was VERY cool. If my kids were still at home this would definitely be a field trip location! In the area is the Beer Cheese Trail check it out!

Good place by Mammoth Cave

We stayed here for spring break to visit some caves. We had a good time. We rented a golf cart for a day just for fun. The store was big and new.