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.
This is absolutely my favorite camping home. The staff is amazing, they know us by name. Fellow campers are courteous and very friendly, almost like family.
We stayed in site 6 on May 18, 2019. It was a gravel, back in site and backed up to the lake. It was fairly sloped towards the lake. We had a pop up with a 16 foot box but if you had a larger camper you might need blocs for your back stabilizers. The water pressure was quite high (70 psi) according to the worker at the campground so make sure to have a water pressure regulator. The pool looked great, but it closes really early at 8 o’clock which seems too early for the summer when it’s hot and light way past that. We didn’t get a chance to get in the pool as we get back to the campground about 8:15 and had to leave early the next day. The showers were great and clean. There were 9 of them, each in its own lockable room with a sink and toilet. There was also a laundry in the shower building. Three washers and dryers. We paid $40 for a one night stay with full hook ups and had no discounts applied. I would have given it a 5 but only gave it a 4 because of the early pool closing.
Love this place, will be returning in the future. We stayed a week and only saw three other campers and no one with in 100 yards of our campsite. All the sites had a fire pit and I believe tables at the sites. They close the gates at night and don’t open the gates till 8 am was the only drawback. The gate adds to the security of the campground I liked that they control coming and going at night times.
Definitely a favorite spot by far
If you are looking for something cushy, this is not the campground for you. I happen to love this type of camping, so I'm giving it 5 stars. Here's what to know:
No campsite water or electric
The bathrooms are just that, bathrooms.
Showers are located at the general store which is walkable but it's a small trek.
Bring quarters, ones and/or five dollar bills for the shower.
Bring something to carry your water to your campsite for dishes and whatnot. There is a water pump at the bathroom areas. Easy walking access to visitors center. The firewood at the store is BioWood. Good for cooking, burns hot and long. Worth the price. Campsite 20 had a ton of shade trees which helped when it rained but it's in the back and beside a main road.
In May, before Memorial Day, there are no crowds. Bonus! We would stay again if in the area.
Pros: If you have an RV, kids and/dogs, this place is for you! It has a pool, mini golf, a playground for the kiddos and other such amenities. Lots of RVs here as well so the campground is very open. It seemed like everyone had a dog as well. The bathrooms and showers are clean and heated. There are also many sites on the creek which is nice.
Cons: Not really the best place for tent camping. It did ok since we were only there for 1 night. It does have campsite water and electric. Tent spots are not available on the creek which was a bummer. The bathrooms it seemed are right by the dump station and they smelled so bad of sewer we decided not to shower. It was that potent. There is only one bathroom and it's farthest from the tent sites.
Overall: if you have an RV or camper, this is a great place. Pass if you are tent camping.
This big campground is a hidden gem near Red River Gorge. The road getting to the campsite is mostly one lane so is you are in an RV, go slow. The area for RV's is a little tight in the trees and probably won't accommodate an extremely large vehicle. However, there is a huge open field on further into the camp that should be fairly easy to turn around in. The huge field is available for tent campers, but these are primitive sites with no water/electricity. The improved sites with water/electricity are closer to The Pavilion and Shake Out Lounge. The Pavilion is a great place to gather and talk with friends or enjoy the big campfire next to it. The Shake Out Lounge has a tv, free wifi and free books to borrow. There is a bathhouse with toilets and showers. There are 2 locations to obtain firewood on the campground. They also sell ice. There is not a store on site, but a short drive up the road there is a general & grocery store that also sells fresh made sandwiches. There are cabins to rent. The cabins are tucked in the trees and are very cozy. The cabin we stayed in on one of our visits, had a queen bed, kitchen area and bathroom with a shower. Plenty of trees to hang a hammock, as well. Some of the cabins overlook the beautiful lake. The lake is perfect for swimming in and has a dock and life jackets for campers use. The gravel/dirt road getting to the lake is steep, so I recommend walking down to the lake. Fishing is allowed with a permit in the lake. There are hiking trails and dogs are welcome at the campground. Overall, a great campground for individuals, friends and families.
As KOAs go, this is one of The nicer ones! There is actually grass, not gravel, around the sites. There are trees and flowers and it is quite pleasant. With KOA you expect water, electric and sewer hookups. Clean shower/bathroom facilities and usually a pool. This place has that. Along with a small store, fishing lake, propane filling station. A dog park would be nice for the pups, but the do have a large grass area for walking them on lead. Internet connection is spotty! The spaces are a little close, but not as bad as some, and we were on an end site, so we had more room.
We have camped twice at this campground. Here's what you should know about our experiences. We tent camped at an improved site, so most RV knowledge on my part is limited. I do know that it is a one lane, paved road coming in (Lincoln School Rd). There is a sign telling you to call before you start down the road with your RV so they can make sure no one else is going to block you. If you are in a vehicle, you do not need to call. When you arrive, most likely, Dave or Rocky (the owners) will greet you with a big smile and a howdy! The horse barn is the first building you will see on your left. You continue on your way and you will see the owners house and then you will see a small shed and a gate arm to the entrance of the campground. There is a call box if no one greeted you on your way in. Someone will either come and collect your payment or they will give you the box code and meet you at your site. All the improved campsites are easily accessed and easy to find. Each improved site has a light post with electric,water, picnic table and fire ring. All the sites are flat and perfect for a tent or RV. The sites are surrounded by a gravel loop, so you can pull straight in and when you leave, pull straight out. The sites are not shaded but the entire property is surrounded by trees of Mammoth Cave National Park. The restrooms/showers are just steps away and easily accessed. All the times we have stayed, the restrooms were well maintained and clean. There is a covered pavilion with seating just outside the restrooms. A perfect place to gather for shade or to get out of the rain. Connected to the pavilion is a room with a tv and is typically used for entertaining. Double J does offer party packages for weddings, parties and meetings. Ice and firewood are available for purchase. There is not a store on sight, but there is a little country store right down the road where you can get gas and snacks. You can bring your own horses and they can stay in the field overnight or in a covered stall with shavings. All the stalls were dry when we were there during a very heavy rainfall. If you don't have your own horse, they have the BEST horses for trail rides! The guide will take you directly into Mammoth Cave National Park. They are the only guided horse trails that authorized to go into the National Park. At only $25 for an hour ride and $35 for a 2 hour ride, it's less expensive than a lot of other places I have been. They also have a 4 hour trail ride available. Since Mammoth Cave National Park is just steps away, you can also easily go hiking without having to drive to a trail head. There is a playground for younger kids to play on. While we were there the owners were fundraising so they could improve it further. Overall, I would and have recommended this place to all my friends who love camping and horses. This campground is maintained by people who love it and it shows! Check their website for weekend events like Derby, ladies getaways, kids day camps and more! You should call in advance for reservations as most of their events book fast and sell out!
We were a little uneasy at first because we usually do national forest camping, due to our amount of kids but they made us feel welcome from the time we rolled up. They placed us in the best basic site (B19) where we were up on the hill and had a 180⁰ view of the lake and were right across from the bathhouse. The store on site is incredibly cheap and reasonable, the bathhouses are clean and it was nice to have hot water showers. The elk & bison prairie was a great close by stop, I'd highly reccomend stopping in. We stayed for a week and will definitely be back on our way through.
Loved staying at the mammoth cave state park last weekend. April 26th-28th 2019.
No reservations are needed until May 1st. It was Walk up First come first serve from March through May. The last weekend of April was perfect and was not over crowded but had a good amount of visitors. We had perfect weather as well. The camp grounds are clean and nice looking , bathrooms also very clean and have normal toilets, laundry room had new washers and dryers and very roomy & clean with attached bathrooms & showers for men & women. The camp store was nicely set up and had plenty of foods and stuff Incase you forgot anything. However they do not sell real fire wood. They do sell compressed fire bricks. That Looks-like compressed sawdust bricks. So if you want real fire wood you have to go off trail and find it. Recommend and saw to cut it up but there was plenty of dead branches to be found through out the park and you are allowed to pick it up and burn it. The cave tours are fun and educational however if you lack fitness some of them will test your limits. So know your limits before booking. Highly recommend buying your tickets before you arrive as they fill up super fast and they offer more tours during the peak season than they do in spring.
The lodge is nice has 2 restaurants one is sit down one is fast food snacks like setting. There are 5 gift shops in all between the camp store has 1 the lodge has 2 and the visitors center has 2. It’s worth the trip if your in to caving and hiking. Unfortunately there is lack of access to the river unless you go backwoods hiking/camping But all in all it’s a fun time!
Who doesn’t like there own island This state park offers you 3, along with great views, beautiful scenery and 18 holes of golf, swimming and hiking options. You also can launch your boat at the marina or since Camping is also available there in the campground. This park has it all, 27 campsites, you can boat in, hike in or drive in and the boat in sites (16) offer your own lake view! Hike in (4) give you deep seclusion in the woods. Fire pits and picnic tables are provided. At the campground are restrooms, showers, and laundry. So no matter how you get here the thought of being on an island with seclusion and spectacular views should have you hooked for a day or longer.
Make reservations!! Great place for riding bike , hiking , walks. swimming, fishing. Staff are friendly, campground is clean. We love going there. Double sites have plenty of room.
Great campground and park. We stayed during Camper Appreciation weekend. Lots of activities. Staff was super friendly. Park was clean. Bison herd was an awesome experience. The only down side was our site was quite unlevel. Aside from minor updating needed (like most KY state park campgrounds), this was a great visit.
Very clean & quiet! The wildlife are very friendly!
Camped here with our pop up on 4/5/19. Lots of mud still around the camp sites. A nice parking lot in front of sites to back your rig up. Pads are small in length so be aware of that when it mentions it on the website.
Shower was free, good hot water. Only full hook ups on one site, but all the others has electric and water. The campground sits right next to the lake and dam and you can fish both in the lake and on the stream below the dam. A couple of docks on the lake side. They also rent paddle boats. Playground too for little kids. We paid $25.50 per night. Nice walking trails and a couple of geocaches not to far away.
This stunning Eastern Kentucky State Park offers spectacular views of rock formations, tree lined roads, and a stunning lake. Whatever your pleasure may be, fishing, boating or golf, you will have amazing opportunities at this over 1,500-acre Park. Hike the couple of trees and admire the hemlocks, rhododendrons,ferns, and mosses. Stay at one of the 71 sites and enjoy gazing at the stars. There’s a dump station, restrooms, and laundry available. Located in Carter and Elliott counties you will simply fall in love with the hills and terrain.
GRAND PRIZE $100 to Banner & Oak
4 RUNNERS UP WIN $50 to Grub Stick