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Established Camping

Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

About

National Park Service

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Overview

Alum Ford Campground is located in the Kentucky portion of Big South Fork seven miles west of Whitley City, Kentucky at the end of Highway 700. The campground consists of six campsites each with picnic table and fire ring.

Recreation

The campground is located adjacent to the Alum Ford Boat Launch, providing access for motorized and non-motorized watercraft to this remote section of the Big South Fork River where it becomes Lake Cumberland. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail also passes through the campground. The Sheltowee Trace is a 260-mile back country trail through Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork NRRA, and Natural Bridge, Cumberland Falls, & Pickett State Parks in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Facilities

The campground is located adjacent to the Alum Ford Boat Launch, providing access for motorized and non-motorized watercraft to this remote section of the Big South Fork River where it becomes Lake Cumberland. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail also passes through the campground. The Sheltowee Trace is a 260-mile back country trail through Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork NRRA, and Natural Bridge, Cumberland Falls, & Pickett State Parks in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Natural Features

This small campground sits above the Alum Ford Boat Ramp which provides access to the Big South Fork River.__

Nearby Attractions

The Big South Fork Scenic Railway Depot is located about 9 miles away in the town of Stearns, which offers train rides and other educational opportunities for campers. More information can be found online at https://bsfsry.com.\_\_ Just a few miles from Stearns is Blue Heron Mine, also known as Mine 18, a historic abandoned mining town that has been rebuilt as an outdoor museum. Visitors can hear audio presentations from actual people who lived in the community in the 1950s.____ Additional attractions include the Daniel Boone National Forest and Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, offering additional recreation opportunities.

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Location

Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is located in Kentucky

Detail location of campground

Address

4947 Alum Road
Whitley city, KY 42563

Coordinates

36.765165119229 N
84.547223644282 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Available
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Good

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)

Features

For Campers

  • Reservable
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Water Hookups

Reviews

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4.5

out of 5

3 Reviews

Marsha K.
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2019

Awesome place

This park is gorgeous and great for family . The hiking and camping is wonderful.

SiteBackcountry, tent
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area by Marsha K., September 19, 2019
  • Review photo of Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area by Marsha K., September 19, 2019
  • Review photo of Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area by Marsha K., September 19, 2019
R
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2018

Amazing campground

Great campground and park. Unbelievably clean bathrooms and showers! Site have bear proof cabinets for your cooler, and rangers are super friendly.

Shelly S.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2018

Put it on the Pad

Ranger Review: Mountain House Meals at Alum Ford Campground ,Big South Fork, Ky

Campground Review: Near Yahoo Falls Alum Ford this small (6 sites) primitive campground is a good place to set up base camp for activities your planning in the area. 

Not much to the actual campground: 

• Picnic table, bear box, tent pad ,fire ring

• Pit toilets

• Co-located with a boat-ramp (Cumberland River)

• A trail that meanders along the cliff face behind the campsites that takes you down to the boat-ramp

• Trailhead in the very back to Yamacraw Bridge and the Sheltowee Trace

The campground is quiet aside from loading and unloading boats (which went on until after midnight) There were only two occupied sites when we arrived on a Saturday. No reservations and $5 per site. There is credit card information on the pay envelope but I prefer to use cash and not have my info floating around. 

The campground was clean and well maintained but obviously old and in need of some restoration, no surprise with all the cuts in Park positions. I like this type of campground but not so much the noise from the boat-ramp. There is no direct put in from the sites. I doubt I would leave my watercraft tied off overnight either.

 This would be an excellent and cheap spot to do some extensive hiking from or even backpacking/dispersed camping from. Due to there being no through traffic you could leave your vehicle and odds and ends and not have to worry about anything wandering off while your gone. We camped here after hiking some of the Tennessee end of the Sheltowee Trace. Sunday we hiked some more and visited Yahoo Falls. 

Product Review: Mountain House Freeze Dried Meals are surprisingly very good....https://www.mountainhouse.com/m/abus.html

Now I say this from a background of years of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat....in someone’s opinion) and T-rations. So it should only be improvement, BUT some of the other products I’ve tried were not that great. 

I first tried Mountain House a few years ago on a backpacking trip and thought it was okay, but not great. I tried Mountain House again last year and enjoyed it a lot more. I don’t know if they changed anything or maybe I read and followed the directions ;)

So when given the opportunity as a Dyrt Ranger to review Mountain House I was like absolutely!

I selected breakfast items, Granola and Egg mixtures( not together;) because that’s the time of day I like quick and easy so we can get on the move.

I read the directions and boiled my water, poured a cup in, waited 3 minutes and Had Some Scrumptious Eggs and Bacon! Just that easy, quick AND filled me up. 

I’m trying to think of any cons but right off hand the only problem I ever had was not reconstituting it correctly. Eggs needed some salt and pepper but that would go back to preference. 

Mountain House comes in pro-paks for backpackers and high altitudes, which are packed to save space. They have cans for crowds and kits for preppers or just emergency preparedness.

Definitely good for at the house, in the camper and the car just in case.

Site3
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area by Shelly S., July 10, 2018
  • Mountain House Review
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  • Review photo of Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area by Shelly S., July 10, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area have RV hookups?

According to TheDyrt.com, Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area has water hookups.

Are fires allowed at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

How hard is it to get a campsite at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area?

Some campers book as far as 6 months in advance, so on high-demand weekends it can be very difficult to get a campsite at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. If you want to get a last-minute campsite at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, try setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts

Why is it so hard to get a campsite at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area?

There are 6 campsites at Alum Ford Campground — Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and over 80 million Americans who camp! Try snagging a cancellation by setting up a text message Alert at TheDyrt.com/alerts