About This Campground
Hidden deep under the northeast forests of Kentucky, strange formations with names like Giant Turkey, Headache Rock, and The Cathedral mingle with cave corals, underground waterfalls and thousands of endangered bats. This is what awaits visitors to Carter Caves State Resort Park, approximately 90…
Hidden deep under the northeast forests of Kentucky, strange formations with names like Giant Turkey, Headache Rock, and The Cathedral mingle with cave corals, underground waterfalls and thousands of endangered bats. This is what awaits visitors to Carter Caves State Resort Park, approximately 90 miles east of Lexington. The park was only established, and the cave environments protected, in 1946. Prior to this, the land—and caves—have a long and storied history. It begins millions of years ago, when North America was in its development stage, with the land rising and falling, cracking and washing away. This began forming the caves as seen today. Fast-forward to the 1800s, and the caves served as a resource during the War of 1812. Today however, this 2000-acre park—both above and below ground—serves as a recreation destination for campers and adventurers.
The resort at Carter Caves offers a variety of overnight options, including camping, cottages and a lodge. Campers will find a large campground with 89 RV sites with utilities, 30 primitive tent sites, eight equestrian sites, and two bunkhouses. Most RV sites are back-in, and can accommodate vehicles/trailers up to 60 feet; bunkhouses can accommodate up to six people. The campground features bathhouses with showers, water faucets, picnic shelters, horse stables, and a playground. The park’s cottages are fully equipped with linens, cookware, and most have wood-burning fireplaces; these can accommodate up to eight people. The Lewis Caveland Lodge offers 28 rooms with full amenities, balconies and patios. Dogs are permitted in designated areas, and must remain leashed. Campsite rates are $18–$55/night; cottages and lodge rooms are $75–$240/night.
The main attraction at Carter Caves State Resort Park is … the caves! There are six named caves in the park for exploring. Some are open year-round, some are only open during the summer. The park offers guided walking tours in four of the caves. Tours range from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours, and require some stair-climbing and stooping. There are also two caves open for self-exploration. These are undeveloped, and require visitors to provide their own light source. For the adventurous, there are also two cave crawling expeditions. These tours are three hours long, and explore tight, undeveloped passages that require lots of crawling, stooping and duck-walking in muddy conditions. For visitors who would rather stay and play above ground, the park features 26 miles of hiking trails, guided horseback rides, putt-putt golf, rock climbing, and fishing and paddling on Smoky Valley Lake.
- ADA Access
- Picnic Table
- Firewood Available
- Sanitary Dump
- Sewer Hookups
- Pull-Through Sites
- 30 amp Hookups
- 50 amp Hookups
- Drive InPark next to your campsite
- Walk InPark in a lot, walk to your campsite
- Hike InHike a trail to your campsite
- Boat InBoat to your campsite
We went in March and the campground was pretty empty and a lot amenities were still closed but the sites were cleaned up good from the ice storms. The sites are a little closer than we prefer but if its not busy then you have plenty of room. Lots to do in the park with plenty of hiking and…
Threw a surprise camping trip for my boyfriend and it turned out AMAZING! Love this campground and can’t wait to check more of it out again!
The park was beautiful and on a Tuesday/ Wednesday the tent sites were practically empty. Some sites are much more level than others, mine(114) wasn’t very level but was ok. The trails are beautiful definitely recommend the 4Cs trail if you have time they also had a cute little gift shop at the…
Carter Caves State Resort Park is located in Kentucky