The Tailwater Campground offers 48-sites located along the Barren River, just below the dam. This lazy riverside campground is quieter than neighboring campgrounds and seems to have a slower pace since it is set below the lake, yet close enough for easy lake access.
Annually, the campground is host to the Barren River Lake Scout Celebration which began in 1995. Scouts from surrounding states converge at the Tailwater Campground to celebrate, compete, and demonstrate their skills over the weekend. This event occurs every August and is something everyone can be a part of as a participant or on looker.
View a virtual tour of Barren River Lake.
The Tailwater provides a great location when fishing for catfish or hybrid striped bass, and downstream provides an opportunity to catch several different species of bass, as well as a variety of sunfishes. Try hiking the Steen Bergen Nature Trail for a chance to spot resident great horned owls, a variety of woodpeckers, migrating songbirds, or a family of chipmunks. The river offers a chance to see belted kingfishers, green herons, or maybe even an otter dining on an afternoon snack.
Each site has water hook ups and electric available during the months of May through September. Primitive camping is available in the off season with pit toilets offered during that time. The campground has an amphitheater, playground, beach volleyball court, horseshoe pit, and an open field for sports like softball or a fun game of tag. Other amenities just outside the campground at the stilling basin recreation area include: picnic sites, a pavilion available for reserving, playground, and basketball court.
Beautiful views of high cliffs and hills are on the other side of the river. Frequently you will see a bald eagle perched waiting for a fish to surface from the stilling basin's discharge. The surrounding woods are a quiet retreat and an opportunity for wildlife viewing at the permanent wildlife blind.
The lake's shoreline is less than a mile away for swimming and boating activities. The premier recreation area, Port Oliver, is just across the dam and Quarry Road Recreation Area offers a reservable pavilion, fishing piers, playground, flush toilets, swimming area with beach, and a variety of picnic sites.
Stop and visit Barren River Lake State Resort Park, host of the Glasgow Highland Games. Peninsula Marina is less than five miles away. Good day trips to other local area attractions include: the National Corvette Museum, Kentucky Down Under, and Diamond Caverns. There are several other family attractions within the Glasgow, Bowling Green, and Cave City region and visitors can explore Mammoth Cave National Park, an hour north of the campground.
ADA Access: N
Enjoyed my time staying at Tailwater in Kentucky. It was about an 8hr drive from where I live, so we decided to stay here for a long weekend with friends. We ended up renting out 2 campsite spots to fit 8 of us and luckily we were able to get a spot right next to each other. We had 2 huge 6 person tents, so 4 stayed in one and 4 in the either. We fit comfortably! Thankfully the campsite were fairly large to fit our cars and 2 big tents. The attendants working in the front were super nice and helpful. They helped us find our spots, and then gave us recommendations on where to hike in the mornings. Because we came in the summer, it was pretty busy. The Barren River is right next to the campground and makes for a beautiful day to head down to the river and cool off. The campground is fairly large- I believe it has close to 50 spots. Campground was easy to find, and the signage for the campground was great. Cost was $20 a night per site, so for us it was $40 sense we had 2 sites but we split it 8 ways so it was super cheap. We brought tons of food, and snacks, so at night we just hung around each other- some in hammocks or in chairs and just talked. The hiking was really great- super awesome views. The trails were in such great condition!! Would definitely come back.
Tailwater Campground below Barren River Lake Dam is picture perfect maintained. You would think you just missed the tractor mowing. That being said the attendant at the gate was more concerned about talking to her mother about shopping instead of talking to me about the campground.
There is a HUGE field that was full of Boy Scouts there's also a group campground at the far end. Plenty of room for large groups.
None of the sites have direct access to the water but there is a boat ramp with paths along the waterway. There is also a nature trail in the woods behind the field.