Kentucky camping enthusiasts are fortunate to have access to many really well equipped campgrounds, most of which are situated in beautiful river or lake-side locations. The vast majority of the popular campgrounds are dotted around Kentucky’s many State Parks and most of them offer serviced campsites with full or partial hook-up for RV’s and trailers as well as primitive tent sites for those wanting a more rustic adventure. On-site activities range from caving to horse-back riding and almost all offer hiking trails. If you are traveling with children you can choose resort-style campgrounds which offer many extra activities including tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball and outdoor swimming pools.
1.Axtel Campground, Rough River Lake
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Scenically nestled along the shoreline of the Rough River Lake in south-central Kentucky, the Axtel Campground offers a home-from-home for all outdoor enthusiasts. The large campground boasts 158 camp sites, all of which benefit from sweeping views of the lake. Many of the sites have electrical hook-up and some of them offer full hook-up. The campground has many attractive facilities including showers, flushing toilets, a swimming area, boating marina and a fish-cleaning facility. You can enjoy several on-site activities like boating, swimming and fishing and there is a short trail for hiking and bird-watching. Near-by attractions include the Mammoth Cave National Park where you can explore the largest cave system in the world.
Axtel Campground, McDaniels, KY 40152, Phone: 270-257-2584
Home to 215 scenically located campsites, Baileys Point is the largest and roomiest campground on the shores of Barren River Lake. Nature lovers come from near and far to enjoy the park’s excellent facilities which include serviced RV sites with great views, a boat ramp, general store, dump station and laundry facilities. Activities like basketball, volleyball and horseshoes will keep all members of the family busy when they are not out on the lake enjoying boating, swimming and fishing. In addition, the campground offers easy access to several interesting day-trip destinations including the Mammoth Cave National Park and the National Corvette Museum.
Baileys Point, Bailey Point Rd, Scottsville, KY 42164, Phone: 270-622-6959
3.Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
© Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
For a camping excursion with an educational slant you will find the Big Bone Lick State Historic Site campground hard to beat. The Visitor’s Center at the historic site offers excellent exhibits to excite young minds with stories of long-gone ice-age mammals, geology and history. To enjoy all there is to see you can bring along your tent or RV and spend a few nights in the campground which boasts serviced campsites, a swimming pool, playgrounds, showers and laundry facilities. Besides viewing the resident herd of bison, visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, swimming and mini-golf. The campground is open from March to the end of October each year.
Big Bone Lick State Historical Site, 3380 Beaver Rd, Union, KY 41091, Phone: 859-384-3522
4.Camp on the Kentucky
© Camp on the Kentucky
If you are looking for a small and intimate campground where you can spend some time communing with nature, you need look no further than the privately-owned Camp on the Kentucky Campground. The campground is scenically located along the shores of the Kentucky River in Woodford County, where you will find 18 fully serviced campsites as well as 15 primitive campsites for those who want to experience the essence of back-to-nature camping. Each of the sites has a fire pit and picnic table and there is an on-site boat ramp and general store. Although most visitors come to relax and unwind, the campground offers easy access to various near-by attractions.
Camp on the Kentucky, 5486 Cummings Ferry Rd, Versailles, KY 40383, Phone: 859-879-6402
5.Carr Creek State Park
Perfectly positioned for a peaceful riverside vacation, the Carr Creek State Park offers campers 39 serviced and shady campsites, all of which have easy access to the water. The campground is open from April to November and is especially popular with bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts who come to enjoy sightings of many species of wildlife. Water activities include boating, fishing and swimming. There is a long sandy beach along the shores of the lake and other family activities include horseshoes, canoeing, biking and hiking. On-site facilities include restrooms and showers, laundry facilities and a playground for the younger visitors.
Carr Creek State Park, 2086 Smithboro Rd, Hwy 15, Sassafras, KY 41759, Phone: 606-642-4050
6.Carter Caves State Resort Park
© Carter Caves State Resort Park
The Carter Caves State Resort Park offers a host of activities for adventure seekers of all ages. To enjoy all the activities on offer you can bring along your RV or tent and spend a few nights in the attractive campground which offers serviced campsites and good facilities. In addition to exploring the fascinating underground world of caverns, chambers and waterfalls you can also enjoy a large variety of outdoor activities including walking, hiking or biking along more than 20 miles of multi-use trails. If you have your own horse you are welcome to book one of the equestrian campsites. Water activities include swimming, canoeing, boating and fishing and there is a 9-hole golf course that the whole family can enjoy.
Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Dr, Olive Hill, Kentucky 41164, Phone: 606-286-4411
7.Columbus Belmont State Park
© Columbus Belmont State Park
Beautifully located amidst mature trees alongside the Mississippi river cliff, the Columbus Belmont State Park campground offers 38 serviced campsites where you can relax and enjoy a laid-back family vacation. If you don’t have an RV of your own you can try one out by renting an on-site 6-sleeper trailer. Park activities include boating, hiking, bird watching and visiting the historic sites which played a role in the Civil War. You can also visit the on-site museum and children will enjoy the playground and the mini-golf course. Within 10 miles of the park you will find a golf course and restaurants.
Columbus Belmont State Park, 350 Park Rd, Columbus, KY 42032, Phone: 270-677-2327
8.Cumberland Falls State Park
The Cumberland Falls State Park is home to the beautiful Cumberland Falls, the largest waterfall south of Niagara. You can park your RV or pitch your tent at one of the campground’s 49 campsites and spend a few relaxing days enjoying the activities on offer. The park is a brilliant destination for both water sport and hiking enthusiasts, and you can explore more than 17 miles of scenic hiking trails. Water sport enthusiasts can take their pick of fun activities including guided canoeing excursions, white-water rafting (seasonal), river tubing, swimming and fishing. Back on dry land you can play tennis, horseshoes or shuffleboard or spend some time enjoying ranger-led activities.
Cumberland Falls State Park, 7351 Hwy 90, Corbin, KY 40701, Phone: 606-528-4121
9.Daniel Boone National Forest
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The beautiful Daniel Boone National Forest covers over 708,000 acres and offers every kind of activity an ardent nature lover could ask for. Here you can relax and unwind in one of several campgrounds, all of which offer easy access to all the activities on offer in this enormous rugged forest. You could also try your hand at primitive camping in the heart of the wilderness. The forest surrounds several lakes where you can enjoy water activities including boating, swimming, scuba, tubing and water skiing. Landlubbers can spend their time hiking, biking, rock-climbing and wildlife watching. There are also several horse camps for visiting equestrians and miles and miles of equestrian trails to enjoy.
Daniel Boone National Forest, 1700 Bypass Rd, London, KY 40744, Phone: 859-745-3100
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© Elkhorn Campground
Family owned and operated, the Elkhorn Campground near Frankfort offers visitors a warm welcome and a selection of serviced, paved campsites. This is an ideal campground to visit with the family, who can enjoy having fun in the pool, playing mini-golf or just fooling around in the large playground. In addition, you can try your hand at volleyball, basketball or horseshoes. There is a general store on site for necessities (and hand-dipped ice-cream), a bathhouse, pool and a dumpsite. The campground is suitable for larger RV’s, offering several pull-through campsites. Although you will feel as if you are in the heart of the countryside, all the attractions of the city are just two miles from the campground.
Elkhorn Campground, 165 North Scruggs Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, Phone: 502-695-9154
11.Falls Creek Cabins and Campground
© Falls Creek Cabins and Campground
Forming part of the Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort, the Falls Creek Campground offers easy access to a wide range of nature and adventure activities. The RV campground is ideal for both pull-through and back-in RV’s and most offer electric, water and sewer connections. Each of the attractive campsites offer graveled and grassed front yards for relaxed picnicking and outdoor relaxation. The campground is particularly popular with families who have older children who can join in the fun of white-water rafting, zip-lining, wagon rides and canoe excursions. Hikers are just a short drive from the amazing hiking trails of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Falls Creeks Cabins and Campground, 1943 Hwy 90, Corbin, KY 10701, Phone: 800-541-7238
12.Green River Lake State Park
The Green River Lake State Park campground near Campbellsville is hard to beat as a pleasant family camping destination. The attractive campground has 167 serviced RV sites, many of which are located alongside the lake and offer wonderful views. If you really want to get back to nature you can pitch your tent in one of the 60 campsites reserved for primitive camping. The park offers wonderful recreational activities for the whole family including hiking trails, a swimming beach, a marina with boat slips and boat rentals and good fishing for bass, crappie and muskie. You can also enjoy jet-ski rentals, water skiing and pontoon boats.
Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Rd, Campbellsville, KY 42718, Phone: 270-465-8255
13.Holly Bay Campground
Holly Bay Campground is scenically located along the western shore of Laurel River Lake in the London Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Here you can set up camp at one of 94 wooded sites, some of which can be reserved in advance. The drive-in campsites offer both electric and water hook-up, while the walk-in tent sites only offer water. At the Holly Bay Marina you can buy camping and fishing supplies, rent a boat or get a fishing license. There are several near-by trails for hikers including the Holly Bay Trail and the Wintergreen trail. There is a near-by swimming beach as well as a fish-cleaning facility.
Holly Bay Campground, 761 S. Laurel Rd, London, KY 40744, Phone: 606-864-4163
14.Kentucky Horse Park Campground
If you love horses or have a budding equestrian in the family you will certainly enjoy a camping vacation at the Kentucky Horse Park campground. Here you will find 260 spacious 55’ campsites where you can park your RV (or primitive campsites suitable for tents for visitors who prefer a more rustic camping environment). The campground offers easy access to all the fabulous equestrian attractions at the park including the two equestrian museums. Fun outdoor activities for the entire family include swimming in the large outdoor pool, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts and the 12-mile Legacy Trail for hiking and biking. There is an on-site grocery store, modern bath houses and much more.
Kentucky Horse Park Campground, 4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511, Phone: 859-233-4303
15.Kentucky River Campground
© Kentucky River Campground
At the Kentucky River Campground you can park your RV or pitch your tent amidst beautiful mature trees along the banks of the beautiful Kentucky River. To make your vacation more comfortable, all the campsites offer full sewer, electric and water hook-up and a handy on-site camp store. If you don’t have your own RV you can get a taste of RV vacationing by booking the rental trailer on site. The campground offers a good variety of outdoor activities including fishing, kayaking, boating and swimming and there is an indoor pavilion with big screen TV for the odd rainy day. Modern air-conditioned restrooms and a 24-hour laundry complete the picture.
Kentucky River Campground, 1489 Steele Branch Rd, Frankfort, KY 40601, Phone: 502-227-2465
16.Koomer Ridge Campground
The Koomer Ridge Campground is located in the Cumberland Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest, where it offers semi-primitive campsites for visitors looking for an ideal back-to-nature escape. Here you can pitch your tent in a beautiful forest setting close to several hiking trails in the Red River Gorge. There are onsite flush toilets and showers (in summer) and drinking water is also available. This is a popular campsite which operates on a first-come, first-served basis and you should plan to arrive early during the most popular periods in summer. If you visit between March and October you can attend regular Saturday programs in the amphitheater.
Koomer Ridge Campground, Pine Ridge, KY 41360, Phone: 606-663-8100
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17.My Old Kentucky Home State Park Campground
© My Old Kentucky Home State Park Campground
Set within the green and leafy grounds of the My Old Kentucky Home State Park you will find a delightful campground suitable for both RV and tent campers. There are 39 RV campsites as well as a choice of sites where you can pitch your tent for a primitive camping experience. The campground is popular with history enthusiasts and the estate offers a variety of attractions including the chance to tour the historic old mansion, attend a cookery class or attend a musical. You can also spend some time exploring the beautiful gardens or just relaxing in the very attractive and peaceful campground.
My Old Kentucky Home State Park Campground, 668 Loretto Rd, Bardstown, KY, Phone: 502-331-9054
18.Natural Bridge State Resort Park Campground
Located in the beautiful Red River Gorge, the Natural Bridge State Resort Park Campground offers nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts a well-equipped home-from-home vacation destination. The campsites are scattered beneath enormous shady trees and the campground offers everything you need for a comfortable visit including 52 pull-through or back-in RV sites with electric hook-up, cable service, laundry, dump station and a large outdoor swimming pool. Activities in and around the campground include boating and boating rentals, hiking and guided hikes, fishing, picnicking and bird watching. Regular nature and history programs are presented during the summer and you may even be treated to a live music concert.
Natural Bridge State Resort Park Campground, 2135 Natural Bridge Rd, Slade, KY 40376, Phone: 606-663-2214
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19.Nolin Lake State Park
Located close to the famous Mammoth Cave, the Nolin Lake State Park is an ideal camping destination for the whole family. The campground has a total of 59 campsites including 32 with water and electrical hook-up and 27 primitive sites for tent campers. The lake offers a wide range of recreational activities for families including paddling, boating and fishing and there is a nice sandy beach where younger children can build castles and swim. Children will also enjoy the shaded playground, while adults will enjoy the placid lake views and the relaxed atmosphere of the campground. Three of the RV sites can accommodate visitors who require accessible accommodation.
Nolin Lake State Park, 2998 Brier Creek Rd, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259, Phone: 270-286-4240
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20.Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park
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Perfectly nestled alongside Pennyrile Lake in Dawson Springs, the campground at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park offers year-round fun for the whole family. The campground offers 42 campsites, 8 of which are larger equestrian sites (which can also be booked by non-equestrian campers). The forest covers over 14,000 acres and offers excellent hiking and horse-back riding trails as well as mountain bike trails. You can also have fun on the lake, where you are welcome to enjoy swimming, boating, paddling and fishing. Sporty visitors can play tennis, volleyball or golf without leaving the park. There is mini-golf and a playground for younger visitors and guided hikes are offered during summer.
Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, 20781 Pennyrile Lodge Rd, Dawson Springs, KY 42408, Phone: 270-797-3421
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21.Rock Cabin Camping
© Rock Cabin Camping
Visitors looking for a peaceful campground close to Kentucky’s Caves Region need look no further than Rock Cabin Camping, which is one of the nearest campgrounds to Mammoth Cave. The campground is located adjacent to nine historic rental cabins and can accommodate RV’s and tents. You can enjoy full electric and water hook up for your RV and there are restrooms and showers close by. The campground is extremely well positioned for families wanting to explore all the adventure activities in the area including Mammoth Cave, Cave City, Dinosaur World and Diamond Caverns. Other activities in the area include hiking, zip-lining, go-carts and horse-back riding.
Rock Cabin Camping, 5091 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY 42127, Phone: 270-772-4740
22.Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave
© Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave
You will be the most popular parents in town when you pack up your tent or RV and take the family to spend some time at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, which is located just a few minutes away from Mammoth Cave. This campground offers exceptional amenities for families including themed activities, two huge jumping pillows, a fun water slide, a splash-pad and two huge swimming pools. Adults can go caving or kayaking and the whole family will enjoy the guided cave tours on offer. The campground offers full and partial hook-ups for RV’s and there are 4 comfort stations with showers and a coin-op laundry.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave, 950 Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY 42127, Phone: 270-773-3840
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Zilpo Campground is a popular lakeside campground nestled in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Here you will find comfortable and spacious campsites with level graveled pads for your RV, (several of which have full hook-up and lake views) dotted along a peninsula which juts into Cave Run Lake. Each of the campsites has a fire pit and picnic table – ideal for enjoying outdoor mealtimes. Leisure activities at the campground include swimming and sun-bathing on the sandy beach, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. You can also go hiking and birding along the Zilpo Mountain Loop Trail which links up with a network of other trails.
Zilpo Campground, 79-99 Center St, Salt Lick, KY 40371, Phone: 606-768-2701
24.Mammoth Cave National Park Campground
The Mammoth Cave Campground is located just a quarter of a mile from the Mammoth Cave Visitor’s Center, making this the closest place you can find to pitch a tent or park a RV when visiting the cave. Campers need to be prepared for a proper back-to-basics camping experience at this campground as there are no electrical or water hook-ups. RV’s up to 38’ can be accommodated at some of the campsites – you are advised to phone to check availability. Drinking water, toilets and coin-operated showers are available and each of the campsites has a fire pit. If you visit during the summer you will be able to get ice and basic supplies from the on-site store and use the seasonal laundry facilities.
Mammoth Cave Campground, 1 Mammoth Cave Pkwy, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259, Phone: 270-458-2424
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24 Best Kentucky Camping Spots
- Axtel Campground, Rough River Lake, Photo: R. P. Jennings/stock.adobe.com
- Baileys Point, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Photo: Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
- Camp on the Kentucky, Photo: Camp on the Kentucky
- Carr Creek State Park, Photo: Maya/stock.adobe.com
- Carter Caves State Resort Park, Photo: Carter Caves State Resort Park
- Columbus Belmont State Park, Photo: Columbus Belmont State Park
- Cumberland Falls State Park, Photo: ehrlif/stock.adobe.com
- Daniel Boone National Forest, Photo: Christopher Boswell/stock.adobe.com
- Elkhorn Campground, Photo: Elkhorn Campground
- Falls Creek Cabins and Campground, Photo: Falls Creek Cabins and Campground
- Green River Lake State Park, Photo: zhukovvvlad/stock.adobe.com
- Holly Bay Campground, Photo: magdal3na/stock.adobe.com
- Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Photo: Oleksandr/stock.adobe.com
- Kentucky River Campground, Photo: Kentucky River Campground
- Koomer Ridge Campground, Photo: trek6500/stock.adobe.com
- My Old Kentucky Home State Park Campground, Photo: My Old Kentucky Home State Park Campground
- Natural Bridge State Resort Park Campground, Photo: Michele/stock.adobe.com
- Nolin Lake State Park, Photo: Abhishek/stock.adobe.com
- Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Rock Cabin Camping, Photo: Rock Cabin Camping
- Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave, Photo: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave
- Zilpo Campground, Photo: Andrey Armyagov/stock.adobe.com
- Mammoth Cave National Park Campground, Photo: auremar/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: stock.adobe.com