When traveling to the Southeast, you might consider heading to Myrtle Beach, SC, or Savannah, GA. Maybe you’ll travel to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But if you haven’t considered campgrounds in Kentucky, you’re missing out!
From savory Southern cuisine and delightful music to stunning mountain and lake views, Kentucky is an excellent destination. Let’s look at the ten best campgrounds in Kentucky so you can plan to visit this camping season!
Is Kentucky a Good State for Camping?
With its mountain landscape and bluegrass music, Kentucky is a place campers love to visit and relax. They can sit outside their trailer in chairs around the fire, listening to the sounds of picking guitars and banjos. They can wake up to beautiful sunrises over the ridgeline or watch the sunset turn the sky orange, red, and pink.
Then you have Lexington and Louisville–the two largest cities in the Bluegrass State–with countless dining, shopping, and unique attractions. Whether you’re looking for big-city vibes or small-town charm, Kentucky has it all.
We recommend visiting Kentucky between April and June in the first half of the year, and then September to the end of October in the fall season. This helps you avoid the hottest part of the summer. However, do note that May is the rainiest time of year, so check your forecast before packing your gear.
How Do I Find Good Campgrounds in Kentucky?
One of the easiest ways to find campgrounds in Kentucky is to use apps like Campendium, AllStays, and The Dyrt. Recreation.gov is another website for campers who like to stay in state parks, National Parks, Army COE campgrounds, and others. If you have a specific location, you can also go to Google to find campgrounds near that city.
But you can’t simply put your information about length, hook-ups, and amenities in these apps and choose from there. It’s always a good idea to read reviews before you make a reservation. You want to read the experiences of others to decide if it’s a good fit for you. Understand what’s crucial to you and find reviews from other campers traveling in a similar-sized rig.
For example, a traveling woman reads a review about a family of five who didn’t like a campground because the sites weren’t big enough for their 42-foot toy hauler. But because she travels in a Class B campervan, that review doesn’t matter to her. Instead, she reads a review from another solo traveler who talks about how safe she felt, how beautiful the scenery was, and how clean the bathhouse was. This review indicates that the woman traveling solo might have found her perfect campground in Kentucky.
Pro Tip: Read about our stay at a cheese factory during our road trip through Kentucky.
10 Best Campgrounds in Kentucky
If you don’t want to search and are open to any location in the state this camping season, we have ten of the best campgrounds in Kentucky. They all have over four-star ratings on Google and positive reviews. Depending on your budget and the type of experience you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find an excellent option on this list.
1. Callie’s Lake and Campground
Located in Stanton, KY, this 50-acre campground in Red River Gorge has 45 level campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, gravel driveways, and 30/50 AMP hookups. At Callie’s Lake and Campground, guests enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating in Daniel Boone National Forest. It’s centrally located to miles of hiking trails, kayak tours, and local shopping. With a nightly rate of $30-40 and a Google rating of 4.8/5 stars, it’s an excellent option!
2. Cave Country RV Campground
Daily rates, weekly rates, and membership discounts are available at Cave Country RV Campground in Cave City, KY. All sites are big-rig friendly pull-throughs with full hookups and 50 AMP service. Guests enjoy the laundry facilities, dog park, swimming pool, billiards tables, and more.
Local nearby attractions include cave tours, Dinosaur World, and the Corvette Museum. Cave Country RV Campground is easily accessible off exit 53 of I-65, less than a mile from the interstate. It’s a bit more expensive at $52-54 per night, but with 4.7/5 stars, campers still rate it highly.
3. Axtel Campground
Located on Rough River Lake in McDaniels, KY, Axtel Campground is a no-frills site in Kentucky. However, it offers beautiful scenery of the 5,100-acre lake and 158 campsites, many with electric hookups. You can purchase WiFi separately if you need to work while visiting.
This campground also provides a swimming area, a boat ramp, a dump station, bathhouses, a playground, drinking water, a fish-cleaning station, and a short trail on-site. Depending on the site and time of year, nightly rates range from $18-56. Campers rate Axtel Campground 4.7/5 stars.
4. Kentucky Horse Park Campground
You can make your reservation for Kentucky Horse Park Campground on Reserve America. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, offers horseback and pony rides seasonally. During the winter, guests can enjoy Stall-Side Chats and tour the barn. Guests can also tour the American Saddlebred Museum and the International Museum of the Horse.
The campground provides 260 55-foot paved back-in sites with 50/30/20 AMP service and water for $30-40/night. If you love horses, this campground in Kentucky may be a perfect fit! Campers rate it 4.6/5 stars.
5. Bailey’s Point Campground
Another campground sitting lakeside in Kentucky is Bailey’s Point in Scottsville. It’s the largest of the Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds on Barren River Lake, with five camping loops. The 215 sites, most with electricity and water, are open from April through October. On-site campers enjoy the two playgrounds, a sand volleyball court, a basketball court, and a theater for weekend movie nights. Like Axtel Campground, it’s a no-frills spot with beautiful scenery. The night rate is $18-28, and the Google rating is 4.6/5 stars.
Pro Tip: Check out these 9 Top-Rated National Historical Parks to Add to Your Bucket List.
6. Twin Knobs Recreation Area
The Twin Knobs Recreation Area campground in Morehead, KY, has almost 200 campsites accommodating tents and RVs. Amenities include bathhouses, three group-use areas, scenic trails with overlooks, boat ramps, volleyball courts, basketball goals, horseshoe pits, and a sandy beach with a roped swimming area.
Cave Run Lake lies in the Cumberland District in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This campground offers more amenities than Axtel Campground of Bailey’s Point Campground, and that’s reflected in the nightly rate of $28-50. Campers enjoy the area’s natural beauty and give Twin Knobs 4.6/5 stars.
7. Cummins Ferry RV Resort and Campground
With campsites that back up to the Kentucky River, Cummins Ferry RV Resort and Campground in Salvisa, KY, is another favorite campground in The Bluegrass State. There’s a boat dock and ramp for campers who want to enjoy the water and a playground, swimming pool, dog park, and camp store. There are also on-site kayak rentals and hiking trails. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates are available. The nightly rate is $50-74, and reviewers on Google rate Cummins Ferry 4.6/5 stars.
8. Holly Bay Campground
Another campground in the Daniel Boone National Forest is Holly Bay Campground on the west side of Laurel River Lake in London, KY. The 75 RV sites are paved with a gravel tent pad, fire ring, picnic table, and lantern poles. There’s a public swimming beach, boat ramp, and fish cleaning station.
Holly Bay Campground is a prime location for anglers who want to be on the water. The Holly Bay Marina, a full-service facility near the campground, has rental boats, camping and fishing supplies, fishing licenses, and maps. Depending on the site and season, the nightly rate is $26-76. It’s another highly-rated campground with 4.6/5 stars.
9. Hillman Ferry Campground
One of the largest campgrounds on this list is Hillman Ferry Campground in Grand Rivers, KY, with 368 campsites. Full hookup sites are available, and cabin rentals are available. During the summer, the campground hosts special activities.
Year-round, guests have access to a swimming area, an archery range, a ball field, bike trails, a campfire amphitheater, hiking trails, boat ramps, a fishing dock, picnic tables, disc golf, and fire rings. There’s also an Outpost where campers can purchase necessities and souvenirs. The nightly rate is $16-42, rated 4.6/5 stars on Google.
10. Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave
Finally, Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave might not be as highly-rated as the other campgrounds on this list, with 4.3/5 stars, but it’s worth adding because it’s an excellent option for families looking for entertainment and ample amenities. Near kayaking and biking opportunities in Cave City, KY, this campground in Kentucky is also minutes away from Mammoth Cave National Park.
Popular kid-friendly amenities at this park include a 2.3-acre lake with a sandy beach, the Water Zone with an activity pool, splash pad, water guns, geysers, and bucket fountains, and the Boo Boo Playground with two jumping pillows, a paved pedal cart track with an adult- and youth-size carts, mining sluice, cornhole boards, horseshoe pits, and friendly foam ball fire. Nightly rates start at $25.
Enjoy Live Music, Savory Foods, and Southern Hospitality When You Stay At These Campgrounds in Kentucky
Whether you’re going to the Bluegrass State to enjoy the tastes, sounds, or sights, these campgrounds in Kentucky will provide comfortable accommodations during your visit. There are excellent options for campers who want to enjoy the open water or spend hours hiking. There are destinations with families in mind and more primitive, no-frills campgrounds secluded in the woods.
So no matter what you’re looking for, book your reservation to visit Kentucky this camping season! Which campground will you choose?
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Tuesday 18th of April 2023
Thanks for the great article about some of the best places to camp on my home state! I have lived here my entire life and am happy to see the Bluegrass State get some love.